Summary Of Redemption By Nicholas Lemann

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Summary Of Redemption By Nicholas Lemann



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During these decades after the American Revolutionary War, more than one million enslaved African Americans underwent forced migration from the Upper South to the Deep South , two thirds of them in the slave trade. Others were transported by slaveholders as they moved west for new lands. With changing agriculture in the Upper South as planters shifted from tobacco to less labor-intensive mixed agriculture, planters had excess laborers.

Many sold slaves to traders to take to the Deep South. Slaves were driven by traders overland from the Upper South or transported to New Orleans and other coastal markets by ship in the coastwise slave trade. After sales in New Orleans, steamboats operating on the Mississippi transported slaves upstream to markets or plantation destinations at Natchez and Memphis. With its plantation economy, Louisiana was a state that generated wealth from the labor of and trade in enslaved Africans. It also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States, totaling 18, people in Most of the free blacks or free people of color , as they were called in the French tradition lived in the New Orleans region and southern part of the state.

More than in other areas of the South, most of the free people of color were of mixed race. Many gens de couleur libre in New Orleans were middle class and educated; many were also property owners. Construction and elaboration of the levee system was critical to the state's ability to cultivate its commodity crops of cotton and sugar cane. Enslaved Africans built the first levees under planter direction. Later levees were expanded, heightened and added to mostly by Irish immigrant laborers, whom contractors hired when doing work for the state. As the 19th century progressed, the state had an interest in ensuring levee construction. By , Louisiana had built miles 1, km of levees on the Mississippi River and another miles km of levees on its outlets.

These immense earthworks were built mostly by hand. They averaged six feet in height, and up to twenty feet in some areas. Enfranchised elite whites' strong economic interest in maintaining the slave system contributed to Louisiana's decision to secede from the Union in It followed other Southern states in seceding after the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States.

Louisiana's secession was announced on January 26, , and it became part of the Confederate States of America. The state was quickly overtaken by Union troops in the Civil War , a result of Union strategy to cut the Confederacy in two by seizing the Mississippi. Federal troops captured New Orleans on April 25, Due to a large enough portion of the population having Union sympathies or compatible commercial interests , the Federal government took the unusual step of designating the areas of Louisiana under Federal control as a state within the Union, with its own elected representatives to the U. Following the Civil War, much of the South, including Louisiana, was placed under the supervision of military governors under northern command.

Louisiana was grouped with Texas in what was administered as the Fifth Military District. Under this period of Reconstruction Era , the slaves were freed and males were given suffrage. African Americans began to live as citizens with some measure of equality before the law. Both freedmen and people of color who had been free before the war began to make more advances in education, family stability and jobs. At the same time, there was tremendous social volatility in the aftermath of war, with many whites actively resisting defeat. White insurgents mobilized to enforce white supremacy , first in Ku Klux Klan chapters.

In the s, whites accelerated their insurgency to regain control of political power in the state. The Red River area, where new parishes had been created by the Reconstruction legislature, was an area of conflict. On Easter Sunday , an estimated 85 to more than blacks were killed in the Colfax massacre , as white militias had gathered to challenge Republican officeholders after the disputed gubernatorial election of Paramilitary groups such as the White League , formed in , used violence and outright assassination to turn Republicans out of office, and intimidate African Americans and suppress black voting, control their work, and limit geographic movement in an effort to control labor.

Among violent acts attributed to the White League in was the Coushatta massacre , where they killed six Republican officeholders, including four family members of the local state senator, and twenty freedmen as witnesses. They hoped to replace him with the Democratic candidate of the disputed elections, John McEnery. The White League briefly took over the statehouse and city hall before Federal troops arrived. Through the s, white Democrats began to reduce voter registration of blacks and poor whites by making registration and elections more complicated. They imposed institutionalized forms of racial discrimination and also conducted voter intimidation and violence against black Republicans.

The rate of lynchings of blacks increased through the century, reaching a peak in the late s, but with lynchings continuing well into the 20th century. Blacks came out in force in the April elections, in areas where they could freely vote, to support a Republican- Populist fusion ticket that might overturn the conservative Democrats. Blacks were threatened by increasing talk about restricting their vote, and Mississippi had already passed a new constitution in that disenfranchised most blacks.

