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Writing ReconstructionRace, Gender, and Citizenship in the Postwar South$
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Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469621074

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469621074.001.0001

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Owning Up to Citizenship

Owning Up to Citizenship

(p.1) Introduction Owning Up to Citizenship
Writing Reconstruction

Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle

University of North Carolina Press

This introductory chapter briefly describes how Reconstruction writers explored the new constitutional guarantee of citizenship for the freedpeople living in the Southern United States. It analyzes the ways in which they produced work that advocated political and social change. These works played an important role in affecting the course of the Reconstruction, by influencing public opinion and by giving voice to the aspirations of millions of freedpeople. The writers—Constance Fenimore Woolson, Albion Tourgée, George Washington Cable, Octave Thanet, activist students from the historically black Storer College—created distinctive visions from the bitterness and hope of the created districts which were made by the Union after the Civil War. The chapter also discusses the ways in which this literature influenced and was influenced by military districting and its aftermath.

Keywords:   Reconstruction, citizenship, freedpeople, Southern United States, social change, public opinion, Union, Civil War, military districting

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