On April 8, 1865, after four years of civil war, General Robert E. Lee wrote to General Ulysses S. Grant asking for peace. Peace was beyond his authority to negotiate, Grant replied, but surrender terms he would discuss. As Gregory Downs reveals in this gripping history of post–Civil War America, Grant’s distinction proved prophetic, for peace would elude the South for years after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.After Appomattox argues that the war did not end with Confederate capitulation in 1865. Instead, a second phase commenced which lasted until 1871—not the project euphemistically called Reconstruction but a state of genuine belligerency whose mission was to shape the terms of peace. Using its war powers, the U.S. Army oversaw an ambitious occupation, stationing tens of thousands of troops in hundreds of outposts across the defeated South. This groundbreaking study of the post-surrender occupation makes clear that its purpose was to crush slavery and to create meaningful civil and political rights for freed people in the face of rebels’ bold resistance.But reliance on military occupation posed its own dilemmas. In areas beyond Army control, the Ku Klux Klan and other violent insurgencies created near-anarchy. Voters in the North also could not stomach an expensive and demoralizing occupation. Under those pressures, by 1871, the Civil War came to its legal end. The wartime after Appomattox disrupted planter power and established important rights, but the dawn of legal peacetime heralded the return of rebel power, not a sustainable peace.
One of the most popular programs on campus, history at the City College of New York has been crafted to meet the needs of the most voracious history scholar, as well as those students with an interest in a particular era or region. The accomplished faculty has made its own mark in this arena both at the college and throughout the world and prepares students for a wide range of future careers and challenges. Graduates not only represent City College at major higher educational institutions around the country but have gone on to successful careers in a wide range of legal, medical, entertainment, educational and other fields.
for Students Interested in the
B.A./M.A. and M.A. PROGRAMS IN HISTORY
The History Department of The City College of New York invites prospective and current B.A./M.A. and M.A. students to meet faculty and learn more about our program
Date: Thursday, April 23
Place: City College, The History Department, North Academic Center, Room 5/144
Refreshments will be served.
CONGRATULATIONS TO PROFESSORS GREGORY P. DOWNS AND ANNE M. KORNHAUSER ON THE PUBLICATION OF THEIR NEW BOOKS!
Congratulations to Professor Anne M. Kornhauser on the publication of her book Debating the American State: Liberal Anxieties and the New Leviathan, 1930-1970 will be published (University of Pennsylvania Press). Debating the American Statetraces the encounter between liberal thought and the rise of the administrative state and the resulting legitimacy issues that arose for democracy, the rule of law, and individual autonomy. By examining a broad and unusual cast of characters, including American social scientists and legal academics, the philosopher John Rawls, and German refugee intellectuals who had witnessed the destruction of democracy in the face of a totalitarian administrative state, Professor Kornhauser uncovers the sympathetic but concerned voices—commonly drowned out in the increasingly partisan political discourse—of critics who struggled to reconcile the positive aspects of the administrative state with the negative pressure such a contrivance brought on other liberal values such as individual autonomy, popular sovereignty, and social justice. By showing that the leviathan state was never given a principled and scrupulous justification by its proponents, Debating the American Statereveals why the liberal state today remains haunted by programmatic dysfunctions and relentless political attacks. To order a copy, click here.