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There are few durations in American historical past extra consquential however much less understood than Reconstruction, the tumultuous twelve years after Appomattox, when the battered nation sought to reconstitute itself and confront the legacy of two centuries of slavery. This Library of America anthology brings collectively a couple of hundred up to date letters, diary entries, interviews, petitions, testimonies, and newspaper and journal articles by well-known figures–Frederick Douglass, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Andrew Johnson, Thaddeus Stevens, Ulysses S. Grant, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mark Twain, Albion Tourgée–as nicely as by dozens of peculiar women and men, black and white, northern and southern, to inform the story of our nation’s first try to attain racial equality. Via their eyes readers expertise the fierce contest between President Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans ensuing within the nation’s first presidential impeachment; the adoption of the revolutionary Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments; the primary achievements of black political energy; and the murderous terrorism of the Klan and different teams that, mixed with northern weariness, indifference, and hostility, ultimately resulted within the restoration of white supremacy within the South. All through, People confront the important questions left unresolved by the defeat of secession: What system of labor would exchange slavery, and what would change into of the southern plantations? Would the conflict finish within the restoration of a union of sovereign states, or within the creation of a really nationwide authorities? What would citizenship imply after emancipation, and what civil rights would the freed individuals achieve? Would suffrage be prolonged to African American males, and to all ladies?
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an unbiased nonprofit cultural group based in 1979 to protect our nation’s literary heritage by publishing, and conserving completely in print, America’s finest and most vital writing. The Library of America sequence consists of greater than 300 volumes up to now, authoritative editions that common 1,000 pages in size, characteristic material covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that may final for hundreds of years.