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Report on the Condition of the South   By: (1829-1906)

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In Carl Schurz's "Report on the Condition of the South," readers are presented with a detailed and insightful examination of the post-Civil War era in the United States. This book serves as an invaluable historical document, shedding light on the challenges and struggles faced by the Southern states during the period of Reconstruction.

Schurz's report encompasses a wide range of topics, addressing issues such as race relations, political corruption, economic recovery, and the challenges of rebuilding a society torn apart by war. What sets this book apart is the author's firsthand experience as a prominent Union general, diplomat, and observer in Southern states. His knowledge and perspective greatly contribute to the depth and authenticity of his analysis.

One of the most compelling aspects of Schurz's report is his discussion on race relations in the South. He highlights the widespread discrimination and violence faced by African Americans, exposing the harsh reality of their lives in the aftermath of slavery. Schurz firmly condemns these atrocities and passionately argues for the protection of civil rights, casting light on the urgent need for social and political reforms.

Furthermore, Schurz meticulously examines the impact of political corruption and its detrimental effects on Southern reconstruction efforts. He emphasizes the need for integrity and honesty in political leadership, pointing out that the rampant corruption hindered the region's progress. This section of the book serves as a critical reminder of the importance of ethical governance in times of rebuilding and change.

Another prominent theme in the book is the economic challenges faced by the South. Schurz analyzes the region's struggling agricultural sector, the devastating effects of the war on local economies, and the role of government intervention in fostering economic recovery. His insights shed light on the complex dynamics and interdependencies necessary for sustainable development, presenting a balanced view of the economic realities on the ground.

Overall, "Report on the Condition of the South" is a powerful and enlightening historical account that offers a comprehensive understanding of the post-Civil War Reconstruction era. Schurz's eloquent prose, well-researched arguments, and strong personal commitment to justice and equality make this book an essential read for those interested in American history, social justice, and political reform.

First Page:


Carl Schurz

First published 1865

39TH CONGRESS, SENATE. Ex. Doc. 1st Session. No. 2.



In compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 12th instant, information in relation to the States of the Union lately in rebellion, accompanied by a report of Carl Schurz on the States of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana; also a report of Lieutenant General Grant, on the same subject .

DECEMBER 19, 1865. Read and ordered to be printed, with the reports of Carl Schurz and Lieutenant General Grant.

To the Senate of the United States :

In reply to the resolution adopted by the Senate on the 12th instant, I have the honor to state, that the rebellion waged by a portion of the people against the properly constituted authorities of the government of the United States has been suppressed; that the United States are in possession of every State in which the insurrection existed; and that, as far as could be done, the courts of the United States have been restored, post offices re established, and steps taken to put into effective operation the revenue laws of the country.

As the result of the measures instituted by the Executive, with the view of inducing a resumption of the functions of the States comprehended in the inquiry of the Senate, the people in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee, have reorganized their respective State governments, and "are yielding obedience to the laws and government of the United States," with more willingness and greater promptitude than, under the circumstances, could reasonably have been anticipated... Continue reading book >>

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