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Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908

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Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this highly original study, Gregory Downs argues that the most American of wars, the Civil War, created a seemingly un-American popular politics, rooted not in independence but in voluntary claims of dependence. Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Declarations of Dependence contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters.

Faced with anarchy during the long reconstruction of government authority, people turned fervently to the government for protection and sustenance, pleading in fantastic, intimate ways for attention. This personalistic, or what Downs calls patronal, politics allowed for appeals from subordinate groups like freed blacks and poor whites, and also bound people emotionally to newly expanding postwar states. Downs's argument rewrites the history of the relationship between Americans and their governments, showing the deep roots of dependence, the complex impact of the Civil War upon popular politics, and the powerful role of Progressivism and segregation in submerging a politics of dependence that--in new form--rose again in the New Deal and persists today.

Synopsis:

Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Downs contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters.

About the Author

Gregory P. Downs is assistant professor of history at the City College of New York. He is author of Spit Baths, a Flannery O'Connor Award-winning collection of short stories.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781469615394
Author:
Downs, Gregory P.
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
Author:
Downs, Gregory
Subject:
reconstruction of popular politics in the south
Subject:
unsystematic power of civil war governments
Subject:
expanding states after the civil war
Subject:
americans and their government
Subject:
deep roots of dependence
Subject:
impact of the civil war on popular politics
Subject:
World History-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
360
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Law » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 New Trade Paper
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Product details 360 pages University of North Carolina Press - English 9781469615394 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Downs contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters.

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