Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After SlaveryRace, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044774

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044774.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 19 October 2019

Anarchy at the Circumference

Anarchy at the Circumference

Statelessness and the Reconstruction of Authority in Emancipation North Carolina

Chapter:
(p.98) 5 Anarchy at the Circumference
Source:
After Slavery
Author(s):

Gregory P. Downs

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813044774.003.0006

Historians surely understand that the American state failed the freedpeople, but it is not clear that we understand why federal power failed them so badly, despite common explanations that focus upon a failure of intentionalities rooted in racism or free-labor ideology. By foregrounding efficacy, scholars can see anew the central role of state institutions in shaping the experience of Reconstruction and the extent and limits of emancipation. Grounding freedpeople's actions, not just in community building or ideological expression but in practical access to particular state functions, reminds us that emancipation was not solely a labor struggle or an ideological crucible. The rights freedpeople sought to defend had little meaning absent their attachment to a state powerful enough to make them felt. In a dualism too little appreciated in the literature, freedpeople were frequently most assertive in asking for help from above; their claims-and the claims of many relatively weaker people-were not isolated from but deeply intertwined with the need for support from government actors. Instead of operating in opposition, freedpeople's agency and state action were often mutually constructing.

Keywords:   North Carolina, Union troops, Freedmen's Bureau, state, petitions, black politics, Presidential Reconstruction, demobilization, Albion W. Tourgée

Florida Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .