The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War (The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture)

The University of North Carolina Press
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9781469660103
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9781469660103
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It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential electoral black politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War--as of 1860, the overwhelming majority of African Americans remained in bondage. Yet free black men, many of them escaped slaves, steadily increased their influence in U.S. electoral politics over the course of the early American republic. Despite efforts to disfranchise them, black men voted across much of the North, sometimes in numbers sufficient to swing elections. In this meticulously researched book, Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution's ratification through Lincoln's election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states. Full of never-before-told stories and thorough examinations of political battles, this book traces a First Reconstruction of black political activism following emancipation in the North. From Portland and New Bedford to Brooklyn and Cleveland, black men operated as voting blocs, denouncing the notion that skin color could define citizenship.


  • | Author: Van Gosse
  • | Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • | Publication Date: February 22, 2021
  • | Number of Pages: 760 pages
  • | Language: English
  • | Binding: Hardcover
  • | ISBN-10: 1469660105
  • | ISBN-13: 9781469660103
Author:
Van Gosse
Publisher:
The University of North Carolina Press
Publication Date:
February 22, 2021
Number of pages:
760 pages
Language:
English
Binding:
Hardcover
ISBN-10:
1469660105
ISBN-13:
9781469660103