Racial tensions and violence were high, and there were 21 lynchings of blacks in Louisiana that year, surpassing the total for any state. Returns from Democratic-controlled plantation parishes were doctored, and the Democrats won the race. The legislature "refused to investigate what everyone knew was a stolen election. In , the white Democratic, planter -dominated legislature passed a new disenfranchising constitution, with provisions for voter registration, such as poll taxes , residency requirements and literacy tests , to raise barriers to black voter registration, as Mississippi had successfully done.

The effect was immediate and long lasting. In , there were , black voters on the rolls and about the same number of white voters, in proportion to the state population, which was evenly divided. Because of disenfranchisement, by there were only black voters less than 0. In the notable 19th-century U. Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson , the Court ruled that "separate but equal" facilities were constitutional. The lawsuit , based on restricted seating in interstate passenger trains, was brought from Louisiana with strong support from the Creoles of color community in New Orleans: Plessy was one.

Separation through segregation, however, resulted everywhere in lesser services and facilities for blacks. From July 24—27, , New Orleans erupted in a white race riot after Robert Charles, an African-American laborer, fatally shot a white police officer during an altercation. He escaped and during and after the manhunt for him, whites rampaged through the city attacking other blacks and burning down two black schools. A total of 28 people died, including Charles, and more than 50 were wounded. Most of the casualties were black. The riot received national attention and ended only with intervention by state militia. As a result of disfranchisement, African Americans in Louisiana essentially had no representation; as they could not vote, they could not participate in juries or in local, state or federal offices.

As a result, they suffered inadequate funding for schools and services, and lack of attention to their interests and worse in the segregated state. They continued to build their own lives and institutions. In , the Supreme Court struck down the grandfather clause in its ruling in Guinn v. United States. Although the case originated in Oklahoma, Louisiana and other Southern states had used similar clauses to exempt white voters from literacy tests. State legislators quickly passed new requirements for potential voters to demonstrate "understanding," or reading comprehension, to official registrars. Administered subjectively by whites, in practice the understanding test was used to keep most black voters off the rolls.

By , Louisiana established the all-white primary , which effectively shut out the few black voters from the Democratic Party, the only competitive part of elections in the one-party state. In the middle decades of the 20th century, thousands of African Americans left Louisiana in the Great Migration north to industrial cities. The boll weevil infestation and agricultural problems had cost sharecroppers and farmers their jobs, and continuing violence drove out many families. The mechanization of agriculture had reduced the need for many farm laborers.

They sought skilled jobs in the burgeoning defense industry in California in the s, better education for their children, and living opportunities in communities where they could vote, as well as an escape from southern violence. During some of this period, Louisiana accepted Catholic orphans in an urban resettlement program organized in New York City. Opelousas was a destination for at least three of the Orphan Trains which carried orphan children out of New York from to Families in Louisiana took in more than 2, mostly Catholic orphans to live in rural farming communities. The first museum dedicated to the Orphan Train children is located in Kansas. He was elected to office on populist appeal.

Though popular for his public works projects, which provided thousands of jobs to people in need, and for his programs in education and increased suffrage for poor whites, Long was criticized for his allegedly demagogic and autocratic style. He extended patronage control through every branch of Louisiana's state government. Especially controversial were his plans for wealth redistribution in the state. Long's rule ended abruptly with his assassination in the state capitol in Mobilization for World War II created defense industry jobs in the state, attracting thousands of rural black and white farmers into the cities to obtain such employment.

However, tens of thousands of black workers left the state in the Second Great Migration for the North and West Coast to seek skilled jobs and better pay in the defense industry outside the South, better education for themselves and their children, and living opportunities in communities where they could vote. Although Long removed the poll tax associated with voting, the all-white primaries were maintained through , until the Supreme Court struck them down in Smith v.

