An Old Creed for the New South: Proslavery Ideology and Historiography, 1865-1918 details the slavery debate from the Civil War through World War I. Award-winning historian John David Smith argues that African American slavery remained a salient metaphor for how Americans interpreted contemporary race relations decades after the Civil War.Smith draws extensively on postwar articles, books, diaries, manuscripts, newspapers, and speeches to counter the belief that debates over slavery ended with emancipation. After the Civil War, Americans in both the North and the South continued to debate slavery's merits as a labor, legal, and educational system and as a mode of racial control. The study details how white Southerners continued to tout slavery as beneficial for both races long after Confederate defeat.This examination of black slavery in the American public mind - which includes the arguments of former slaves, slaveholders, Freedmen's Bureau agents, novelists, and essayists - demonstrates that proslavery ideology dominated racial thought among white southerners, and most white northerners, in the five decades following the Civil War.
John David Smith, the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the author or editor of nineteen books, including Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and ""The American Negro,"" winner of the Mayflower Society Award for Nonfiction.