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The First Reconstruction – Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

Van Gosse


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 ... More

Keywords: Politics, Activism, African Americans, Citizenship, First Reconstruction, Elections, Free black men, American democracy, North

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9781469660103
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2022 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469660103.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Van Gosse, author
Franklin and Marshall College