Civil rights organizations in New Orleans and southern parishes, where there had been a long tradition of free people of color before the Civil War, worked hard to register black voters. In the s the state created new requirements for a citizenship test for voter registration. Despite opposition by the States' Rights Party , downstate black voters began to increase their rate of registration, which also reflected the growth of their middle classes. The 1,, black citizens were adversely affected by segregation and efforts at disfranchisement. Because of better opportunities elsewhere, from to , blacks continued to migrate from Louisiana, for a net loss of more than 37, people. During the latter period, some people began to migrate to cities of the New South for opportunities.

The disfranchisement of African Americans did not end until their leadership and activism throughout the South during the Civil Rights Movement gained national attention and Congressional action. In August , New Orleans and many other low-lying parts of the state along the Gulf of Mexico were hit by the catastrophic Hurricane Katrina. Officials issued warnings to evacuate the city and nearby areas, but tens of thousands of people, mostly African Americans, had stayed behind, some stranded, and suffered through the damage of the widespread flood waters.

Cut off in many cases from healthy food, medicine or water, or assembled in public spaces without functioning emergency services, more than people in New Orleans died in the aftermath. Government at all levels had failed to prepare adequately despite severe hurricane warnings, and emergency responses were slow. The state faced a humanitarian crisis stemming from conditions in many locations and the large tide of evacuating citizens, especially the city of New Orleans.

Today, Louisiana is developing in several new industries including film and technology. New Orleans has recently gained the title of the fastest growing city in the United States and the Hollywood of the South. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Overview of the topic. Further information: Pre-Columbian North America. Further information: Lithic stage and Paleo-Indian.

Main article: Louisiana New France. Further information: French colonization of the Americas. Main article: Louisiana New Spain. Main article: Louisiana Purchase. Civil Rights Movement in Louisiana. State of Louisiana Louisiana v. Louisiana Cox v. Louisiana Murder of Clarence Triggs. Main article: Hurricane Katrina. Retrieved Archived from the original on Given the prevailing attitudes, however, neither action was likely, and each would have further undercut support in the North for Reconstruction. In contemporary conflicts, arming one community can produce a backlash by others. In the eyes of a fearful rival community, taking up arms for supposed self-defense proves that the mobilizing community is hostile or threatens the power balance.

In Iraq, for example, the United States worked with the Shiite government that represented a once-opposed majority, and in Afghanistan with the government nominated by non-Pashtun minorities who had formed part of the Northern Alliance. In both cases, the result was backlash from the formerly dominant community. Federal troops, if used more aggressively and in greater numbers, could have prevented the intimidation and voter suppression that was vital for Democratic political victories in many Southern states.

Had the Radical Republicans been able to ensure a long-term troop presence, Black political power might have solidified—especially in states such as South Carolina, which had a Black majority. In essence, the troop presence would have lasted for decades after the war itself ended, similar to the U. Americans during the Reconstruction era, however, were highly suspicious of a strong federal government, and the continued arrogation of civil powers to the Army had only limited support.

Ongoing racism kept support for Black rights limited, and reports of corruption both real and exaggerated further diminished support. Even if the troop presence had continued beyond , to preserve the gains of Reconstruction, Congress would have had to greatly expand the size of the Army—an option no one was considering—and have troops deploy far more extensively and use force more aggressively. Although today the American people's suspicions of a strong federal government and a large peacetime military are far lower than in the past, there remains only a limited appetite for continued counterinsurgency campaigns. In Vietnam in the s and early s, and in both Afghanistan and Iraq today, support for the fight weakened over time, despite initial enthusiasm.

A variant of the more troops approach was also to anticipate, and plan for, a white backlash and suppress it before it could gain momentum. In anticipation of resistance, the U. If the United States had taken these steps, initial violence likely would have been lower, and the shaky political and social gains made by the Black community more consolidated. They also would have made subsequent uses of force easier, as the opposition would have been weaker.

Given President Johnson's firm opposition, such planning would have required new political leadership. As with the recommendation for bigger numbers of troops deployed for a longer period, enlarging the military in peacetime would have been politically difficult in light of prevailing attitudes. Although initial violence would have been lower given such planning, the bitter attitudes would take many years to overcome, and at least some violence likely would have erupted as troops were drawn down.

