From the CHDS Theses Executive Summaries

Outstanding Thesis Award Winner, December 2022

Reconstruction Terror: Origins, Applications, and Implications

The recent electoral violence that arose around election cycles, voting rights, and democratic participation by non-White citizens is a familiar extremism. It is a historic terror, rooted in Reconstruction. After the Civil War, America underwent a period of fundamental change that many considered revolutionary to their existing identities, and so that looming change was met with counterrevolutionary force and terror. But while historic, it is not anachronistic. A similar violence arose during America’s “Second Reconstruction,” the Civil Rights movement, which featured many of the same issues of equality and increased access to democratic processes by non-White communities.

By Matthew Davison

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