Claiming the Union: Citizenship in the Post-Civil War South

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Hardback
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This book examines Southerners' claims to loyal citizenship in the reunited nation after the American Civil War. Southerners - male and female; elite and non-elite; white, black, and American Indian - disagreed with the federal government over the obligations citizens owed to their nation and the obligations the nation owed to its citizens. Susanna Michele Lee explores these clashes through the operations of the Southern Claims Commission, a federal body that rewarded compensation for wartime losses to Southerners who proved that they had been loyal citizens of the Union. Lee argues that Southerners forced the federal government to consider how white men who had not been soldiers and voters, and women and racial minorities who had not been allowed to serve in those capacities, could also qualify as loyal citizens. Postwar considerations of the former Confederacy potentially demanded a reconceptualization of citizenship that replaced exclusions by race and gender with inclusions according to loyalty.