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By Jane Dailey

Lengthy sooner than the Montgomery bus boycott ushered within the glossy civil rights move, black and white southerners struggled to forge interracial democracy in the USA. This cutting edge ebook examines the main winning interracial coalition within the nineteenth-century South, Virginia's Readjuster get together, and uncovers a shocking measure of fluidity in postemancipation southern politics.Melding social, cultural, and political heritage, Jane Dailey chronicles the Readjusters' efforts to foster political cooperation around the colour line. She demonstrates that the ability of racial rhetoric, and the divisiveness of racial politics, derived from the typical stories of person Virginians—from their neighborhood encounters at the sidewalk, prior to the magistrate's bench, within the schoolroom. within the method, she finds the facility of black and white southerners to either create and face up to new structures of racial discrimination. the tale of the Readjusters exhibits how tough white southerners needed to paintings to set up racial domination after emancipation, and the way passionately black southerners fought each infringement in their rights as american citizens.

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Extra info for Before Jim Crow: The Politics of Race in Postemancipation Virginia (Gender and American Culture)

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One contemporary described his appearance in 1864 as that of ‘‘a Major General indeed, but wonderfully accoutered! ’’ 108 Can signs of future greatness be read in such a getup? Mahone’s prewar career may be more telling. Before enlisting in the Confederate cause, Mahone had used the education he obtained at vmi to initiate a flourishing career in Virginia’s infant railroad industry. 109 His involvement with railroads led him immediately after the war into Reconstruction politics. It is difficult to overstate the influence of railroads on Virginia politics in these years.

White Virginians worried that social hierarchy would be disrupted after the Underwood Constitution recognized African Americans’ civil and political rights. (The Library of Virginia) the Literary Fund, the principal state funding for education as foreseen by the 1868 constitution were state and local taxes. 64 There was some grumbling about this new tax, particularly as Virginia experienced the effects of the depression that followed the national financial panic of 1873. But despite the planter elite’s muttering about communism (the Paris Commune having just enriched beyond measure the metaphors of conservative America), local opinion favored the schools, and the most common complaint regarding schools and taxes during the 1870s was that the latter were insufficient to support the former.

120 Such language may well have reflected Mahone’s own feelings with regard to the schools, but it also hinted at what would later materialize as a dramatic shift of political strategy: courting the black Republican vote to bolster the schism in white Conservative ranks. ‘‘You can operate on the negroes by telling them that it is the effects [sic] of the Funding Bill that is depriving them of a school now,’’ advised D. C. 121 By the time William Mahone entered electoral politics in 1877, the debt question had been a highly charged issue in Virginia for nearly a decade.

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