An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (Paperback)Kate Masur (author)
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After slavery's demise, the question of racial equality produced a multifaceted debate about who should have which rights and privileges, and in which places. Masur shows that black Washingtonians demanded public respect for their organizations and equal access to streetcars, public schools, the vote, and municipal employment. Congressional Republicans, in turn, passed local legislation that made the capital the nation's vanguard of racial equality, drawing the attention of woman suffragists hoping for similar experiments in women's rights. But a conservative coalition soon mobilized and, in the name of reform and modernization, sought to undermine African Americans' newfound influence in local affairs. In a stunning reversal, Congress then abolished local self-government, making the capital an exemplar of disfranchisement amid a national debate about the dangers of democracy.
Combining political, social, and legal history, Masur reveals Washington as a laboratory for social policy at a pivotal moment in American history and brings the question of equality to the forefront of Reconstruction scholarship.
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Number of pages: 376
Weight: 544 g
Dimensions: 235 x 156 x 23 mm
Edition: New edition
Masur positions her work at the intersection of political and social history. . . [and] carefully reconstructs the interplay between national and local forces, between the general and the specific. . . . A compelling work that will serve as a model for similar studies for years to come.--Journal of American Ethnic History
I highly recommend this book because Masur provides us a wonderfully well-documented and fascinating history of [Washington D.C.] with lessons for today....An important book....[and] a rewarding one that will hopefully evoke public debate and inspire new ideas for the future.--Susie's Budget and Policy Corner blog
In all, Masur sets a new standard in Reconstruction historiography. In a stunning achievement, she has unearthed a lost democratic legacy that was previously unknown--and presented it poignantly and provocatively.--Journal of American History
[Masur's] book highlights how the District's direct relationship with a Republican-dominated Congress can help us assess the intentions and the limits of the GOP's commitment to racial equality.--Journal of the North Carolina Association of Historians
[An] excellent book--Washington History
Masur's elegant, nuanced study . . . is both a superb social and political history of the nation's capital during this crucial period and a significant contribution to the scholarship of race and Reconstruction. . . . Rich, well-researched, and well-conceived. . . . A sophisticated and fascinating treatment deserving of a wide audience. Highly recommended.--Choice
A solid foundation for a comparative assessment of urban-based emancipation politics. . . . [This book] illuminates how Washington, D.C., provided important precedents for both expansive and limited views of emancipation and the rights of black people.--Journal of Southern History
Kate Masur's original and widely ramifying study of post-emancipation struggles over equality in Washington, D.C. . . . [is] powerful indeed.--American Historical Review
[A] deeply researched, beautifully written narrative. . . . A must-read book, not only for those interested in the emancipation and Reconstruction but for anyone interested in the long, complicated, and contentious story of equality in the United States.--Civil War History
A study worthy of the subject. Deeply researched and compellingly argued, Masur's book provides new insight. --Journal of the Civil War Era
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