Chapter

WHAT ANSWER?: SUFFRAGE AND CITIZENSHIP IN THE POSTWAR WORLD

J. Matthew Gallman

in America's Joan of Arc

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195161458
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199788798 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195161458.003.0006
 WHAT ANSWER?: SUFFRAGE AND CITIZENSHIP IN THE POSTWAR WORLD

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With the close of the Civil War, the newly reunited United States saw a series of debates about the structure of political participation and the nature of citizenship in the postwar world. Several different issues shaped these discussions, and Anna Elizabeth Dickinson found herself in the thick of each public conversation. Four years of bloody war had confirmed that the union formed by the Constitution could not be dissolved through secession, but that Constitution left few clues about how to reintegrate the defeated Southern states back into the Union, and particularly how to treat those Southern men who had served the Confederacy. During the fall of 1868, in the midst of political and associational complexities, Dickinson turned to an entirely new form of public discourse: she wrote a novel entitled What Answer?. In What Answer?, Dickinson interwove a tragic interracial love story with a scathing commentary on race relations in the Civil War North.

Keywords: Anna Elizabeth Dickinson; politics; United States; suffrage; citizenship; What Answer; American Civil War

Chapter.  10831 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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