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The Roots of Rough JusticeOrigins of American Lynching$
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Michael J. Pfeifer

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252036132

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252036132.001.0001

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The Civil War and Reconstruction and the Remaking of American Lynching

The Civil War and Reconstruction and the Remaking of American Lynching

(p.67) 5. The Civil War and Reconstruction and the Remaking of American Lynching
The Roots of Rough Justice

Michael J. Pfeifer

University of Illinois Press

This chapter traces the pivotal transformation of racial lynching across the United States in the era of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It begins with an analysis of lynchings of African Americans in the early to mid-1860s in Wisconsin, New York State, and Michigan, highlighting the role northern whites played in forging a national practice of racial lynching during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The chapter ends by examining the emancipation of the slaves and the transition in legal and social arrangements in Louisiana in the Reconstruction era, identifying within emerging patterns of collective violence and shifts in legal institutions the advent of the ritualized racial violence that would plague the South in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   Civil War, Reconstruction, racial lynching, Wisconsin, New York, Michigan, northern whites, emancipation, racial violence

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