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Declarations of Dependence – The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908 - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Declarations of Dependence: The Long Reconstruction of Popular Politics in the South, 1861-1908

Gregory Downs


This study argues that the most American of wars, the Civil War, created a seemingly un-American popular politics, rooted not in independence but in voluntary claims of dependence. Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, it contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters. Faced with anarchy during the long reconstruction of government auth ... More

Keywords: Civil War, popular politics, North Carolinians, dependence, unsystematic power, legal ties, anarchy, government authority, poor whites, postwar states

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780807834442
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014 DOI:10.5149/9780807877760_downs


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gregory Downs, author