With all the recent attention to the Confederate Battle Flag, let's devote Book Review No. 13 to an attempt to explain why the Lost Cause wasn't reconstructed, for all time, about the same time President Grant left office.  A. J. Langguth, a retired journalist, attempts an explanation in After Lincoln: How the North Won the Civil War and Lost the Peace. His approach is different, organizing most of the chapters as a year in the life of an influential figure of the times, e.g. Charles Sumner in 1865; Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876; then comes Jim Crow in 1877.    Some of the influential figures are Radical Republicans, some are advocates of the Lost Cause.  Some things never change: intellectual Bostonians had the same knack for antagonizing the rest of the country in the aftermath of the Civil War that they have today.  And so it goes on.

There's a social science hypothesis that occurred to me in reading the book: might Jim Crow have been a logical development from the end of the three-fifths compromise?  As a consequence of full citizenship for freedmen, the rebellious states gained seats in the House of Representatives.  Why not, then, do everything possible to disenfranchise the freedmen, so that the existing political establishment can continue to have the benefit of proxy voting without the expense of buying slaves?  That's too narrow an hypothesis for a book of broader scope, and yet, has anyone written a dissertation or a monograph to that question?

(Cross-posted to 50 Book Challenge.)

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