The first Reconstruction : Black politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War / Van Gosse.

Gosse, Van [Browse]
Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2021]
745 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.


  • John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture [More in this series]
  • The John Hope Franklin series in African American history and culture
Summary note
"It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential electoral black politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War--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 U.S. 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 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction
  • Our Appeal for a Republican Birthright: The Ideology of Black Republicanism before the Civil War
  • PART I. Caste versus Citizenship in Pennsylvania
  • Citizens for Protection: The Shadow Politics of Greater Philadelphia, 1780-1842
  • A Large Body of Negro Votes Have Controlled the Late Election: Black Politics in Pennsylvania, 1790-1838
  • Coda: The Pennsylvania Default
  • PART II. The New England Redoubt
  • All the Black Men Vote for Mr. Otis: Nonracial Politics in the Yankee Republic, 1778-1830
  • The Colored Men of Portland Have Always Enjoyed All Their Rights: The Politics of Respect
  • The Very Sebastopol of Niggerdom: Measuring Black Power in New Bedford
  • We Are True Whigs: Reconstruction in Rhode Island
  • Coda: The New England Impasse
  • PART III. The New York Battleground
  • Negroes Have Votes as Good as Yours or Mine: Coming to Grips in New York, 1777-1821
  • We Think for Ourselves: Making the Battleground, 1822-1846
  • Consult the Genius of Expediency: Approaching Power, 1847-1860
  • Coda: Losing and Winning in the Empire State
  • PART IV. A Salient on the West
  • We Do Not Care How Black He Is: Ohio's Black Republicans
  • Coda: Ohio, Flanked
  • Conclusion: Going to War
  • Appendix: Black Leaders and Their Electorates.
  • 9781469660103 (hardcover ; : alkaline paper)
  • 1469660105 (hardcover ; : alkaline paper)
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