The Social/Political Context
DOI link for The Social/Political Context
The Social/Political Context book
From a White Southern perspective, the Southern invasion of the North with the pen was a notable success. In order to defeat the political Reconstruction program of the radical abolitionists, a national mindset was required that would associate Blacks with the immaturity of children, and at the same time, reconcile Northern and Southern White adults. Blacks needed to be viewed in mainstream circles as incapable of adult pursuits (e.g., economic advancement, education, the exercise of the franchise, the responsibility of jury duty). Northern and Southern Whites, on the other hand, needed to be seen as congenial partners in planning and advancing the national agenda. In specific terms, this meant that even books for children would be contrived to illustrate the folly of legislative action in such fields as economic opportunity, educational reform, and electoral reform. Furthermore, protection of jury duty rights for Blacks would appear foolhardy, whereas imperialistic adventures (coupled with the “white man’s burden” notion) would seem entirely reasonable.