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Prominent membersWade Hampton III
Benjamin Tillman
Alcibiades DeBlanc
Murphy J. Foster
Isham G. Harris
Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar
Associated paramilitariesKu Klux Klan
White League
Red Shirts
Knights of the White Camelia
Preceded bySouthern Democrats
Merged intoSouthern Democrats
 • Solid South / Southern Bloc
IdeologyWhite supremacy
National affiliationDemocratic Party
 • Southern Democrats

The Redeemers were a political coalition in the Southern United States during the Reconstruction Era that followed the American Civil War. Redeemers were the Southern wing of the Democratic Party. They sought to regain their political power and enforce White supremacy. Their policy of Redemption was intended to oust the Radical Republicans, a coalition of freedmen, "carpetbaggers", and "scalawags". They generally were led by the White yeomanry and they dominated Southern politics in most areas from the 1870s to 1910.

During Reconstruction, the South was under occupation by federal forces, and Southern state governments were dominated by Republicans, elected largely by freedmen and allies. Republicans nationally pressed for the granting of political rights to the newly freed slaves as the key to their becoming full citizens and the votes they would cast for the party. The Thirteenth Amendment (banning slavery), Fourteenth Amendment (guaranteeing the civil rights of former slaves and ensuring equal protection of the laws), and Fifteenth Amendment (prohibiting the denial of the right to vote on grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude), enshrined such political rights in the Constitution.

Numerous educated blacks moved to the South to work for Reconstruction. Some were elected to office in the Southern states, or were appointed to positions. The Reconstruction governments were unpopular with many White Southerners, who were not willing to accept defeat and continued to try to prevent black political activity by any means. While the elite planter class often supported insurgencies, violence against freedmen and other Republicans was usually carried out by non-elite Whites; the secret Ku Klux Klan chapters developed in the first years after the war as one form of insurgency.

In the 1870s, paramilitary organizations, such as the White League in Louisiana and Red Shirts in Mississippi and North Carolina, undermined the Republicans, disrupting meetings and political gatherings. These paramilitary bands also used violence and threats of violence to undermine the Republican vote. By the presidential election of 1876, only three Southern states – Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida – were "unredeemed", or not yet taken over by White Democrats. The disputed Presidential election between Rutherford B. Hayes (the Republican governor of Ohio) and Samuel J. Tilden (the Democratic governor of New York) was allegedly resolved by the Compromise of 1877, also known as the Corrupt Bargain or the Bargain of 1877.[1] In this compromise, it was claimed, Hayes became president in exchange for numerous favors to the South, one of which was the removal of Federal troops from the remaining "unredeemed" Southern states; this was however a policy Hayes had endorsed during his campaign. With the removal of these forces, Reconstruction came to an end.

