The Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction

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Building on arguments presented in The Struggle for Equality, James McPherson shows that many abolitionists did not retreat from Reconstruction, as historical accounts frequently lead us to believe, but instead vigorously continued the battle for black rights long after the Civil War. Tracing the activities of nearly 300 abolitionists and their descendants, he reveals that some played a crucial role in the establishment of schools and colleges for southern blacks, while others formed the vanguard of liberals who founded the NAACP in 1910. The author's examination of the complex and unhappy fate of Reconstruction clarifies the uneasy partnership of northern and southern white liberals after 1870, the tensions between black activists and white neo-abolitionists, the evolution of resistance to racist ideologies, and the origins of the NAACP.Building on arguments presented in The Struggle for Equality, James McPherson shows that many abolitionists did not retreat from Reconstruction, as historical accounts frequently lead us to believe, but instead vigorously continued the battle for black rights long after the Civil War. Tracing the activities of nearly 300 abolitionists and their descendants, he reveals that some played a crucial role in the establishment of schools and colleges for southern blacks, while others formed the vanguard of liberals who founded the NAACP in 1910. The author's examination of the complex and unhappy fate of Reconstruction clarifies the uneasy partnership of northern and southern white liberals after 1870, the tensions between black activists and white neo-abolitionists, the evolution of resistance to racist ideologies, and the origins of the NAACP.
 

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The struggle for equality: abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction

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These volumes, published in 1975 and 1964, respectively, chronicle the abolitionist movement from before the Civil War to the part it played in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. LJ's reviewer found The Abolitionist Legacy an "ably researched, well-written book" (LJ 12/15/75). Read full review

Contents

Introduction
3
The Election of 1860
9
Secession and the Coming of War
29
The Emancipation Issue 1861
52
Emancipation and Public Opinion 18611862
75
The Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment
99
The Negro Innately Inferior or Equal?
134
Freedmens Education 18611865
154
The Ballot and Land for the Freedmen 18611865
234
The reelection of Lincoln
256
Schism in the Ranks 18641865
283
Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction 1865
304
The Fourteenth Amendment and the Election of 1866
337
Military Reconstruction and Impeachment
363
Education and Confiscation 18651870
382
The Climax of the Crusade the Fifteenth Amendment
413

The Creation of the Freedmens Bureau
178
Men of Color to Arms
192
The Quest for Equal Rights in the North
217
Bibliographical Essay
429
Index
447
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About the author (1964)

James M. McPherson is Professor of History at Princeton University. His many books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, as well as What They Fought For, 1861-1865; Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution; Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction; and The Negro's Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted during the War for the Union.

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