In this study of the reconstruction period in Georgia following the Civil War, a British historian provides a dispassionate account of a highly controversial subject. A revisionist reappraisal, Dr. Conway’s study is the first substantial history of the period to be published in fifty years. The sources include considerable material that has become available since the publication of the last major work on the subject in 1915. The author gives close attention to the last days of the Civil War and its aftermath in Georgia, the early attempts at political reconstruction in 1865, the work of the Freedmen’s Bureau, the economic problems involved in reshaping the state’s economy, the development of the state-cropping and crop-lien systems, the imposition of Congressional reconstruction on Georgia under military supervision, the political maneuverings and economic ventures of such prominent figures as Joseph E. Brown, Benjamin Hill, and Hannibal I. Kimball, the efforts of the Ku-Klux Klan to nullify Negro voting rights and re-establish “white supremacy” concepts, and, finally, the investigations by the Democratic party of Republication misgovernment during the administration of Governor Rufus B. Bullock. Dr. Conway, who did the research for the book in Georgia, has made considerable use of primary manuscripts, travelers’ accounts, state and federal reports, and contemporary newspaper material to arrive at an account which judiciously assesses the claims and counter-claims of violently opposed groups which were vitally concerned with the place of the Negro in Southern society after emancipation and with the return of Georgia to the Union.
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