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Reforging the White Republic

Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898

by Edward J. Blum

Conflicting Worlds: New Dimensions of the American Civil War

376 pages / 6.00 x 9.00 inches / 15 Halftones

ebook available

American History

  Paperback / 9780807132487 / February 2007

Winner of the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship

During Reconstruction, former abolitionists in the North had a golden opportunity to pursue true racial justice and permanent reform in America. But why, after the sacrifice made by thousands of Civil War patriots to arrive at this juncture, did the moment slip away, leaving many whites throughout the North and South more racist than before? Edward J. Blum takes a fresh look at this question in Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898, where he focuses on the vital role that religion played in reunifying northern and southern whites into a racially segregated society. He tells the fascinating story of how northern Protestantism, once the catalyst for racial egalitarianism, promoted the image of a "white republic" that conflated whiteness, godliness, and nationalism. A blend of history and social science, Reforging the White Republic offers a surprising perspective on the forces of religion as well as nationalism and imperialism at a critical point in American history. 

Edward J. Blum is the coeditor of Vale of Tears: New Essays in Religion and Reconstruction. He is a fellow with the DuBois Center for the Advanced Study of Religion and Race at the University of Notre Dame.

Winner of the 2004 C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize of the Southern Historical Association.

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