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>> So how does this historical process after Reconstruction play out? The new rulers of the South, after 1876, 1877, called themselves the "Redeemers." This is a political term, like carpetbagger, like scalawag. It's a self-described label. It has a quasi-religious tone to it. The Redeemers, the people who redeemed, or saved, the South from Reconstruction, from carpetbaggers, and from what they called "black supremacy." Now the sort of classic work on them, long ago, by the great historian C. Vann Woodward, "Origins of the New South," made the point that the Redeemers, although they talked about restoring the Old South, actually that's not what they were doing, in many ways. They were much more business-oriented. They were much more interested in economic development. They did not just want to go back to the old agrarian society. These governments did try to get rid of many of the policies of Reconstruction governments. Particularly, they cut government expenditures to the bone, particularly education, which was one of the main achievements of Reconstruction. Spending on education was cut almost to nothing in the South. I think in my book I quote the statistic that Louisiana was the only place in the civilized world where illiteracy actually grew from 1877 to 1900, because of the decimation of education and other social services. But as I say, it was not just a return to the pre-Civil War period, for two reasons: one, they were not purely agrarian in their outlook, the Redeemers; and two, race relations remained somewhat indeterminate. It took another generation for this new system to be fully put into place. African Americans continued to vote in many parts of the South, particularly in the Upper South. In some places, we had what I've referred to as a "long Reconstruction," remember, or almost a second Reconstruction within the South. In 1879, a coalition of Republicans and what they recalled "Readjusters" (these were Democrats who, it all had to do with questions about the state debt, I don't want to go into), but the Readjusters and the Republicans took over the state of Virginia from the Democrats for four years and actually had another Reconstruction, with much more money for education, more local autonomy for black areas, etc. Same thing happened in the 1890s in North Carolina. From 1894 to 1898, a coalition -- reminiscent of Reconstruction -- of African-American voters in the eastern part of the state, and Populists (small farmers) in the western part, ousted the Democrats from control of North Carolina. And for four years, they had their own Reconstruction there. Blacks continued to be elected to some offices in the South; local, national. The last African-American congressman of the long Reconstruction era was George White, who served in North Carolina and left office in 1901. He was the last black congressman. So as of 1901, Congress was all white, the House and the Senate. The next African-American congressman was Oscar De Priest, elected in the 1920s from Chicago, not from the South. By then a significant black migration was taking place from South to North. And one of these questions of historical detail, or trivia: who was the first African- American person elected to Congress from a Confederate state after George White left in 1901? That took until 1968, when Barbara Jordan was elected to the House of Representatives from Texas. So from 1900 to 1968, there was no African-American representation in Congress from the states of the old Confederacy. So as I said, things take a while to completely -- black politics takes a while to completely be eliminated in the South. As I said, the Redeemers pushed this idea of a "New South." This was propagated particularly by Henry Grady, the editor of the Atlanta Constitution, a major Southern newspaper. The South, he said, cannot go back to the old plantation system. We need to follow in the economic footsteps of the North. We have to develop industry. We have to diversify the economy. We've got to get rid of the old anti-urban frame of mind from the pre-Civil War era. Regional industrialization was the goal, railroad development -- not, in a weird way, all that different from what some of the Reconstruction governments were trying to promote. But the problem was that this New South ideology failed in one key element, and that was it would not actually attack the plantation system. To have real economic development, you needed to break up the plantations. You needed to free up labor for other kinds of jobs. You needed to end dependence on the one-crop system of cotton. To do that, you needed to change the credit system. In other words, there were all these built-in problems in the South, based on the dominance of the plantation and of cotton, which the New South ideologues failed to address. And therefore, the New South ideology failed. The South remained locked into this one-crop economy, by and large, increasingly economically dependent on the North. And by the 20th century, the New South, the so-called New South, was just a landscape of poverty and economic dependency. By the 1930s, President Roosevelt in the Depression would say, the South is the country's "No. 1 economic problem." So from being the richest, having the richest people in the country before the Civil War, the South was now a dependent, very poor area. And of course, the poverty affected black and white Southerners, although being at the very bottom of the ladder, African Americans suffered more than anyone else. The planters did survive, most of them. They held onto their land, even though they were now no longer a major power in national politics, as before the Civil War. Some see in the 1880s, 1890s, a kind of merger of the old planter class and this rising merchant group, a kind of merger, into a new planter- merchant class, or whatever you want to call them. Planters increasingly went into the business of supplying their sharecroppers, their tenants, with goods. They set up their own merchant academies. Merchants used their profits to purchase land. The loser in this economic situation was the agricultural laborer, the sharecropper, both black and white. As I said before, there were always more white sharecroppers in the South, between 1880 and 1940, than black, although the percentage of blacks was much higher. Why didn't African Americans just leave the South? Jobs were -- the real economic growth in the country, as we saw last time, was in the North. The Second Industrial Revolution. This was where factories were expanding, where every kind of economic enterprise was expanding. There was a little bit of migration. In 1879, there was the so-called "Kansas Exodus" where some number of African Americans, particularly from Mississippi, Tennessee, moved out to Kansas to try to find greater opportunity. By the 1890s, there was the beginning of a movement from the South into Northern cities. But in 1900, 90% of the black population still lived in the South. They had not really moved. Why? The reason is that no job opportunities were available in the North. In other words, as before the Civil War, the North was complicitous in the economic system that had been established in the South. As I said, there was this giant need for labor in the North. Where did they go to get -- who were the workers in the factories of Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and the stockyards of Chicago, etc? They were immigrants, right. The Northern industry went 4,000 miles east, 5,000 miles east, to get workers from Greece, from Poland, from Italy, from the Russian, the Czarist Empire. They would not go 800 miles South to bring up workers from Mississippi or Alabama. The color line in employment in the North made it impossible for African Americans to move, because there were simply no jobs available for blacks in the burgeoning parts of the Northern economy. How do we know this? When did black migration from the South begin in earnest, in large numbers, what we call The Great Migration? That started in 1914. What happened in 1914? The outbreak of World War I in Europe, which cut off immigration from Europe. And then that cutoff was made permanent, at least for a while, by the Immigration Act of 1924, which tried to eliminate immigration from Southern and Eastern Europe. Unable to get immigrant labor anymore, Northern factories and employers began opening up jobs, at the lowest levels of industrial employment, to blacks in the South. And that's when the mass migration of African Americans begins. By 1950 or '60, a majority of the African- American population lives outside the South for the first time in American History. But in the period up to 1914, they're locked into the South because of the lack of employment opportunities anywhere else.


