The Transformation of Reform Politics in Postbellum America
“After we [the planters] are exhausted, the contest will be between the capitalist and operatives [workers]; for into these two classes it must, ultimately, divide society. The issue of the struggle here must be the same as it has been in Europe.”
— John C. Calhoun, 1811
In his oratory of 1962 at the University of Oxford, historian Kenneth Stampp sharply remarked on how Republican Radicals had been lured by Andrew Johnson’s constant outcry against the “secessionist traitors.” In April of 1865, only days after Lincoln’s death, Radical Senator Zachariah Chandler insisted in conversation with a friend that “Johnson is a radical, as I am and as fully up to the mark.” After singing his praises, he noted “If he has good men around him, there will be no danger in the future.” Johnson was a Democrat, but he had made friends among Republicans by working harmoniously with Radicals in the Committee on the Conduct of War; Radical Republican senators Benjamin Wade and Zachariah Chandler considered him an ally, and an honorary partisan. Radical members of the Republican Party bestowed upon him the power to act most freely, thus giving Johnson greater influence over the course of Reconstruction than any other Reconstruction president. No other individual affected the course of Reconstruction more than Johnson. But, much to their chagrin, these “good men” had misread the incumbent.
On February 1868, after only three years in office, Radicals in Congress impeached Johnson for ‘high misdemeanors,’ brought him to trial before the Senate, and came within one vote of expulsion. “The Radicals” Stamp writes, “had fundamentally failed to understand Johnson.” More than twenty-five years after Stampp, Eric Foner described the Radicals’ attitude toward Johnson in the same light, as overjoyed with gratitude for a “godsend.” Eager to replace Lincoln with a “better man to finish the work,” Radicals had dubbed Johnson, in Charles Sumner’s words, “the sincere friend of the negro and ready to act for him decisively.”
Johnson had been a staunch enemy of secession, but never a friend of equal rights. While the President had energetically condemned slavery, he often followed his protest by an even livelier tirade against miscegenation—a frequent talking point during his public speeches. At his most moderate, he had gone as far as favoring the vote for literate and propertied men as well as army veterans in Tennessee, including black soldiers. However, he insisted that the federal government lacked the authority to impose such a policy upon the states, adding without hesitation that the status of black men and women should not intervene in the “completion” of Reconstruction. In the spring of 1865, Radicals and Johnson were unable to come to agreement on whether or not black suffrage should be made a requirement for the South’s readmission into the Union. As Johnson’s reputation declined in Congress, Radicals put Johnson out to pasture and reclaimed their position as the rightful protectors of the Civil War’s gains. But why had such Radical Republicans, as Wade, Chandler, and Sumner—a long-time veteran of abolitionist reform—misconstrued the situation so badly?
Johnson had presented himself as the voice of the Southern Unionist yeomanry against the tyranny of the “slaveocracy.” The former Tennessee senator spoke often of the large planters as “the traitors” who “must be punished and impoverished.” Under Johnson’s watch in the Tennessee legislature, he had once advocated separate statehood for East Tennessee in order to liberate yeomen from the slave power’s yoke. Yet, from the beginning of his career as a public official, he had very little to say about the future of Southern freedmen; while the little he did say was troubling, “the negro will vote with the late master, whom he does not hate, rather than with the non-slaveholding white, whom he does hate.” Johnson feared that the enfranchisement of black men would lead to an alliance with wealthy planters against the political ascendency of the yeomanry. “White men alone must manage the South,” the President remarked to California Senator John Connes in 1865. Stampp writes that even in the early weeks, agreement between Johnson and the Radicals was “quite narrow.” He concludes, “The vast expanses of ideological conflict remained concealed only because the President and his Radical visitors spoke in the vaguest generalities.” Of course, Johnson and the Radicals did agree on a common enemy: the wealthy planter class. But on the future of emancipation, they could not be further apart. Johnson was a defender of states’ rights and was in opposition to using of federal troops for the protection of the civil and political rights of Southern black men and women. Whatever conversations between Johnson and the Radicals on the issue of freedmen must have been vague enough to hold the bipartisan alliance. But perhaps these same vagaries were also necessary to keep the Radical Republican faction united.
While Radical Republicans eventually rose together against Johnson and regained leadership, new conflicts divided their ranks after the 1868 election. Scholarship by David Montgomery, and most recently, works by Heather Cox Richardson, and Nancy Cohen show how Radicals, while once politically unified against their moderate and conservative counterparts, split into contending ideological factions in the face of political pressure by organized labor, dissent by Southern freedmen, and the mounting influence of a new class of businessmen (e.g., railroad men and manufacturing owners). These scholars show how by the mid-1870s some Radicals would find themselves on the opposite end of the political spectrum, recoiling into a conservative stance by fears of a potential class war—a homegrown Paris Commune—and the perceived threat of a political coalition between Northern workers and Southern freedmen. In these critical years, yesterday’s Radicals become conservative forces of reaction, freedmen organized against the Southern economic and political order, and Northern laborers protested against the limited interpretation of freedom imposed by capital. “These are no times of ordinary politics,” declared Wendell Phillips; “These are the formative hours: the national purpose and thought grows and ripens in thirty days as much as ordinary years bring it forward.” Reminiscent of the pace of revolution, Phillips’s words recount the period of American Reconstruction as a time when decades happened in a matter of weeks.
Writing about Reconstruction
Throughout the 1960s, Revisionist historians, including Kenneth Stampp, battled against the ever-present influence of William Dunning’s interpretation of Reconstruction. At the turn of the century, Dunning and his students at Columbia University had popularized the idea that Reconstruction was a shameful part of American history, a troubled period when unrestrained corruption, military despotism and the evils of “Africanization” ran rampant against noble Southerners, those men of honor did nothing but defend themselves from such dangers. Dunning’s work dated back to the 1890s, and though counter-narratives to this story were available in the first half of the twentieth century, including W.E.B. Dubois’s masterful work published in 1935, Black Reconstruction in America: A History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America 1860 – 1880, the legacy of Dunning’s portrayal was irrefutably present even half a century after its publication. Stampp and his colleagues were prompted to respond by the social and political rumblings of the late 1950s and 1960s in America—a time when questions over the nature of equality and freedom were once more part of public debate. These decades were a turning point in the scholarship of Reconstruction, after which the conservative narrative of the Dunning school was finally laid to rest.
