This book tackles the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction, which was a crucial period in U.S. history and in the history of North Carolina. More was at stake than just the fate of the Union and the future of slavery, vitally important though these questions were. The fundamental character of southern society—its dominant values as well as its race relations, class relations, and gender relations—also was in flux as impersonal forces and human efforts created enormous pressures for change. In North Carolina, people at all levels of society reacted swiftly to events. Some seized their opportunity to promote long-desired alterations in the social structure, while others fought back, working to block or negate change. These struggles ultimately shaped the state's politics and its social landscape for decades to come.
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