Analysis – Confederate Reckoning

McCurry, Stephanie. Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2010. 1.   Thesis: Slaveholders that created the “slave power” behind the Confederate States of America neglected the political and social places of white women and blacks to their peril.  These neglected groups took advantage of the new necessities […]

Analysis – The Confederacy as a Revolutionary Experience

Thomas, Emory M. The Confederacy As a Revolutionary Experience:. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970. 1.   Thesis: The Civil War resulted in a radical reshaping and restructuring of Southern society, sparking a revolution that began as an effort to conserve rather than to create.  The opposite took place.   The war led to the alteration or elimination […]

Analysis – The South vs. The South

Freehling, William W. The South Vs. the South: How Anti-Confederate Southerners Shaped the Course of the Civil War. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. 1.   Thesis: The U.S. is not the only “house divided” during the Civil War.  Divisions between white and black, pro- and anti-Confederates, and varying loyalty of the Upper and Lower […]

Analysis – The Political Economy of Slavery

Genovese, Eugene D. The Political Economy of Slavery: Studies in the Economy & Society of the Slave South. New York: Pantheon Books, 1965. 1.   Thesis: “Slavery gave the South a social system and a civilization with a distinct class structure, political community, economy, ideology, and set of psychological patterns and that, as a result, the […]

Analysis – The Growth of Southern Civilization, 1790-1860

Eaton, Clement. The Growth of Southern Civilization, 1790-1860: . New York: Harper, 1961. 1.   Thesis: The pre-Civil War South is typically portrayed as monolithic culture filled with a romanticized plantation lifestyle is not the accurate portrayal (i.e. the South was not full of white, pristine tranquil plantations, refined southern gentlemen nicknamed “colonel” and charming southern […]

Analysis – Twelve Years a Slave

Northup, Solomon, Sue L Eakin, and Joseph Logsdon. Twelve Years a Slave: . Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1968. 1.   Thesis: Solomon Northup achieves something quite profound in this book.  The narrative shows how a simple economic institution, backed by law and religion, enforced by those seeking to profit from it, can quickly become […]

Analysis – The Slave States

Olmsted, Frederick Law, and Harvey Wish. The Slave States, Before the Civil War: . New York: Capricorn Books, 1959. 1.   Thesis: The institution of slavery is the inhibitor of civilization and modernization in the South.  It slows the progress of education, morality, community, social mores, customs, culture, infrastructure, economic advances, wages and labor practices.  It […]

Analysis – Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave

Douglass, Frederick. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: an American Slave. New York: Penguin Books, 1968. 1.   Thesis: Frederick Douglass persuades the reader that the institution of slavery not only robs the slave of all of the fundamental elements of manhood but also robs the humanity from any person that touches it, becomes a […]

Analysis – Southern Women and the Revolution

Southern Women and the Revolution – Mary Beth Norton 1.   Thesis: The Revolutionary War transformed the social role of women. Depending on which region (North or South) a woman lived in and to which class (rural poor, urban, wealthy white) a woman belonged, their level of dependence to men dictated how they reacted to the […]

Analysis – American Revolutionaries in the Making

American Revolutionaries in the Making: Political Practices in Washington’s Virginia (Charles S. Sydnor, University of North Carolina Press, 1952). 1.   Thesis: Despite the somewhat questionable atmosphere of voting and politics, Virginia’s environment fostered and promoted the most qualified persons to the top of the political sphere and did so brilliantly, providing the fire and conditions […]

Analysis – The Only Land They Knew

The Only Land They Knew: The Tragic Story of the American Indians in the Old South (J. Leitch Wright, Jr., The Free Press, 1981) – excerpt: The Original Southerners. True knowledge of the intricate workings of the pre-contact southern Indian civilization is elusive to grasp.  Despite this limitation, author and historian J. Leitch Wright, Jr. […]

Analysis – Myne Owne Ground

Myne Own Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, 1640-1676 (T.H. Breen and Stephen Innes, Oxford Press, 1980). Conventional historical analysis of the rise of racism and slavery in the South paints a very broad brush of these as imported from European settlers from the outset of American colonization.  Authors Thomas Breen and Stephen […]

Analysis – American Slavery American Freedom

American Slavery – American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (Edmund S. Morgan, W.W. Norton & Company, 1975). Author and historian Edmund S. Morgan takes a very thorough and chronological approach to the growth of slavery as an institution starting from the very first landed settlements all the way to the first struggles of the […]