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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
The Origins of Slavery in the New World

E-Seminar 2
The Struggle for Freedom

E-Seminar 3
The Old South

E-Seminar 4
Abolitionism and Antislavery

E-Seminar 5
The Civil War

E-Seminar 6
The Meaning of Freedom

E-Seminar 8
Retreat from Reconstruction

Slavery and Emancipation
A Series of Eight E-Seminars

Slavery and Emancipation
E-Seminar 7, Radical Reconstruction

Taught by: Eric Foner

E-Seminar Description
During Radical Reconstruction—from 1868 to roughly 1877—Southern black men voted and held public office for the first time. In the twentieth century, a misleading and pernicious view of this period took hold among historians and the general public: Reconstruction was portrayed as the lowest point of American democracy, a time of rampant misgovernment and corruption in the South, perpetrated by carpetbaggers (exploitive Northerners), scalawags (Southern Republicans), and ignorant black men. In this e-seminar, Professor Eric Foner discusses the actual backgrounds of the men, black and white, who formed the Republican coalition that briefly governed the South. He discusses their achievements—the progressive state constitutions they created, their success in building the South's first systems of public education, the reforms they instituted at the local level—as well as their failure to redirect the South's economy, and he also considers the corruption that undermined their credibility. The e-seminar presents streaming video of Professor Foner's lecture and combines it with text, images, a who's who, primary documents, and a discussion board.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

E-Seminar Objectives | Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

E-Seminar Objectives
•    Learn about the backgrounds and achievements of the black political leaders who rose to prominence during Reconstruction.

•    Understand the distortions of Reconstruction that were circulated by traditional historians who wrote about that era.

•    Explore the social origins and political motivations of those known as "carpetbaggers" and those known as "scalawags."

•    Learn about the major legislative initiatives of the Republican state governments during this era.

•    Understand the accomplishments and failures of the Radical Reconstruction governments.

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1. Introduction
2. The Rise of Black Politics
3. White Republicans
4. Achievements and Failures
5. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Eric Foner, DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University, received his Ph.D. in American history at Columbia under the supervision of Richard Hofstadter. His publications have concentrated on the intersections of intellectual, political, and social history and the history of American race relations. Among his books are Free Soil, Free Labor, Free Men: The Ideology of the Republican Party before the Civil War (1970, 1971, 1995); Tom Paine and Revolutionary America (1976); Politics and Ideology in the Age of the Civil War (1980); Nothing but Freedom: Emancipation and Its Legacy (1983), and Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (1988, 2002), winner of the Bancroft Prize, Parkman Prize, Avery O. Craven Prize, Owsley Award, Lionel Trilling Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. With John A. Garraty, he edited The Reader's Companion to American History (1991). His most recent books are The Story of American Freedom (1998) and Who Owns History: Rethinking the Past in a Changing World (2002), a collection of his recent essays.

A winner of the Great Teacher Award from the Society of Columbia Graduates, Professor Foner is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and of the British Academy. He served in 1993-94 as President of the Organization of American Historians, and in 2000 as President of the American Historical Association. He has directed summer seminars for college and high school teachers sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Gilder-Lehrman Institute, and is the editor of The New American History (1990, 1997), a collection of essays sponsored by the American Historical Association and designed to acquaint high-school teachers with the latest trends in historical scholarship on the American past.

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Recommended Reading
Foner, Eric. Freedom's Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders During Reconstruction. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.

Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877. New York: Harper and Row, 1988.

Harris, William C. The Day of the Carpetbagger: Republican Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1979.

Holt, Thomas. Black over White: Negro Political Leadership in South Carolina During Reconstruction. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1977.

Taylor, Joe Gray. Louisiana Reconstructed, 1863–1877. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1974.

Zuczek, Richard. State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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