The works under examination in this review are all histories of Reconstruction with special attention to the transformation of the political conditions of the North after the war, and in particular the legacy of 1830s reform efforts in the 1860s and 1870s. The scholarship under review was written by the generations after Stampp, with one exception, i.e., James McPherson’s The Abolitionists Legacy written in 1975. McPherson was included among the pages of Stampp and Leon Litwack’s Reconstruction: Anthologyof Revisionist Writings; and his work on radical abolitionist politics, and post-war debates over the black vote and land distribution for freedmen are all present concerns in his earlier, 1964 book, The Struggle for Equality.
In his 1975 work, McPherson follows the thread of radical abolitionism from the 1830s into the period of Reconstruction. While McPherson’s 1975 book argues that Radical thought was defeated as a result of the disintegration of the abolitionist movement. An alternative narrative to Radicalism’s decline is found in David Montgomery’s book, Beyond Equality. Arguing for the centrality of the labor question in the postwar years, Montgomery shows how confrontations with organized labor led to ideological splits in the Radical faction of the Republican party causing this political alliance to fracture irreparably.
Historian Eric Foner’s Reconstruction serves as the midpoint of the literature review. Written in 1988, Foner’s work integrates the lessons of revisionist scholarship while giving new attention to the formation of the modern American state as part the Civil War’s legacy. Foner’s emphasis on the consolidation of a new industrial order and the transformation of American politics is noted in both Nancy Cohen’s 2002 book, The Reconstruction of American Liberalism, and Heather Cox Richardson’s, 2001 book, The Death of Reconstruction. These recent works give greater attention to the political realignments after the war while harking back to Montgomery’s concerns with the ways in which Republicans’ confrontation with Northern labor—and with Southern freedmen (Richardson)—shaped the new ideological conflicts of postbellum America.
The ‘Epochal Conflict’
“…In the North manufacturers [are] the field, manufacturing capitalists threaten to become the masters, and it is the white laborers who are to be slaves.”
— New York Times editorial, 1869
David Montgomery’s book, Beyond Equality, published in 1967 dovetails the revisionist period of Stampp and his colleagues. Montgomery acknowledges the valuable contributions of the Revisionist historians and includes himself among the ranks of those who fought against the Dunning interpretation, but the book’s primary intervention is to rebuke the claims of a different set of historians. Rejecting the claims by progressive historians, Montgomery’s 1967 work challenged Howard K. Beale’s caricature of the Republicans as a group of mendacious politicians who clamored for the integrity of the Union and for the rights of black men simply as “smoke screens” to hide the efforts of “the Northeastern business community to secure its hegemony in the federal government against the threat of a hostile coalition of Southern and Western agrarian interests.” In agreement with McPherson’s work, Montgomery shows how Radical Republicans were divided on economic issues, from tariffs, industrial investment, property distribution, and, importantly, on the role of organized labor. On the history of American labor, Montgomery also distances himself from the John R. Commons School, including Selig Perlman and Gerald N. Grob, who had exaggerated the distance between “practical and effective” unionists and “romantic, ineffectual” antimonopoly reformers. In Montgomery’s opinion, this overstated division “obscured the ideological affinity between the then-prominent trade unionists and the Radicals” as well as “the great strides made by wage earners between 1862 and 1875 in creating effective bargaining and lobbying institutions.” Lastly, while he commends the work of revisionist historians, he notes that “none of these scholars . . . has offered today’s readers a new interpretation of Radical Republicanism to take place of Beale’s.”
A great deal of Beyond Equality is dedicated to an assessment of Radical Republican ideology, but Montgomery choses to prioritize Radicals’ interactions with organized labor. As he clarifies in his introduction, the “prism” of the labor question is used as a way to map the spectrum of Radical ideas. From his study he concludes that “Class conflict . . . was the submerged shoals on which Radical dreams foundered.” Montgomery’s attention the emergence of class politics in the postwar period reveals the depth of the midcentury transformation of social relations.
In 1870, two out of three productively engaged Americans were now wage-earners; the commodification of productive labor necessitated an overhaul of social relations. At the center of this transformation was the demise of the independent journeymen. While apprenticeship had always promised—if not always fulfilled—a road to productive independence, by the 1870s the growing mass of wage-earners in metropoles made up a permanent laboring force. Montgomery clarifies that in the 1860s, these men and women would have been referred to indiscriminately as “labor,” “a group which employers at times were a part and at times were not.” “Worker” remained an ill-defined concept to describe a person who supplied society with their productive activity—“labor-power,” as Marx later dubbed it in its alienated form, i.e., after the commodification of labor. Before the growth of the unskilled laboring population, journeymen had been simultaneously “employers” and “employees,” while his apprentice had been a journeyman in training. This permeable order could hardly be called a “class structure.” It would require the growth of manufacturing capacity in the North and the consolidation of laborers into a self-conscious organized force to form a “working class.” Montgomery’s work shows how both of these developments occurred after the Civil War.
In the United States concerns about wage-labor preceded much of the actual consolidation of a wage-earning force. As early as the end of the 1820s, reformers like George Henry Evans—a member of the Free Soil Party in 1848—had presented the dystopic image of the deskilled wage-earner vividly in the pages of The Workingman’s Advocate, the organ of The Workingman’s Party of New York. A future in which men were in a perpetual state of social dependence was antithetical to the ideal Republic of independent producers. In 1834 the Preamble of The General Trade Union of New York spoke against the deskilling of labor and the devaluation of their work. While still liminal in the antebellum North, unions and labor reformers were vocal in their opposition to prospects of a domestic industrial order. Reformers in America had a vantage point from where to witness how capital divided society into classes across the Atlantic. For centuries the United States had made a different contribution to the circuit of capital. Mostly a spectator during the historical emergence of free labor, the United States played a critical role as the wealthiest supplier of slave labor. While many believed that America’s urban centers would never stoop to the bleak conditions of Manchester tenements, some members of the planter class, like John Calhoun, had been outspoken about the dangers of class war. Montgomery shows how at the height of social and economic transformation in America, Radical Republicans echoed precisely these fears.
