Revolution and Counterrevolution in Georgia, 1865-1870: Charles Hopkins, Aaron Bradley, and the Union Leagues
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Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
At the end of the Civil War, the struggles between working people and the capitalist class moved to the center of US politics. In Georgia, freedmen fought for an agrarian revolution—forty acres and a mule—and rejected “free labor.” Poor and yeomen whites demanded relief from oppressive debt. When Radical Reconstruction began, masses of working people awoke to political life. Tens of thousands of freedmen and poor whites joined Union Leagues. Freedmen confronted planters in the fields and rebel officials in the streets and prepared militarily to seize their forty acres. With property rights under threat, Republicans gave the army the task of dismantling the Union Leagues. Then the army stood aside while Georgia’s rebel ruling class used terror and violence to complete the job against its enemies, white as well as black. Class conflict, not race, was the submerged shoal on which Reconstruction in Georgia foundered.
Braxton, Robert, "Revolution and Counterrevolution in Georgia, 1865-1870: Charles Hopkins, Aaron Bradley, and the Union Leagues." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2023.
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