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Ethnicity and Race in the Urban South

Title: Ethnicity and Race in the Urban South: German Immigrants and African-Americans in Charleston South Carolina during Reconstruction.
Name(s): Strickland, Jeffery G., author
Betten, Neil, professor directing dissertation
Lunstrum, John, outside committee member
Green, Elna, committee member
Richardson, Joe, committee member
Anderson, Rodney, committee member
Department of History, degree granting department
Florida State University, degree granting institution
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Germans and African-Americans exhibited a significant degree of economic, social, and political interaction in Reconstruction Charleston. Race and ethnic relations between Germans and African-Americans tended to be more positive than those between blacks and white southerners and challenged southern social norms. During Reconstruction, a small but economically and politically significant community of German immigrants thrived in Charleston, South Carolina. The overwhelming majority of Germans in Charleston had immigrated between 1850 and the Civil War. They worked primarily as merchants, shopkeepers, and skilled artisans, but a minority of them worked as laborers, domestic servants, and other service-related occupations. Germans often lived in the same neighborhoods, buildings, and even households as African-Americans. Interracial relations between Germans and African-Americans challenged social conventions of the time and drew criticism from southerners. In several instances Germans and African-Americans entered into sexual relations and even married. Following the Civil War, some southerners and German elites in Charleston considered attracting German immigrants to stimulate the economy or replace black laborers. However, German immigrants lacked to desire to settle there, and southerners had hostile views toward German immigrants and never committed to a program that would successfully attract Germans to the South. Many Germans owned and operated successful businesses and sometimes they faced the scrutiny of southerners. Germans shopkeepers catered to African-American consumer demand and sometimes sold items to blacks on credit. German middle-class businessmen organized social clubs based on their cultural heritage. The German Rifle Club leadership organized its annual Schutzenfest, and the members invited southerners and African-Americans to attend. In the annual Schutzenfest parade, German elites expressed their willingness to become southern whites and contribute to white political ascendancy. African-Americans demonstrated their own political and martial power at Fourth of July and Emancipation Day parades in which the entire community participated in the procession. German and African-American political cooperation and conflict posed a tremendous problem for southerners. Southern whites called for German Democratic political support, but African-Americans appealed to Germans as well, evidence that Germans held moderate views. Throughout Reconstruction, Germans divided themselves between both political parties, but politically active Germans gradually moved toward the Democratic Party.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-1541 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of History in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2003.
Date of Defense: April 8, 2003.
Keywords: German Immigrant And African-American Politicic
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory committee: Neil Betten, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Lunstrum, Outside Committee Member; Elna Green, Committee Member; Joe Richardson, Committee Member; Rodney Anderson, Committee Member.
Subject(s): History
Persistent Link to This Record:
Owner Institution: FSU

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Strickland, J. G. (2003). Ethnicity and Race in the Urban South: German Immigrants and African-Americans in Charleston South Carolina during Reconstruction. Retrieved from