The presence of a permanent class of wage-laborers cut against the Republican free-labor ideology in which liberty coincided with the ownership of productive property. In the 1870s, Montgomery notes the turn by Republicans like Horace Greeley who now propped up “the cult of the self-made man” by blaming workingmen’s poor morals for their conditions. “The crushers of workingmen” Greely noted, “were not the capitalists but drink, prostitution, and gambling.” The phrase “wage-slavery” was odious to Republicans, who had fought to eradicate slavery in order to liberate the potential of free labor. But the ideal future of laborers who would accumulate enough capital to become successful proprietors was now in direct contradiction to reality. Instead of a greater capacity for advancement, the growth of manufacturing and the increase in wealth disparity created a group of permanent workers, propertyless and thus, by Republicans’ own definition, unfree.
Radicals drew both from Whig and Democratic traditions, and were supported by the revivalist faith in the possibility of human perfection. Montgomery successfully argues that Republican Radicals were an ideologically diverse group, especially on economic matters. They agreed that the Union was worth preserving as a form of self-government, and agreed on the ideology of free labor as the core of their national sentiments. But Radical’s opinions on the role of labor in the new economic and political order became sharply divided in the 1870s.
A significant portion of Montgomery’s book is dedicated to his research of Northern labor leaders active during Reconstruction. He uses various sources to accumulate biographical data of ninety-six labor leaders. While none of these had gained experience in the labor movement during the Jacksonian period, seventy-six of them, like their fathers, had entered the economy as wage-earners. Workingmen had made progress during the 1860s and early 1870s in developing a collective capacity for bargaining with employers and for lobbying with their governments at both state and federal levels. Montgomery unravels a history of national and local labor organizations and shows that for a time, some Radicals, like Wendell Phillips (a part of the minority) shared concerns over the future of workingmen. In these critical years, organized labor pushed beyond a myopic conception of freedom and equality “before the law,” thus forcing an ideological crisis for Radicals that fundamentally disrupted their political alliance. The limitations of Radical Republicans was in full display when they responded to the agitation for the shortening of the working day by protecting “private property rights” against the intrusions of organized labor, this helping to lay the legislative groundwork for the socio-economic order. In the post-war period, when workers resorted to union organization and turned to the state for economic relief, these Radicals cited the shortcomings of the “lowly classes” as the source of social inequality. Montgomery argues that because the Republican Party reneged on the promises once held by Radical Republicans, the American labor movement had to take on the role of preserving these ideals.
According to Montgomery’s ideological map, by 1872 Radicals of 1865 were split into three camps, (1) “Liberals,” who would limit the state to “keep order” and leave the rest to “immutable economic laws” and “moral self-control,” e.g., E.L. Godkin; (2) “Sentimental Reformers” (Godkin’s term) who supported labor, pushed for economic reform, and encouraged independent political action by the National Labor Union, e.g., Wendell Phillips; (3) and Stalwart corruptionists like Ben Butler who had absolutely no problem with “class legislation” as long as it promised to win his party votes. The Radical alliance, no longer a force, was one of the casualties of the “epochal conflict” between capital and labor, which—although “late”—had finally arrived stateside.
Abolitionists and ‘Neo-Abolitionists’
James McPherson’s The Abolitionists Legacy argues that the disruption of abolitionist unity was a critical factor in the decline of Northern radical politics. While Montgomery emphasized the break with the ideals of antebellum reform, McPherson highlights the transformation of abolitionist politics in the North during Reconstruction and after. As he notes from the beginning of the book, the end of Radical Reconstruction was a time of disillusionment for veteran abolitionists. But anti-black violence in the South during elections in 1874 had in part “rekindled their radicalism.” A recurring figure in McPherson’s book, William Loyd Garrison was exemplary in this regard when he spoke up against the supposed Democratic tactics of the South and compared them to the restoration of “the diabolical spirit of slavery.”
While federal troops had been maintaining an uneasy peace in Louisiana—where some of the worst violence occurred—public opinion against military intervention pushed Republicans toward a politics of reconciliation with the South. However, the new crisis in Louisiana galvanized veteran abolitionists like Garrison and Phillips to chastise the Republicans who failed to see the need for federal protection of freedmen’s rights.
The temporary incursion by armed officers into the Southern states created a powerful backlash by Democrats; and served as one of the decisive issues in the 1874 election. McPherson shows how several venerable Republicans retreated into a defensive stance against the turn in public opinion; two months before the 1874 election, Harper’s Weekly moved away from a militant position and printed a now commonly-held opinion by Northern politicians: if “the citizenship of the negro [can be] maintained only at the cost of the traditional securities of freedom,” the cost was too high, adding that it was a “fatal error . . .for a party devoted to freedom to put forward the bayonet as its symbol.” In place of military intervention, “time and education” were now seen as the primary means for “social integration” of new freedmen. “Thus by 1875,” McPherson writes, “Many abolitionists had altered their priorities of the 1860s.” The social and economic realities abolitionists had witnessed in the South convinced some of them that political Reconstruction had “put the cart before the horse,” in that it granted freedmen rights before they were “capable of exercising or defending them”
As radical sentiment in the North dwindled, Republican politicians had turned their backs on freedmen, and argued that it was not their responsibility to create better conditions for black men and women. By 1877, when President Rutherford Hayes announced his intention to withdraw troops from Southern states, the majority of Republican Party members publicly supported his decision, and nearly half of the surviving abolitionists endorsed it—clearly, disenchantment with Radical Reconstruction had managed to infiltrate even the most dedicated among the ranks. Republican-oriented publications like the Independent also turned away from their earlier support of military intervention and now congratulated Hayes for his conciliatory efforts. While providing an explanation for the Republican change in opinion—and displaying Herbert Spencer’s influence, and his brand of “social Darwinism,” over political thought in America—George Curtis, Independent contributor, wrote, “The strong and intelligent will somehow rule. And it is fighting against Nature to try to prevent it…” Furthermore, “We know this is a very bad state of things, an illegal and revolutionary state of things. We wish it were different,” but in Curtis’s estimation, and under the circumstances, freedmen’s best chance at advancement was to acquiesce to conservative Democrats, now in power in most Southern States and were thus the only force who could effectible protect their rights. Curtis was convinced that these were the only means left for black men and women to “gradually secure and profit by the advantages of education and free labor;” in conclusion, Curtis announced, “the time has now about come when the Negro must . . . fight his own battle, win his own elevation, prove his own manhood, and accredit his citizenship.” Black men and women, in other words, were now doubly free: free from the fetters of slavery, but free also from federal intervention on their behalf.
