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Claiming the Union
Citizenship in the Post-Civil War South

$30.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Studies on the American South

  • Date Published: March 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316649770

$ 30.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • This book examines Southerners' claims to loyal citizenship in the reunited nation after the American Civil War. Southerners – male and female; elite and non-elite; white, black, and American Indian – disagreed with the federal government over the obligations citizens owed to their nation and the obligations the nation owed to its citizens. Susanna Michele Lee explores these clashes through the operations of the Southern Claims Commission, a federal body that rewarded compensation for wartime losses to Southerners who proved that they had been loyal citizens of the Union. Lee argues that Southerners forced the federal government to consider how white men who had not been soldiers and voters, and women and racial minorities who had not been allowed to serve in those capacities, could also qualify as loyal citizens. Postwar considerations of the former Confederacy potentially demanded a reconceptualization of citizenship that replaced exclusions by race and gender with inclusions according to loyalty.

    • Addresses race, class, and gender rather than segregating out whites, blacks, and American Indians; elites and non-elites; and men and women
    • Offers broad geographic coverage of the American South rather than focusing on a county or a state
    • Incorporates political, social, and cultural history
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This important addition to postbellum Southern and US history brings into focus contributions from various sources to the understanding of citizenship in the US … Highly recommended."
    J. P. Sanson, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316649770
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. 'We have fought the first skirmish': loyalty and citizenship
    2. Men's Union: fixing the standard of a Union man
    3. Women's Union: reckoning with the female Union man
    4. Former slaves' Union: bestowing charity or rewarding loyalty
    5. The colored Union: being all things to all men

  • Author

    Susanna Michele Lee, North Carolina State University
    Susanna Michele Lee is Associate Professor of History at North Carolina State University, where she specializes in nineteenth-century American history, especially the Civil War and Reconstruction. She received her BA in History and Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and her MA and PhD in History from the University of Virginia. Lee has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Wake Forest University. Active in the burgeoning field of digital humanities, she has served as the project manager for the digital archives The Valley of the Shadow, The State of History, and North Carolina in the Civil War Era. Lee has received fellowships from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and the Virginia Historical Society. She has also participated in a National Endowment in the Humanities summer seminar on the ethnohistory of Indians in the American South at the American Indian Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

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