Inventing Equality: Reconstructing the Constitution in the Aftermath of the Civil War

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This book is at times an anachronistic mess, that I hope is not the future of historical academic writing. Because if it is, then I truly worry about historical writing. The idea of equality is a modern concept, yet Michael Bellesiles looks at the creation of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments to the United States Constitution, often called the Civil War amendments, in a larger equitable context. Besides the talk of equality, which would have been foreign to the ears of Americans living in the 1800s, is his use of terms that ring more true in a college campus than society back then. Bellesiles takes to task the role of women, or more specifically the lack of any role they truly had. He also faults oftentimes the Radical Republicans for not going far enough. Yet in his search to be modern-day politically correct, he often ignores the fact that many people who wanted to end slavery did not necessarily want them to live equally in America. Many of them supported sending them to Africa, or somewhere else. This book sadly hides an interesting story with modern-day lingo and ideas that had no place in the 1800s.


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Author Michael A, Bellesiles
Star Count 2/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher St. Martin's Press
Publish Date 2020-Oct-20
ISBN 9781250091918
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2021
Category History
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