In the 1870s, committed abolitionists had found it difficult to sustain their radical positions. During the elections of 1872, Elizur Wright, one of the founders of the American Anti-Slavery Society and a vocal member the Liberty Party in late 1840s, joined the liberal faction of the Republicans and concentrated his efforts on fighting corruption. Others, however, stood their ground: Phillips was convinced that Greeley’s leadership and Sumner’s support for the liberals would help deliver the government to the copperhead Congress. Abolitionists were thus split between those who stood behind Grant’s leadership (seventy-seven out of the 104 white abolitionists in McPherson’s study) and those who shifted rightward to support Greeley’s candidacy (twenty-two out of the 104, leaving five of whom refused to support either). In contrast to Montgomery’s emphasis on the labor question, McPherson argues that it was the breakdown of the 1860s abolitionist unity that was primarily responsible for the “ultimate defeat of Northern radicalism.”
McPherson perceptively highlights the historical reversal expressed in the new division between abolitionists under Reconstruction. In the 1830s and 1840s, political abolitionists, like Wright, vocal critics of Garrison’s noninterventionist tactics, insisted that only mobilization at a federal level would provide the means to fight the political power of the planter class and eradicate slavery. However, after the failure of Radical Reconstruction, political abolitionists had come full circle and argued now that “bayonets were simply not enough to transform the hearts and minds of white Southerners towards black equality,” leaving it up to old Garrisonians to demand military intervention. Building on the brilliant work by historian Aileen Kraditor, McPherson notes the difference in ideological divisions among abolitionists from the antebellum to the Reconstruction period, when those who endorsed Hayes’s removal of troops “believed that an uneducated, propertyless majority could not govern against the wishes of the educated, propertied minority;” these political abolitionists now subscribed to the middle-class assumption that education and material success were the primary means to social mobility and political power in a democratic society. In some ways, the antebellum argument of moral persuasion over legal means once more divided the abolitionists, albeit in radically different conditions, but with a twist of historical irony it was the old political abolitionists who now shied away from using the very tools they had once so vehemently fought for. Despite these prevailing divisions, however, McPherson argues that disappointment with the outcomes of Reconstruction did not lead abolitionists to disenchantment with the goal of “racial equality.”
While the 1870s witnessed various efforts to help the freedmen acquire education, capital and land, in McPherson’s estimation, “Negro education” was “the most important and positive abolitionist legacy.” As the Freedmen’s Bureau seized to function in 1870, many Northerners found their way to the South in order to build schools, train teachers, and lobby for education among Southerners. As the economic gains of the 1880s opened new possibilities for Northerners, abolitionists were optimistic about the future of education efforts.
Like abolitionism, McPherson notes how the freedmen’s education movement sprang mainly from the New England reform impulse. Missionaries faced tough adversaries, including southern white men who burned down countless black schools in protest against the education of freedmen. During Reconstruction, missionaries had been stalked, threatened, beaten, and murdered, their families targeted by the Ku Klux Klan, and their faith shaken by the targeted violence against them. But a devotion to equal opportunity through education steeled these missionaries against their enemies. These men and women (the latter, a significant presence) believed that if given a fighting chance, black students would do just as well as white children in Northern schools.
Although the newfound passion for black education was propelled by progressive sentiments, McPherson’s account reveals some of the hairy assumptions behind the process of socialization of freedmen through education. Perhaps the most concerning popularly held canard was that the failure of Reconstruction was due to the introduction of uneducated blacks into the political arena. But political befuddlement aside, in the day-to-day experience of missionaries with freedmen no other assumption was more pervasive than the understanding that puritan values were the primary means of success. Of course, white educators were hardly alone in this perspective, as McPherson points out, the Protestant ethic (or “Puritan ethic”) was the basis of reform movements growing out of evangelical Protestantism; black leaders had been making the same point for generations, and both black and white missionary educators had been driving it home in their schools ever since emancipation. At the center of this value system were qualities of “austerity, reliability, energy, industry, self-control, marital fidelity, frugality, sobriety, thrift, self-reliance, and foresight.” These findings show how there was an ideological consensus among Southern educators on how to create better conditions for freedmen, i.e., their mission was to create the conditions for a black middle class.
McPherson ends the Abolitionist Legacy with an account of the revival of militancy in the 1890s and the founding of the NAACP, both of which he characterizes as the outcome of “neo-abolitionist” efforts. Defending the term, McPherson offers that this brand of neo-abolitionists challenged black disenfranchisement in the context of worsening conditions, viz., Jim Crow, thus carrying the mantle of democracy after the ebbing of radical sentiments in the North. Compelling as it may be, McPherson’s narrative stretches and pulls to find the trace of the ‘abolitionist legacy’ in political efforts that would make men like Philips roll in their grave. Instead of stressing continuity, McPherson would have made a more significant contribution to the history of abolitionism by stressing the problem of its decline among its most ardent proponents; McPherson’s keen insights on the volte-face by political abolitionists during Reconstruction are most helpful on this score.