Perhaps more important, it would have taken a remarkable sense of foresight among national leaders, especially as the United States at this point in its history did not have the considerable experience with counterinsurgency and occupation that it would later gain though, even then, it often fails to remember this experience until an insurgency is well developed. Recognizing the need for such advanced planning, however, is important if scholars and policymakers are to learn from Reconstruction and the insurgencies that broke out after various U. Planners should anticipate resistance, even in cases where the initial victory is easy and an insurgency seems unlikely. Insurgents try to exploit identity cleavages to their advantage.

Counterinsurgents can try to thwart such attempts, promoting an array of intersectional identities that might exist in any given locale to reframe the conflict in ways favorable to their cause. Although white Southerners mostly agreed that Black citizens should be subordinate to white citizens, they often differed on economic policies—a potential point of division that clever Republican political leaders might have exploited. Before and during the Civil War, the planter class dominated Southern politics.

The war worsened the divide, draining small farms of manpower while large plantations with many slaves could still be productive. The ability of wealthy white Southerners to avoid conscription by producing a substitute including twenty enslaved workers to provide labor for the war effort also rankled. In addition, the Freedmen's Bureau in some states helped more poor white Southerners than it did Black residents, a potential source of unity. Economic differences among white Southerners were unable to transcend race, however. Indeed, violence itself united white Southerners of different classes, and, over time, economic pressure and social ostracism brought many white Southern Republicans into the ranks of Southern Democrats.

To ensure that divisions among white Southerners were the primary source of political identity, Republicans would have had to play down issues of Black equality, thus depriving themselves of potential voters and a cause many of them genuinely embraced. Even today, U. The failure to put economic divides ahead of racial ones suggests the power of preexisting identity cleavages, a common problem for intervening powers after conflicts. In Libya, for example, the United States tried to promote unity governments and use economic assistance to buy off warlords. These efforts could not overcome tribal and regional divides, and indeed the allocation of economic aid often became a source of new quarrels among local militias. Part of the power of white Southerners came from their dominant economic position—for example, through land ownership and greater access to capital—especially when compared with the impoverished state of the formerly enslaved.

Although the architects of Reconstruction considered such dramatic measures, caution ruled their thinking, and they chose not to enact them. In , then Maj. William Tecumseh Sherman issued Special Order 15, redistributing , acres along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts to the formerly enslaved. Stevens, Charles Sumner, and other abolitionists backed such measures, and 40, of the formerly enslaved would eventually be resettled there. As part of the broader white Republican effort to reconcile white Southerners, however, even Sherman's limited effort was discontinued and most of the resettled population evicted at the end of Land redistribution would have been just and would have decreased the economic leverage used to coerce newly freed Black citizens, but it went against the laissez-faire mindset that dominated the thinking of the time.

Compared with their white neighbors, Black Americans were poorly armed and would have had to rely on the government for protection. White landowners could, and would, simply seize their land at gunpoint, and local courts would uphold such action. Indeed, land redistribution would have given many dispossessed white farmers an even greater incentive for violence. Such a redistribution would have required a long-term approach involving an enduring occupation and political control. It's not even past. The post—Civil War South offered numerous opportunities for violence, which Southern white Democrats exploited, and federal authorities failed to repress. The structural problems existing in the wake of the war at times made the challenge harder, but by themselves were not decisive.

The architects of Reconstruction failed to plan properly, deploy enough troops in the South, give them an aggressive mandate to use force decisively whenever and wherever white supremacist violence appeared, or otherwise use the agency they had to defend the new political system. This failure gave the KKK and other violent groups opportunities to suppress Black voters and otherwise restore a white-dominated social and political order. The teaching varies by state or region, with the violence often downplayed or the period ignored altogether.

The violence of Reconstruction, in turn, has had echoes in the decades that followed. Victories by white racists during Reconstruction gave them a repertoire of violence to draw on in subsequent years when their superior social position faced new threats. Night riding, election fraud, assassination, and similar tactics would continue in the Jim Crow era. The same script of political violence to protect the white-dominated political and social order would be followed again in the s and s to combat integration. Indeed, the United States today still lives in Reconstruction's shadow, with anti-Black voter fraud and restrictions, white paramilitary violence, and appeals to racism painfully common.

