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The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

$39.95

In this meticulously-researched book, Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution’s ratification through Abraham Lincoln’s election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states. From Portland, Maine and New Bedford, Massachusetts to Brooklyn and Cleveland, black men operated as voting blocs, denouncing the notion that skin color could define citizenship.

SKU: 010000965 Categories: , ,

Description

From UNC Press:

It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential black electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority of African Americans remained in bondage. Yet free black men, many of them escaped slaves, steadily increased their influence in electoral politics over the course of the early American republic. Despite efforts to disfranchise them, black men voted across much of the North, sometimes in numbers sufficient to swing elections. In this meticulously-researched book, Van Gosse offers a sweeping reappraisal of the formative era of American democracy from the Constitution’s ratification through Abraham Lincoln’s election, chronicling the rise of an organized, visible black politics focused on the quest for citizenship, the vote, and power within the free states.

Full of untold stories and thorough examinations of political battles, this book traces a First Reconstruction of black political activism following emancipation in the North. From Portland, Maine and New Bedford, Massachusetts to Brooklyn and Cleveland, black men operated as voting blocs, denouncing the notion that skin color could define citizenship.

Book is 760 pages. Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-6010-3

Signed copies by author available while supplies last.

Additional information

Weight 41.7 oz
Dimensions 9.5 × 6.5 × 2.00 in

Author Biography

Van E. Gosse, Ph.D. is a Professor, Associate Chair of History, and the Program Chair of Africana Studies at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA. He graduated with a degree in History from Columbia University before earning his Ph.D. at Rutgers University. The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War is his latest book, published in 2021 by UNC Press. He is also the author of Native Sons: Black Politics in America, From the Revolution to the Civil War (UNC Press, 2020) and Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretative History (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005).

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