Historian Eric Foner ended his brief 1977 book review of The Abolitionist Legacy by challenging the limited scope of McPherson’s work, arguing that the influence of abolitionists (and abolitionism) extended far beyond antislavery politicians. As part of the reform culture of antebellum America, abolitionists were part of a larger debate about the meaning of freedom, a debate at the center of political conflict in the years after the war. Foner argues that, “Former abolitionists and the ideas of their movement permeated every reform movement of postbellum America, from women’s rights to the labor movement and Irish-American nationalism.” Abolitionists’ claims about the relative freedom of labor’s contractual agreement, questions about federal intervention of behalf of freedmen, and demands for black suffrage in the South, all were concerns that permeated Northern politics. While abolitionists had dealt almost exclusively with the problem of slavery during the antebellum period, their influence reached beyond its original conception. As an influential set of ideas, Foner argues, “Abolitionism was a central terminus with tracks leading in every direction in American society of the Gilded Age.” Thus, Foner concludes, the scope of McPherson’s book was not capacious enough to allow for a thorough study of the multivalent legacy of abolitionism.
A similar multivalence could be used to describe the history of free-labor ideology at the core of the Republican Party, a central concern of Foner’s magnum opus of 1988, Reconstruction: American’s Incomplete Revolution. Writing with decades of distance from the Revisionist historians, Foner begins the book by assessing the state of the field in the late 1980s, and highlights some of the pitfalls of “post-revisionist” works. In his estimation, the contributions by post-revisionist historians display an exaggerated emphasis on continuity between antebellum and postbellum conditions, and wrongly presented changes in this period as purely “superficial.” Instead, Foner argues for historical recognition of the thorough and radical transformation of American society in the years of the Civil War and Reconstruction. Furthermore, bringing an international perspective and guided by Eric Hobsbawm’s contributions, Foner emphasizes how the overhaul of the economic, political, and social order in the United States after the 1860s occurred under the conditions of the global advancement of industrial capitalism—a central feature of which had been the rise of the modern nation state—and was thus part of the historical conflict between capital and labor.
Lastly, Foner demurs against the retreat by post-revisionist historians from comprehensive histories of the period, and argues for the need of a synthetic account of Reconstruction able to successfully present the various dimensions of American life after the Civil War as part of a unified historical period. Undoubtedly, Reconstruction’s breadth and scope has helped maintain its influence as the most lasting interpretations of this period published in the last twenty-five years; the book’s imprint is clearly present in both of the later works under review by Richardson (2001) and Cohen (2002).
A significant portion of Reconstruction is dedicated to the vicissitudes of Republican Party consensus during the tumult of the postwar years. As Foner works his way from the Emancipation Proclamation into the later years of Reconstruction in the 1870s, he argues that novel competing interests in civil society (e.g., organized labor, Northern capital, Southern freedmen) made the ideological consensus around free-labor untenable, even among Radical Republicans. Foner shows how a central tenet of the free-labor ideology was the assumption that capital and labor were harmonious (in America); while this formulation was plausible before the consolidation of an industrial order in the United States and the emergence of a permanent laboring class, postwar reality contradicted Republican expectations. Commenting on the work of Montgomery, Foner agrees that the confrontation with organized labor “implicitly challenged the free labor ideology and the adequacy of the Radical vision of a beneficent state guaranteeing its citizens legal and political equality.” Despite such agreement between the two historians, Foner follows these comments with a direct response to Montgomery on the Radical Republicans’ engagement with the labor question, “Like freedmen seeking land and Western farmers advocating regulation of the railroads, labor reformers called upon the Republican party to move beyond its commitment to equality before the law to consider the realities of unequal economic power and widespread economic dependence, and the state’s responsibility for combating them.” However, Foner adds, “By itself, class conflict was not ‘the submerged shoal on which Radical dreams foundered.’” Foner’s retort challenges Montgomery’s focus on class conflict as the cause for the Radical’s ultimate demise. He goes on to write that Radical Republicanism “ran aground on the all too visible politics of race and Reconstruction.” Thus for Foner, class conflict and race were related but independent problems, and in both cases Radical Republicans failed to meet the mark—Radical politics came to an end because it was unable to respond adequately to neither the “the Negro question” nor the labor question.
While in agreement with Montgomery that “…the emerging ‘politics of class feeling’ did weaken Radicalism,” according to Foner, it did so by “fostering a new kind of political leadership: nonideological power brokers in a contentious, pluralistic society.” These “nonideological power brokers”—a colorful phrase for the political bureaucrats of the modern American state machinery—are exemplary of Gilded Age politicians typified by the Republican Stalwarts, the corrupt opportunist type Montgomery described in Beyond Equality as one of the results of ideological splits in the Republican Party. For Foner, this change in American politics marked a full transition from “the ideological politics of the Civil War era to the ‘professionally managed politics’ of the Gilded Age,” a development that was already underway during Grant’s first term. The direction of this change was driven by the impact of capitalism’s rapid expansion; in this context, questions were no longer defined by the “Radical-moderate” or “Democrat-Republican” divisions, but were now matters of “shifting alliances along East-West, urban-rural, and occupational lines.” Thus Foner’s historical characterization of Radicalism’s decay is part in parcel with the waning of an ideologically divided American political sphere. This new period was defined by the mendacious political type, i.e., the ever-opportunist “nonideological” politician capable of “brokering” among a myriad of competing interests at the helm of the state machinery, his choices driven only by what can maintain him in power. Leaving the sociological attributes of this modern American “political man,” questions about the conditions under which such a “type” arises leads back to Foner’s definition of the “modern American state” and whether or not this historical transformation had an ideological dimension.
