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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

Book of the Month

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Goode on Commercial Law

Edited by: Ewan McKendrick
Price: £170.00

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Reconstruction and Black Suffrage

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Robert M. GoldmanProfessor, Department of History and Political Science, Virginia Union University, USA

ISBN13: 9780700610686
ISBN: 0700610685
Published: February 2001
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Format: Hardback
Price: Out of print

On Easter Sunday in 1873, more than one hundred black men were gunned down in Grant Parish, Louisiana, for daring to assert their right to vote. Several months earlier, in Lexington, Kentucky, another black man was denied the right to vote for simply failing to pay a poll tax. Both events typified the intense opposition to the federal guarantee of black voting rights. Both events led to landmark Supreme Court decisions. And, as Robert Goldman shows, both events have much to tell us about an America that was still deeply divided over the status of blacks during the Reconstruction era. Goldman deftly highlights the cases of United States v. Reese and United States v. Cruikshank within the context of an ongoing power struggle between state and federal authorities and the realities of being black in postwar America. Focusing especially on the so-called Reconstruction Amendments and Enforcement Acts, he argues that the decisions in Reese and Cruikshank signaled an enormous gap between guaranteed and enforced rights. The Court's decisions denied the very existence of any such guarantee and, further, conferred upon the states the right to determine who may vote and under what circumstance

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