Political cartoon from 1877 by Thomas Nast portraying the Democratic Party's control of the South.

In the 1870s, Democrats began to muster more political power, as former Confederate Whites began to vote again. It was a movement that gathered energy up until the Compromise of 1877, in the process known as the Redemption. White Democratic Southerners saw themselves as redeeming the South by regaining power.

More importantly, in a second wave of violence following the suppression of the Ku Klux Klan, violence began to increase in the Deep South. In 1868 White terrorists tried to prevent Republicans from winning the fall election in Louisiana. Over a few days, they killed some two hundred freedmen in St. Landry Parish in the Opelousas massacre. Other violence erupted. From April to October, there were 1,081 political murders in Louisiana, in which most of the victims were freedmen.[2] Violence was part of campaigns prior to the election of 1872 in several states. In 1874 and 1875, more formal paramilitary groups affiliated with the Democratic Party conducted intimidation, terrorism and violence against black voters and their allies to reduce Republican voting and turn officeholders out. These included the White League and Red Shirts. They worked openly for specific political ends, and often solicited coverage of their activities by the press. Every Southern election year from 1868 on was surrounded by intimidation and violence; they were usually marked by fraud as well.

In the aftermath of the disputed gubernatorial election of 1872 in Louisiana, for instance, the competing governors each certified slates of local officers. This situation contributed to the Colfax Massacre of 1873, in which White Democratic militia killed more than 100 Republican blacks in a confrontation over control of parish offices. Three whites died in the violence.

In 1874 remnants of White militia formed the White League, a Democratic paramilitary group originating in Grant Parish of the Red River area of Louisiana, with chapters arising across the state, especially in rural areas. In August the White League turned out six Republican office holders in Coushatta, Louisiana, and told them to leave the state. Before they could make their way, they and five to twenty black witnesses were assassinated by White paramilitary. In September, thousands of armed White militia, supporters of the Democratic gubernatorial candidate John McEnery, fought against New Orleans police and state militia in what was called the Battle of Liberty Place. They took over the state government offices in New Orleans and occupied the capitol and armory. They turned Republican governor William Pitt Kellogg out of office, and retreated only in the face of the arrival of Federal troops sent by President Ulysses S. Grant.

Similarly, in Mississippi, the Red Shirts formed as a prominent paramilitary group that enforced Democratic voting by intimidation and murder. Chapters of paramilitary Red Shirts arose and were active in North Carolina and South Carolina as well.[citation needed] They disrupted Republican meetings, killed leaders and officeholders, intimidated voters at the polls, or kept them away altogether.

The Redeemers' program emphasized opposition to the Republican governments, which they considered to be corrupt and a violation of true republican principles. The crippling national economic problems and reliance on cotton meant that the South was struggling financially. Redeemers denounced taxes higher than what they had known before the war. At that time, however, the states had few functions, and planters maintained private institutions only. Redeemers wanted to reduce state debts. Once in power, they typically cut government spending; shortened legislative sessions; lowered politicians' salaries; scaled back public aid to railroads and corporations; and reduced support for the new systems of public education and some welfare institutions.

As Democrats took over state legislatures, they worked to change voter registration rules to strip most blacks (and many poor Whites) of their ability to vote. Blacks continued to vote in significant numbers well into the 1880s, with many winning local offices. Black Congressmen continued to be elected, albeit in ever smaller numbers, until the 1890s. George Henry White, the last Southern black of the post-Reconstruction period to serve in Congress, retired in 1901, leaving Congress completely White until 1929.