The failure of national, state-level, and military leaders to stop white supremacist violence and the resulting failure of Reconstruction shed light on theories of post-conflict societies, counterinsurgency, occupations, counterterrorism, and related literatures. Structural factors such as the state of the economy and the level of governance shaped events but, by themselves, did not determine success or failure.

Similarly, although white supremacists enjoyed initial advantages in their ability to mobilize and in having access to weapons, assistance from the federal government to the Black community blunted their effects in some ways. Indeed, had the government armed Black militias, the consequences may have been more profound. Individual leaders mattered, but they were on both sides of the spectrum during Reconstruction, making it difficult to attribute causality to leadership for the entire Reconstruction era. Policy failures at both the federal and state levels played a profound role in Reconstruction's demise. The federal government and military leaders involved in Reconstruction did not consistently support local collaborators and failed to convince most white Southerners of the legitimacy of Republican-led state governments.

Upon withdrawal, the federal government did not arrange the departure of Army troops to manage the commitment problem related to ensuring Black rights, which declined once troops had left. Perhaps most important was the lack of military capacity and will to repress spoilers. Radical Republicans and military leaders generally understood the true character of their opponents, but they lacked the power, or the determination, to stop them.

The experience of Reconstruction validates general lessons on the importance of deploying sufficient troops with a strong mandate, a unified strategy, and the risks of spoilers. It also demands that intervening states anticipate, and plan for, a possible insurgency and a contested occupation, even if the initial military campaign is going well. Finally, it underscores the point that political agreements that cannot be enforced are meaningless. Building a true democracy in any society is difficult, and it is particularly hard after a conflict. Reconstruction's experience suggests both limits and lessons.

Radical Republicans focused on voting, but true democracy demands the democratic rule of law. The rule of law, in turn, must operate at both the local and the national level. It also requires new, or at least vastly reformed, judiciary and police systems and military forces that act as a constabulary when necessary. Half measures are the bane of many military efforts, and Reconstruction is a sterling example of the problems they create. The Compromise of , which recognized the end of slavery but entrenched Black inequality, showed what was possible at the start of Reconstruction and did not require a decade of painful efforts and staggering death toll.

As would happen again and again, the difficult measures needed to win the peace were not thought through or resourced. Like the failed effort at Reconstruction, attempts to build stable democracies leave many people at risk. Southern white Republicans risked being killed, driven from their homes, and socially ostracized. These considerable risks paled beside those faced by Black Americans, especially those in leadership positions. Similarly, those who collaborated with the United States in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places faced additional risks when hostile forces contested or seized territory.

Yet, such a warning against half measures, the difficulty of democratization, and the risks to those who work with the occupiers is unsatisfying. The study of Reconstruction highlights a problem with compromise itself. If only violence is considered, one could argue that the Compromise of reduced the death toll in accord with political science articles recommending the incorporation of former combatants into government, a high degree of local autonomy, and concessions to win over embittered locals. To keep the flame of freedom burning, a longer, often draining, fight would have been necessary.

The anonymous reviewers provided exceptionally helpful comments. Charles J. Gallagher and Alan T. Nolan, eds. Allen W. Robert Smalls, a leading Black politician of the time, estimated almost 50, dead during this period, a figure that one leading contemporary historian of the era finds plausible. John Lewis and Archie E. For works representing the old school of thought on Reconstruction that portrayed the violence as limited, and some Klan activity as justified, see William A. For a discussion of the historiography, see John David Smith and J.

Vincent Lowery, eds. An exception on the terrorism side is David C. Stephen John Stedman also offers an excellent chapter on Reconstruction in the context of postwar stabilization. For a summary of various factors and an argument on the importance of violence, see Eric Foner, Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, — , rev. New York: Harper Perennial, , p. For an important work on class and economic issues and their impact on Reconstruction, see Richardson, The Death of Reconstruction. On economic development, see Michael W.

