The interaction of German and Irish immigrants, enslaved and free African Americans, and white Southerners defined the social, economic and political developments in Civil War–era Charleston. Slavery and emancipation profoundly influenced relations between European immigrants and black and white Southerners. Immigrant artisans and entrepreneurs occupied a middle tier on a racial and ethnic hierarchy, often acting as a buffer between white Southerners and African Americans and alleviating tensions between the castes. The introduction discusses sources, historiography, and details the contents of each chapter.
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