Historians' interpretations of the reconstruction period in American history
Moore, Robert Joseph
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Since 1900 there have been three distinct interpretations of Reconstruction--the traditional or "Dunning" interpretation and two major revisions, each demonstrating that changing climates of opinion in American society have vitally affected historians of Reconstruction. Near the beginning of the century historians were expected to answer questions on politics and the Constitution. The doctrine of white supremacy, as manifested by disfranchisement of Negroes and crystallization of the segregation system in Southern states and by the United States involvement in imperialism , was reaching its peak. Furthermore, emphasis was on conciliation between North and South rather than equality of races. These influences produced the "Dunning" interpretation. Historians of the "Dunning" school emphasized politics and the actions of individuals; believed in the inferiority of the Negro; sympathized with Southerners oppressed by unwise, harsh , and destructive Radical policies; and sharply criticized the motives and methods of Radical leaders [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.