Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Member

Dr. Paul Anderson, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Rod Andrew Jr.

Committee Member

Dr. Vernon Burton


This thesis examines how white southerners conceptualized Reconstruction from 1890 to 1941, with an emphasis on the era between the First and Second World Wars. By analyzing Reconstruction as it appears in political rhetoric, professional and amateur history, and southern literature, the thesis demonstrates how white southerners used the ‘tragic’ story of Reconstruction to respond to developments in their own time. Additionally, this thesis aims to illuminate the broader cultural struggle over Reconstruction between the First and Second World Wars. This thesis ultimately argues that the early revisionism in Reconstruction historiography was part of a broader reassessment of Reconstruction that took place in southern culture after the First World War.