The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

The Second Founding: How the Civil War and Reconstruction Remade the Constitution

by Eric Foner


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“Gripping and essential.”—Jesse Wegman, New York Times

An authoritative history by the preeminent scholar of the Civil War era, The Second Founding traces the arc of the three foundational Reconstruction amendments from their origins in antebellum activism and adoption amidst intense postwar politics to their virtual nullification by narrow Supreme Court decisions and Jim Crow state laws. Today these amendments remain strong tools for achieving the American ideal of equality, if only we will take them up.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393358520
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 08/11/2020
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 33,049
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Eric Foner is the author of many award-winning books on the Civil War and Reconstruction, including The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. He is DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations xi

The Reconstruction Amendments xiii

Preface xix

Introduction: Origins of the Second Founding 1

1 What Is Freedom? The Thirteenth Amendment 21

2 Toward Equality: The Fourteenth Amendment 55

3 The Right to Vote: The Fifteenth Amendment 93

4 Justice and Jurisprudence 125

Epilogue 169

Appendix 177

Acknowledgments 217

Notes 219

Index 247

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