Reconstruction and Freedom: How Inequality Led to Jim Crow and White Supremacy (History Lessons)
Reconstruction and Freedom How Inequality Led to Jim Crow and White Supremacy History Lessons

Follow by Email
Inequality during Reconstruction laid the foundations for white supremacy and Jim Crow after the Civil War. It is a common misconception that white supremacy was primarily about segregationist laws, i.e. Jim Crow. Jim Crow was an urban phenomenon, and most blacks did not live in urban areas until after World War II. Policies that Northern and Southern Republicans implemented during Reconstruction, more so than separate but equal laws, created the social and economic inequalities that marginalized freed persons and alienated poor whites. The Nation article from E.L. Godkin on Reconstruction and carpetbaggers can be read in full here: For Jim Crow as a system of apartheid, Robert J. Cottrol, Brown vs Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution For northern discrimination against blacks, Jeanne F. Theoharris and Komazi Woodard, Freedom North: Black Freedom Struggles Outside the South, 1940-1980 For Jim Crow as an urban phenomenon and economic inequality as central to white supremacy in rural areas, J. Mills Thornton III, “Segregation and the City: White Supremacy in Alabama in the Mid-Twentieth Century,” in Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement For the free labor and free market ideology of Northern Republicans, Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution. For the conflicts over military occupation of the South, Gregory Downs, After Appomattox: Military Occupation and the Ends of War On liberals, immigrants, anti-democratic attitudes, and disenfranchisement, Richard White, “Gilded Liberals,” in The Republic for Which it Stands: The United States During Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865-1896 On declining freedom after Reconstruction, especially for sharecroppers, Evalyn Nakano Glenn, “Blacks and Whites in the South,” in Unequal Freedom: How Race and Gender Shaped Citizenship and Labor On Indian removal and the transformation of the Deep South into white plantations, Adam Rothman, Slave Country: American Expansion and the Origins of the Deep South. Also, Daniel Walker Howe, “Jacksonian Democracy and the Rule of Law,” in What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848