The Trump administration’s immigration policies have invited numerous comparisons to nineteenth-century regulations of enslaved persons. These comparisons will continue so long as the state retains the power to circumscribe a person’s mobility and employment opportunities through the policing of their legal status.
One of the major purposes of the humanities is to expose students to new points of view, especially the views of minorities and other disadvantaged groups whose voices are often neglected. The Civil War Era is a particularly useful period for such considerations, as it prominently featured racial division that continue today.
While many historians have studied the colonial implications of the medically-theorized relationship between tropical diseases, climate, and racialized bodies, Urmi Engineer Willoughby adds a new dimension to this familiar tale: the vital importance of sugar cane cultivation to the epidemiological history of yellow fever.
White backlash was never limited to the southern states. Vast and sudden changes after 1865—especially implied by the prospect of emancipating four million black people—stirred ugly counterattacks and racial backlash against the nation’s free black northern population.