In the 1890s, William Jennings Bryan defeated the Southern Bourbon Democrats and took control of the Democratic Party nationwide. The Democrats also faced challenges with the Agrarian Revolt, when their control of the South was threatened by the Farmers Alliance, the effects of Bimetallism, and the newly created People's Party.


Democrats worked hard to prevent populist coalitions. In the former Confederate South, from 1890 to 1908, starting with Mississippi, legislatures of ten of the eleven states passed disenfranchising constitutions, which had new provisions for poll taxes, literacy tests, residency requirements and other devices that effectively disenfranchised nearly all blacks and tens of thousands of poor Whites. Hundreds of thousands of people were removed from voter registration rolls soon after these provisions were implemented.

In Alabama, for instance, in 1900 fourteen Black Belt counties had a total of 79,311 voters on the rolls; by June 1, 1903, after the new constitution was passed, registration had dropped to just 1,081. Statewide Alabama in 1900 had 181,315 blacks eligible to vote, but by 1903 only 2,980 were registered, although at least 74,000 were literate. From 1900 to 1903, the number of White registered voters fell by more than 40,000, although the White population grew overall.

By 1941, more poor Whites than blacks had been disenfranchised in Alabama, mostly due to effects of the cumulative poll tax; estimates were that 600,000 Whites and 500,000 blacks had been disenfranchised.[3]

In addition to being disenfranchised, African Americans and poor Whites were shut out of the political process as Southern legislatures passed Jim Crow laws imposing segregation in public facilities and places. The discrimination, segregation, and disenfranchisement lasted well into the later decades of the 20th century. Those who could not vote were also ineligible to run for office or serve on juries, so they were shut out of all offices at the local and state as well as federal levels.

While Congress had actively intervened for more than 20 years in elections in the South which the House Elections Committee judged to be flawed, after 1896, it backed off from intervening. Many Northern legislators were outraged about the disenfranchisement of blacks and some proposed reducing Southern representation in Congress, but they never managed to accomplish this, as Southern representatives formed a strong one-party voting bloc for decades.[4]

Although educated African Americans mounted legal challenges (with many secretly funded by educator Booker T. Washington and his northern allies), the Supreme Court upheld Mississippi's and Alabama's provisions in its rulings in Williams v. Mississippi (1898) and Giles v. Harris (1903).[5]

Religious dimension

People in the movement chose the term "Redemption" from Christian theology. Historian Daniel W. Stowell[6] concludes that White Southerners appropriated the term to describe the political transformation they desired, that is, the end of Reconstruction. This term helped unify numerous White voters, and encompassed efforts to purge southern society of its sins and to remove Republican political leaders.

It also represented the birth of a new Southern society, rather than a return to its antebellum predecessor. Historian Gaines M. Foster explains how the South became known as the "Bible Belt" by connecting this characterization with changing attitudes caused by slavery's demise. Freed from preoccupation with federal intervention over slavery, and even citing it as precedent, White Southerners joined Northerners in the national crusade to legislate morality. Viewed by some as a "bulwark of morality", the largely Protestant South took on a Bible Belt identity long before H. L. Mencken coined the term.[6]

The "redeemed" South

When Reconstruction died, so did all hope for national enforcement of adherence to the constitutional amendments that the U.S. Congress had passed in the wake of the Civil War. As the last Federal troops left the ex-Confederacy, two old foes of American politics reappeared at the heart of the Southern polity – the twin, inflammatory issues of state rights and race. It was precisely on the ground of these two issues that the Civil War had broken out, and in 1877, sixteen years after the secession crisis, the South reaffirmed control over them.

"The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery", wrote W. E. B. Du Bois. The black community in the South was brought back under the yoke of the Southern Democrats, who had been politically undermined during Reconstruction. Whites in the South were committed to reestablish its own sociopolitical structure with the goal of a new social order enforcing racial subordination and labor control. While the Republicans succeeded in maintaining some power in part of the Upper South, such as Tennessee and East Kentucky, in the Deep South there was a return to "home rule".[7] Nowhere was this more true than Georgia, where an unbroken line of Democrats occupied the governor's office for 131 years, a period of dominance that only came to an end in 2003.[8]

