The Enlightenment and other liberation ideologies had put slavery under fire. “This was the international context of insurgent liberalism that the Confederacy sought to reverse with its bid for a reactionary slaveholders’ republic..
Illinois is what I would call a quasi-slave state. And what’s surprising to people is that it existed here within the law. It begins with the colonial slave laws that came from France (because Illinois was a French territory).
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Long before the Civil War, black abolitionists shared the consensus that violence would be necessary to end slavery. Unlike their white peers, their arguments were about when and how to use political violence, not if.
150 years after the ratification of the 15th Amendment, an understanding what happened during Reconstruction is essential for exploring black power, resilience and excellence. Here are some resources for teaching Reconstruction.
Charting the ironies of freedom won and lost during and after the Civil War, Eric Foner, the American historian, has also helped us better understand the ambiguous consequences of what were almost always only partial victories.