The Vexed Meaning of Equality in Gilded Age America

How three late 19th century equality movements failed to promote equality.
Political cartoon about Reconstruction.

The Buried Promise of the Reconstruction Amendments

The historical context of the amendments passed in the wake of the Civil War, Eric Foner argues, are widely misunderstood.
Supreme Court building under dark rainclouds.

The Supreme Court Is in Danger of Again Becoming ‘the Grave of Liberty’

Supreme Court decisions have practical consequences, which justices too often blithely ignore.

The Double Battle

A review of David Blight's new biography of Frederick Douglass.
Manuscript of the Fourteenth Amendment.

We Should Embrace the Ambiguity of the 14th Amendment

A hundred and fifty years after its ratification, some of its promises remain unfulfilled—but one day it may still be interpreted anew.

Street Fighting Woman

A new biography of Lucy Parsons makes it clear that the activist deserves attention apart from her more well-known husband.
Black legislators behind the title "The Future of Reconstruction Studies."

The Future of Reconstruction Studies

This online forum sponsored by the Journal of the Civil War Era features 9 essays and a roundtable on the future of Reconstruction Studies.
Busy horse and buggy outside of North Station in Boston.

The Frontiers of American Capitalism

Noam Maggor’s new book captures how it took both sides of the American continent to revitalize the economy after the Civil War.
U.S. soldiers in the Civil War.

Expanding the Slaveocracy

The international ambitions of the US slaveholding class and the abolitionist movement that brought them down.

What the Fugitive Slave Act Teaches Us About How States Can Resist Oppressive Federal Power

The actions of attorneys general in California and other states have their antecedents in the fight against that draconian law.

Slavery and Freedom

Eric Foner, Walter Johnson, Thavolia Glymph, and Annette Gordon-Reed discuss trends in the study of slavery and emancipation.
A picture of a woman at a protest against Islamophobia.

The Most Patriotic Act

A warning from September 2001 about government overreach in the name of national security.
Sign reading "take it down" in front of Confederate flag

Rebel Yell

The recent march in South Carolina, demanding removal of the Confederate flag from the state Capitol is the latest episode in a long-running debate over slavery's legacy.