In the aftermath of the Compromise of 1877, Southern Democrats held the South's black community under increasingly tight control. Politically, blacks were gradually evicted from public office, as the few that remained saw the sway they held over local politics considerably decreased. Socially, the situation was worse, as the Southern Democrats tightened their grip on the labor force. Vagrancy and "anti-enticement" laws were reinstituted. It became illegal to be jobless, or to leave a job before the required contract expired. Economically, the blacks were stripped of independence, as new laws gave White planters the control over credit lines and property. Effectively, the black community was placed under a three-fold subjugation that was reminiscent of slavery.[9]

Also, historian Edward L. Ayers argues that after 1877 the Redeemers were sharply divided and fought for control of the Democratic Party:

For the next few years the Democrats seemed in control of the South, but even then deep challenges were building beneath the surface. Behind their show of unity, the Democratic Redeemers suffered deep divisions. Conflicts between upcountry and Black Belt, between town and country, and between former Democrats and former Whigs divided the Redeemers. The Democratic party proved too small to contain the ambitions of all the White men who sought its rewards, too large and unwieldy to move decisively.[10]


In the years immediately following Reconstruction, most blacks and former abolitionists held that Reconstruction lost the struggle for civil rights for black people because of violence against blacks and against White Republicans. Frederick Douglass and Reconstruction Congressman John R. Lynch cited the withdrawal of federal troops from the South as a primary reason for the loss of voting rights and other civil rights by African Americans after 1877.[11][12]

By the turn of the 20th century, White historians, led by the Dunning School, described Reconstruction as a failure because of what they characterized as its political and financial corruption, its failure to heal the hatreds of the war, and its control by self-serving Northern politicians, such as those around President Grant. Historian Claude Bowers said that the worst part of what he called "the Tragic Era" was the extension of voting rights to freedmen, a policy he claimed led to misgovernment and corruption. The Dunning School historians argued that the freedman were manipulated by corrupt White carpetbaggers interested only in raiding the state treasury and staying in power. They claimed that the South had to be "redeemed" by foes of corruption. Reconstruction, in short, was said to violate the values of "republicanism" and all Republicans were classified as "extremists". This interpretation of events, the hallmark of the Dunning School, dominated most U.S. history textbooks from 1900 to the 1960s.[13]

Beginning in the 1930s, historians such as C. Vann Woodward and Howard K. Beale attacked the "redemptionist" interpretation of Reconstruction, calling themselves "revisionists" and claiming that the real issues were economic. The Northern Radicals were tools of the railroads, and the Republicans in the South were manipulated to do their bidding. The Redeemers, furthermore, were also tools of the railroads and were themselves corrupt.

In 1935, W. E. B. Du Bois published a Marxist analysis in his Black Reconstruction: An Essay toward a History of the Part which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880. His book emphasized the role of African Americans during Reconstruction, noted their collaboration with Whites, their lack of majority in most legislatures, and also the achievements of Reconstruction: establishing universal public education, improving prisons, establishing orphanages and other charitable institutions, and trying to improve state funding for the welfare of all citizens. He also noted that despite complaints, most Southern states kept the constitutions of Reconstruction for many years, some for a quarter of a century.[14]

By the 1960s, neo-abolitionist historians led by Kenneth Stampp and Eric Foner focused on the struggle of freedmen. While acknowledging corruption in the Reconstruction era, they hold that the Dunning School overemphasized it while ignoring the worst violations of republican principles — namely denying African Americans their civil rights, including their right to vote.[15][16]

Supreme Court challenges

Although African Americans mounted legal challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Mississippi's and Alabama's provisions in its rulings in Williams v. Mississippi (1898), Giles v. Harris (1903), and Giles v. Teasley (1904). Booker T. Washington secretly helped fund and arrange representation for such legal challenges, raising money from northern patrons who helped support Tuskegee University.[17]

When White primaries were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Smith v. Allwright (1944), civil rights organizations rushed to register African-American voters. By 1947 the All-Citizens Registration Committee (ACRC) of Atlanta managed to get 125,000 voters registered in Georgia, raising black participation to 18.8% of those eligible. This was a major increase from the 20,000 on the rolls who had managed to get through administrative barriers in 1940.[18]

However, Georgia, among other Southern states, passed new legislation (1958) to once again repress black voter registration.[citation needed] It was not until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that the descendants of those who were first granted suffrage by the Fifteenth Amendment finally regained the ability to vote.