Foner dates the birth of the modern American state to the years of the Civil War, this period saw an unprecedented expansion of federal power and an attempt to force organization upon a decentralized economy and fragmented polity. “Emancipation,” writes Foner, ended “the personal sovereignty of master over slave,” thus making “all Americans equally subject to the authority of the nation state.” The United States government grew exponentially over the course of the war; the federal budget, approximately $63 million in 1860, rose to well over $1 billion by 1865. At the war’s end, the federal bureaucracy ballooned into the largest employer in the nation. Foner writes how the pension system for Union veterans, the first ever of its kind, created both “a vast new patronage machine for the Republican party” and “a broad constituency committed to maintaining the integrity of the national state.” Of course this was not the only—nor the primary—constituency that gained from federal intervention: high tariffs, later formalized into a system of “extreme protection,” benefited the industrial sector to the detriment of agriculture; Between 1862 and 1872, the government awarded over 100 million acres of land and millions of dollars in direct aid to support railroad construction, mostly to help finance the transcontinental lines chartered during and after the Civil War. Moreover, the distribution of federal debt into shares had resulted in over $2 billion of bonds scattered across the North; most of these were owned by wealthy individuals and financial institutions, who at the end of the war received interests paid in gold at a time when depreciated paper money was employed for all other transactions (except custom duties). Foner describes how, in order to guarantee a market for these bonds, the federal government established “a national banking system that further solidified the existing imbalance of financial power.” Negotiations between the Lincoln administration and leading Eastern bankers secured a series of laws providing federal charters (including the right to issue currency, to banks holding specified amounts of bonds). Foner concludes, “The system both promoted the consolidation of a national capital market essential to future investment in industry and commerce and placed its control firmly in the hands of Wall Street.” But along these federally backed investments also came the expansion of state government responsibilities for public health, welfare, and common schooling, while cities also invested heavily in public works such as park contraction and improved water and gas services. Taken together, these interventions were the product of Union policies shaping the “activist state;” Originating during wartime exigencies, Foner describes the activist state as coming to “embody the reforming impulse deeply rooted in postwar politics.” First and foremost this activist state had aimed to mobilize the nation’s resources to finance the war effort, but once in place this precedent immediately laid the ground for other initiatives, e.g., the Homestead Act and land grants for a transcontinental railroad.
Radical Republicans had been in full support of strong federal action against slavery, but in the period of Reconstruction some now wavered on the role of federal authority in the American South. And while federal intervention had done a great deal to support industrial and financial endeavors, the future of Southern freedmen was far from secure. Apart from the presence of federal troops in the South, Radical Republicans were woefully divided on the question of land distribution. Foner writes that debates over the land question “illuminated long-standing divisions among Radicals, over the definition of freedom and the economic future of the postemancipation South.” Some, like Thaddeus Stevens, argued that only a radical governmental intervention could “prevent blacks form emerging from slavery as landless laborers.” Within the Radical Republican faction, Stevens stood at the vanguard of the land distribution effort, at a speech in the 1865 Pennsylvania Republican Convention he called for “the seizure of 400 million acres belonging to the wealthiest 10 percent of Southerners.” Forty acres would be granted to each adult freeman and the remainder—some 90 percent of the total—sold “to the highest bidder” in plots, although—he latter added—no larger than 500 acres. The proceeds from the land auction would provide the federal government with funds to finance the pensions of Civil War veterans.
Most Radical Republicans however, regarded the black vote vastly more important than land distribution, Radical Senator Ashley expressed this sentiment by speculating, “If I were a black man, with the chains just stricken from my limbs…and you should offer me the ballot, or a cabin and forty acres of cotton land, I would take the ballot.” For Ashley, as for other Republican Radicals, suffrage had a self-evident value that surpassed concerns of economic dependence. While Stevens’s political imagination harked back to early Republican conceptions of identifying freedom with the ownership of productive property, his fellow Radical Republicans’ insistence on the value of the vote above all appears now like the most troubling of the two positions.
In a similar way, the fetishization of “democracy” in the abstract had done little to assuage the conditions of working classes in Europe after the Revolutions of 1848, a conflict that had burst asunder any illusions about a potential harmony between capital and labor in Europe. Whether due to a lack of foresight, or a rejection of historical consciousness, Republicans in America were convinced of an alternative future for the United States, a place where a harmonious coexistence between capital and labor would prove the experiment of democratic self-government—the Union—successful. Instead, the decades after the American Civil War revealed the kernel of truth in Calhoun’s warning, “the contest will be between the capitalist and operatives [workers]; for into these two classes it must, ultimately, divide society.” Taken as a whole, Foner’s book seems to suggest that those who shaped the modern American state in the aftermath of the war also took sides in this historical conflict. His conclusions on the transformation of reform politics in the North is that they came to be driven by a new liberal middle-class intelligentsia alarmed by “class conflict, the ascendancy of machine politics, and its own exclusion from power.” These men were no longer the ardent supporters of ‘free labor,’ but came to see the “commercial class” as the backbone of society. These new liberals understood themselves as reformers, but “reformers [who] railed against the railroad men and ‘iron and coal rings’ whose actions distorted both marketplace and government, and lamented the eclipse of ‘the smaller workshop under the personal control of the owner’ by the ‘larger corporate manufactory owned by absentee stock-holders,’ they seemed far more alarmed by a growing political danger from below.”
Published a year apart, both Nancy Cohen’s (2002) and Heather Cox Richardson’s (2001) books locate the fear of class conflict at the center of postwar Northern liberal “reform,” both show how these fears exacerbated ideological tensions that were key to the transformation of American politics. In this way, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1914 and The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 are complementary works that show a potential new direction in Reconstruction scholarship that would render visible the dominant class dimension of modern American politics after the war.
In addition to Johnson’s vision of Southern black men primarily as illiterate, unskilled, propertyless, agricultural workers—a perpetual source of cheap labor for Southern whites—both Richardson and Cohen argue that after the war, Republicans had begun to see newly freed men and women as a powder keg, a volatile force that threatened the stability of America’s novel social order.
In an 1868 letter to the New York Times, a Northerner accused Radical Republicans of undermining the proper socialization of the free black worker by appealing to his political sentiments first, “The negro was absent [from work],” he warned, “attending to speeches and elections [instead].” By 1872, Northern political consensus on the ills of Southern labor found the roots of the problem in the “premature incorporation of freedmen into the political sphere.” Using the convenient exclusionary logic of social Darwinism, postwar reformer James S. Pike exemplified northern liberal opinion when he described the way freedmen had been robbed from a “necessary evolutionary stage” by being thrust into politics, “Not having previously developed the traits of economic rationality” Pikes argues, “that were preconditions to legitimate political behavior.” Liberals like Pike wanted to establish a hierarchical political relationship between the “best men” in the South and the mass of laborers first, these were the necessary conditions for the proper socialization of black men and women via the new free labor regime. Cohen writes that liberal reformers maintained their bias against black labor by asserting differences on the base of biological and racial predispositions, she concludes, “A racialized and hybrid ideology of free labor rejuvenated the paternalist rationale for slavery for a peculiar kind of freedom.”