Richard B. For a description of this thesis, see David M. Seth G. John Gerring et al. Daniel Marston and Carter Malkasian, eds. Elizabeth N. Byman and Kenneth M. Hermann et al. Douglas R. Mark L. James T. Steven M. Joel D. Rayburn and Frank K. Sobchak, eds. Army in the Iraq War , Vol. Norton, Ben Connable and Martin C. James D. Lake and Donald Rothchild, eds. Paul K. Andrew H. Kydd and Barbara F. For a discussion of many aspects of counterinsurgency, see Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies. Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism , 3rd ed. New York: Columbia University Press, , pp. Tetlock and Aaron Belkin, eds. Giovanni Capoccia and R. When Reconstruction begins and ends is disputed, with some historians seeing it as a continuation of the Civil War, while others portray it as going beyond , well into the early nineteenth century.

See Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller, eds. Michael W. Baker and Brian Kelly, eds. Trelease, White Terror , pp. Norton, , pp. Lewis Burke Jr. Foner, Reconstruction , p. For testimonials of violence, see Kidada E. Quoted in Trelease, White Terror , p. Downs, After Appomattox , pp. Otto H. Trelease, White Terror , p. For one such polemic disguised as reporting, see James S. Appleton, Andrew L. Lemann, Redemption , p. David Cunningham, Klansville, U. Eric L. Lemann, Redemption , pp. Samuel P. Barbara F. Barry R. Roger L. Henry Louis Gates Jr.

Michael J. For discussions on the importance of negotiations to prevent war recurrence, as well as their many problems, see Charles T. Montgomery: Equal Justice Initiative, , p. Sign In or Create an Account. Advanced Search. User Tools. Sign In. Skip Nav Destination Article Navigation. Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Volume 46, Issue 1.

Previous Article Next Article. Possible Factors Explaining Failure. Definitions, Debates, and Counterfactual Analysis. The Troubled History of Reconstruction. Article Navigation. July 19 This Site. Google Scholar. Author and Article Information. Online Issn: International Security 46 1 : 53— Cite Icon Cite. Table 1. Percentage of Black Americans in Went Democratic presidential. Went Democratic governor. View Large. Table 2. Federal Troop Levels during Reconstruction, — Troops Table 3. Comparing Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Advantages. Favor Insurgent White Supremacists. Favor Counterinsurgent Federal Government. Structural Factors economic and governance problems in the South weapons and organizational endowments from the pre-Reconstruction era proscription hinders white political mobilization decisive military victory in the Civil War rapid Black mobilization strong political will and casualty tolerance Federal-Level Policy Factors President Andrew Johnson's open racism and hostility to Black rights lack of clear, shared goals and priorities among leading civilian and military figures insufficient troops weak mandate for the use of force with the exception of the Enforcement Acts weak civilian capacity lack of long-term planning lack of conditionality for withdrawal President Ulysses S.

Grant's strong support for Reconstruction, the important role of congressional leaders, and support for Black rights by many U. Insurgencies and Countering Insurgencies , p. Edelstein, Occupational Hazards. Staniland, Networks of Rebellion , p. Quoted in Foner, Reconstruction , p. Foner, Reconstruction , pp. Parsons, Ku-Klux , p. Egerton, The Wars of Reconstruction , p. Quoted in ibid. Fellman, In the Name of God and Country , p. Egerton, The Wars of Reconstruction , pp. Summers, The Ordeal of the Reunion , pp. Gillette, Retreat from Reconstruction , p. Quoted in Downs, After Appomattox , p.

Quoted in Foner, Reconstruction , pp. Summers, The Ordeal of the Reunion. Fellmann, In the Name of God and Country , p. Gillette, Retreat from Reconstruction, — , p. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America , p. Grandin, The End of the Myth , p. Fellman, Blood Redemption , p. Email alerts Article Activity Alert. Latest Issue Alert. View Metrics. Then they spied on them Jessa Crispin. Students are not always aware. In the election cycle, pharmaceutical political action committees suddenly funneled more money to her than they did the whole six years she served in the US House. These unaccountable bodies hold increasing sway over US government. Their abuses of power affect us all. Facebook has just suffered its most devastating PR catastrophe yet Siva Vaidhyanathan.

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