Grass-Roots Reconstruction in Texas, 1865-1880

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9780807121948: Grass-Roots Reconstruction in Texas, 1865-1880
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This is an examination of Reconstruction in six counties in Texas between 1865 to 1880. It reveals a diversity of experience that challenges popular generalizations. The author concludes that generalizations must be qualified to recognize the ways in which localities experienced the period.

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From the Back Cover:

Although many historians have studied Reconstruction, few have sought to determine how the turbulent era of reunification and readjustment after the Civil War was played out on a local level. In this work, historian Randolph B. Campbell examines six Texas counties during that period, revealing a diversity of experience that challenges popular generalizations. The counties Campbell explored - Dallas, Colorado, Harrison, Jefferson, McLennan, and Nueces - represent the various regions of Texas and thus its considerable geographic, economic, and demographic diversity. He ponders how the major post-Civil War policies, shaped in Washington and Austin, were interpreted in these outlying areas and thoughtfully measures the degree of change they brought to the lives of all residents - conservative whites, Republicans, and freedmen. Reconstruction at the grass roots in Texas, Campbell asserts, varied greatly from county to county, depending on such factors as demography, economic growth, and the extent of federal intervention. In the case of Texas, and possibly other states as well, Campbell concludes, assumptions about Reconstruction need to be qualified to recognize the distinct ways in which various localities experienced the period. Campbell also dispels common conceptions about Reconstruction, maintaining that whites were hurt far less than is often claimed and that at least one generation of African Americans benefitted a good deal more than is often recognized.

About the Author:

Randolph B. Campbell, Regents Professor of History at the University of North Texas, is the author of several books, including An Empire for Slavery: The Peculiar Institution in Texas, 1821--1865.

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Campbell, Randolph B.
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