The new American “liberal reformers” came from families that had been prominent in abolitionist, antislavery, and unionist organizations; however, unlike their parents these reformers were remembered for their adherence to an extreme individualism, laissez-faire, and social Darwinism. These men had come of age in the 1870s, when an international economic crisis threatened to undermine America’s new social order. Cohen writes that one of the fundamental contributions of this new liberalism was “to render the dominance of corporate capital compatible with American Democracy,” thus “promoting the class interests of corporate capitalists;” even as liberal reformers continued to clamor for the cause of liberty and little government, “they themselves sketched the lineaments of the administrative mandate.”
Cohen argues for placing the birth of Gilded Age politics squarely in the decades after the Civil War, when a new brand of American liberal politics emerged as the mediator between capital and democracy. These liberals supported an active role for the state in society and economy, even as they justified constraints on democracy, and the ascendancy of corporate capitalism. Modern liberalism regarded political economy as scientific law of the best possible world, and insisted on the centrality of these iron laws in political decision-making. In this way, Cohen argues, modern American liberalism played a critical role in legitimating and politically insulating the new corporate capitalist order from democratic challenge.
The labor question in the postwar South was inextricably bound to the issue of landed property rights. The perpetual elephant in the room, the confiscation of land returned to congressional debates during the late 1860s when Radical Republicans Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner introduced bills in both chambers to provide forty acres and agricultural supplies to freedmen from land confiscated from Confederates. While at the helm of the redistribution efforts, Stevens argued that land was more essential than the vote in advancing conditions of freedom and equality for Southern freed people. In agreement with Foner, Cohen also notes the lack of popular support for land redistribution among Republican politicians, even among Radicals. While it was unsurprising that neither bills passed, the timing in this case had been particularly bad for radical initiatives. The spring of 1867 coincided with the passage of the eight-hour laws in several states and a burst of strikes in the North. Cohen argues that the agitation for the 8-hour day and demands for land confiscation exacerbated divisions already present among Radical Republicans and “intensified a reaction against Radicalism already under way.”
The Nation—always a reliable compass for the conservative turn in Republican politics—now printed denunciations of workers and freedmen and played Cassandra by forecasting class war in America; an editorial argued, “There is no question—and this eight-hour agitation, the Fenian agitation, and the negro confiscation agitation at the South prove it—that the mental and moral condition of the laboring classes is rapidly becoming in America what it is in Europe, the great social and political question of the day.” The Nation recognized how the “great curse of the Old World—the division of society into classes,” had become an all too palpable reality in America. Dashing expectations of a free Republic of small producers, this new social order presented a menacing prospect to Republicans: organized labor threatened to jeopardize the gains of free-labor relations. Modern liberal “reformers” now understood social relations as governed by what they referred to as the “laws of political economy”—in this way, Cohen notes, previous Radicals “eased their consciences by insisting that their turnabout was a matter of science not politics;” the education of “economic man” was the solvent for social unrest, the cure for the labor problem. Free laborers in the North demanding an eight-hour day in postwar America —as generations of workingmen before them had demanded the 10-hour day in the 1830s—now found a cold reception by Republicans, who defended freedom of contract against labor unions and rights of private property against Southern freedmen. The decades after the war show how Republican’s way of imposing “harmony” on the cacophonous conflict of capital and labor resulted in sacrificing one for the other. In sum, Cohen presents liberal reformers of this era championing laws and practices that prioritized capital advancement as the engine of a free and equitable society.
New liberal reformers reconciled democracy and capital in theory, while arming troops against railroad workers and denouncing black “red shirts” in South Carolina. What resulted from this transformation of American politics was a moral and ideological order guided by the needs of American corporate capital. While once at the center of antebellum Republican free labor ideology laid a glorification of the producer as protector of freedom, postwar opinion of labor fixated on the dangers of class politics, and insisted on the need to guard democracy from rabble-rousers, even, if needed, by bayonet.
In the years after the war, political interventions by Northern Republicans had forged the objective conditions for a socio-economic hierarchy, thus advancing the demise of proprietary capitalism and ushering the new order of corporate capitalism. Stimulus to industry by the Union war effort had propelled industrial development into the center stage of American politics. But the state’s massive mobilization of resources for industrial development and finance during and after the Civil War paled in comparison to the use of federal troops against laborers in 1877. In this historical juncture, the arm of the state proved instrumental to enforcing the discipline of capital. As both Cohen and Richardson show, it is impossible to divorce the use of federal power against labor from the historical advancement of corporate capitalism. In the decades that followed Reconstruction, Foner’s Gilded Age “nonideological brokers” advanced the ends of capital as the functionaries of a state machinery shaped by the historical conflict against labor—conditions of nation-building all too common to post-1848 Europe.
While Cohen’s book lays out an intellectual history of modern American liberalism, Heather Cox Richardson’s work combines a social history of labor and freedmen’s organizing efforts with a study of the changing attitudes of Northerners towards class divisions and potential class conflict. Richardson stresses the role of organized labor and demands by freedmen as central to the downward trajectory of radical politics in the North. Building on scholarship by David Montgomery, Richardson includes an especially fascinating chapter on the Republican response to the organization of black workers and the freedmen-led South Carolina Government.
Charting the spread of labor unrest under Reconstruction, Richardson describes the historic summer of 1867 when strikes across the South, notably in Mobile and Charleston, witnessed organized dockworkers and longshoremen pushing for higher wages. Alongside these men, the organization of agricultural workers was most impressive; Union League representatives encouraged freedmen to boycott conservative planters, seize crops if they were defrauded, slow down work, and squat on planters’ lands. The Associated Press reported in detail riots in Richmond, Virginia; throughout the country, it seemed, workers took to the streets in unprecedented numbers. These actions led conservative and moderate Republicans to equate Southern freedmen with labor radicals who believed in class struggle. While Republicans had until then failed to grasp the emerging class divisions among black men and women, the summer of 1867 revealed to these Northerners the “dramatic rift in the black community between those with property and those who had none.” This class differentiation among free black people in the South plays a critical role in Richardson’s study: By showing how post-war class conflict affected the future of freedmen, Richardson is capable of showing the new lines of ideological divisions between the unskilled or semiskilled ex-slaves who made up the bulk of the South’s black population and Northern politicians paired with prominent African-Americans who tended to preach Republican political economy and promote labor discipline in order to achieve prosperity.
In the aftermath of the war, Richardson shows how Northern politicians feared the cooperation between freedmen and workers to strike for higher wages or better working conditions, in this climate Republicans were more concerned that freedmen would follow the example of disaffected Northern laborers who, in their eyes, “refused to work for their own success.”
Using newspapers, public speeches, popular tracts, Congressional reports, and private correspondence, Richardson portrays a telling portrait of Reconstruction America, where the political agitation of the early 1870s in South Carolina and Louisiana, the demand for civil rights, and the fears spurned by the 1871 Paris Commune, drove Republicans to agree with Democrats’ concerns that freedmen hoped to gain better conditions through federal support instead of advancing through the discipline of free labor. Richardson notes how, “This increasing consensus between moderate Democrats, independents, and Republicans reflected a political realignment in the country;” As both Cohen and Richardson show, the divisions of this new realignment were drawn on the basis of novel concerns with organized labor and the political volatility of Southern freedmen. Of course race was always part of the debate involving black men and women, but in in the final conflict, “Northerners turned against freedpeople after the Civil War because African Americans came to represent a concept of society and government that would destroy the free labor world;” By taking up political organization, demanding better wages and laboring conditions, and challenging the direction of the Reconstruction government, “Black citizens, it seemed, threatened the core of American society.”
America’s new industrial order, as Foner, Cohen and Richardson have shown, was consolidated on the backs of freedmen and northern laborers. But as Cohen and Richardson both successfully demonstrate, this consolidation was incomplete without the formation of the modern American state.
In an astute observation, Cohen writes that the history of liberal politics is “a tale of relationships, most important, of the triangular struggle for power between liberals, conservatives, and socialists.” All three ideological forces were active in the conflicts of the postwar era. And while the transformation of objective conditions were guided by forces more extensive than domestic Republican policies, the subjective conditions of political transformation where shaped by responses to social unrest by laborers and Southern freedmen. The legacy of this transformation in American politics has provided the direction of liberalism (or “liberal reform”) well into the twentieth century.
. John C. Calhoun, “Rough Draft of What Is Called the South Carolina Exposition” (1811) in Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, ed. Ross M. Lence (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1992).
. Kenneth Stampp, Andrew Johnson and the Failure of the Agrarian Dream: An Inaugural Lecture Delivered Before the University of Oxford on 18 May 1962 (Oxford, England: Clarendon Press, 1962).
. Stammp, Andrew Johnson, 4.
. Ibid., 4.
. Brooks Simpson, The Reconstruction Presidents (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1988), 67.
. Simpson, Reconstruction Presidents, 67.
. Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution (New York: Harper & Row, 1988), 177.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 178.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 181.
. Quoted in Foner, Reconsutrction, 180.
. Stampp, Andrew Johnson, 5.
. David Montgomery, Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans 1862-1872 (New York: Knopf, 1967); Heather Cox Richardson, The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post-Civil War North, 1865-1901 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001); Nancy Cohen, The Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 1865-1914 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2002).
. Quoted in Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 26.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, vii.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, x.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, viii.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, x.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 29.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 30.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 14.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 31-32.
. Montgomery, Beyond Equality, 78.
. I reserve judgment here as I am not familiar with the history of labor organizing in this period – though I hope to be by next semester—thus I cannot comment on whether or not Montgomery’s statement is an idealized interpretation of this period of American labor history. The International Workingman’s Association in New York, and the growth of its chapters in the North was promising, but it certainly was not the only effort in this period. A deeper understanding of this complicated period in labor history might challenge Montgomery’s characterization.
. James McPherson, The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP (Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1975), 46.
. Quoted in McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 50.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 79.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 81.
. Quoted in McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 88.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 32.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 33.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 40.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 34.
. “The greatest defection from radical Reconstruction occurred among non-Garrisonians. Whereas only 27 percent of the Garrisonians supported Hayes, 45 percent of the evangelicals and 74 percent of the political abolitionists did so.” McPherson, Abolitionists Legacy, 91.
. Aileen S. Kraditor, Means and Ends in American Abolitionism: Garrison and His Critics on Strategy and Tactic, 1834-1850 (New York: Pantheon Books, 1967).
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 92
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 92.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 3.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 161.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 175.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 174.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 188.
. McPherson, Abolitionist Legacy, 188.
. Eric Foner, “The Abolitionist Legacy: From Reconstruction to the NAACP by James M. McPherson” The Journal of Higher Education, 48, No. 4 (Jul. – Aug., 1977): 477-479.
. Foner, “The Abolitionist Legacy,” 479.
. Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Capital: 1848-1875 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1975).
. Foner, Reconstruction, 484.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 484.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 484
. Foner, Reconstruction, 484.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 485.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 487.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 23.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 23.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 23.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 467.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 22.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 469.
. Foner, Reconstruction, xxvi.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 21.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 236.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 237.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 235.
. Quoted in Foner, Reconstruction, 235.
. John C. Calhoun, “Rough Draft of What Is Called the South Carolina Exposition” (1811) in Union and Liberty: The Political Philosophy of John C. Calhoun, ed. Ross M. Lence (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1992).
. Foner, Reconstruction, 492.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 489.
. Foner, Reconstruction, 490.
. Quoted in Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 68.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 83.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 83.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 83.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 15.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 110.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 68.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 69.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 69.
. Quoted in Foner, Reconstruction, 477.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 31.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 121.
. See Robert Wiebe, The Search for Order, 1877-1920 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1967).
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 83-121.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 50.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 50-52.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 48.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 52.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 60.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 120.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 120.
. Richardson, Death of Reconstruction, 120.
. Cohen, Reconstruction of American Liberalism, 8.