See also



  1. ^ Wes Allison, "Election 2000 much like Election 1876" Archived 2011-08-07 at the Wayback Machine, St. Petersburg Times, November 17, 2000.
  2. ^ Charles Lane, The Day Freedom Died, Henry Holt & Co., 2009, pp. 18–19.
  3. ^ Glenn Feldman, The Disfranchisement Myth: Poor Whites and Suffrage Restriction in Alabama, Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2004, p. 136.
  4. ^ "Committee at Odds on Reapportionment" (abstract), The New York Times, December 21, 1900. P. 5 via TimesMachine (full story; subscription). Accessed April 23, 2017.
  5. ^ Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 17, 2000, pp. 12 and 21, accessed March 10, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Blum and Poole (2005).
  7. ^ Eric Foner, "A Short History of Reconstruction: 1863–1877", New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1990, p. 249
  8. ^ Hild, Matthew (October 29, 2009). "Redemption". New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  9. ^ Foner, "A Short History of Reconstruction" (1990), p. 250.
  10. ^ Edward L. Ayers, The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction (1992) p. 35
  11. ^ Bernard A. Weisberger, "The dark and bloody ground of Reconstruction historiography." Journal of Southern History 25.4 (1959): 427-447.
  12. ^ Claire Parfait, "Reconstruction Reconsidered: A Historiography of Reconstruction, From the Late Nineteenth Century to the 1960s." Études anglaises 62.4 (2009): 440-454 online.
  13. ^ Eric Foner, The Dunning School: Historians, Race, and the Meaning of Reconstruction (University Press of Kentucky, 2013).
  14. ^ Thomas C. Holt, "“A Story of Ordinary Human Beings”: The Sources of Du Bois’s Historical Imagination in Black Reconstruction." South Atlantic Quarterly 112.3 (2013): 419-435.
  15. ^ "Reader's Companion to American History - -REDEEMERS". Archived from the original on 17 November 2002.
  16. ^ Thomas J. Brown, ed. Reconstructions: New Perspectives on the Postbellum United States (Oxford UP, 2006).
  17. ^ Richard H. Pildes, "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon," Constitutional Commentary, Vol. 17, 2000, pp. 12 and 21], accessed March 10, 2008.
  18. ^ Chandler Davidson and Bernard Grofman, Quiet Revolution in the South: The Impact of the Voting Rights Act, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994, p. 70.


Secondary sources
  • Ayers, Edward L. The Promise of the New South: Life after Reconstruction (1993).
  • Baggett, James Alex. The Scalawags: Southern Dissenters in the Civil War and Reconstruction (2003), a statistical study of 732 Scalawags and 666 Redeemers.
  • Blum, Edward J., and W. Scott Poole, eds. Vale of Tears: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction. Mercer University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-86554-987-7.
  • Du Bois, W. E. Burghardt. Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880 (1935), explores the role of African Americans during Reconstruction
  • Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 (2002).
  • Garner, James Wilford. Reconstruction in Mississippi (1901), a classic Dunning School text.
  • Gillette, William. Retreat from Reconstruction, 1869–1879 (1979).
  • Going, Allen J. "Alabama Bourbonism and Populism Revisited." Alabama Review 1983 36 (2): 83–109. ISSN 0002-4341.
  • Hart, Roger L. Redeemers, Bourbons, and Populists: Tennessee, 1870–1896. LSU Press, 1975.
  • Jones, Robert R. "James L. Kemper and the Virginia Redeemers Face the Race Question: A Reconsideration". Journal of Southern History, 1972 38 (3): 393–414. ISSN 0022-4642.
  • King, Ronald F. "A Most Corrupt Election: Louisiana in 1876." Studies in American Political Development, 2001 15(2): 123–137. ISSN 0898-588X.
  • King, Ronald F. "Counting the Votes: South Carolina's Stolen Election of 1876." Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2001 32 (2): 169–191. ISSN 0022-1953.
  • Moore, James Tice. "Redeemers Reconsidered: Change and Continuity in the Democratic South, 1870–1900" in the Journal of Southern History, Vol. 44, No. 3 (August 1978), pp. 357–378.
  • Moore, James Tice. "Origins of the Solid South: Redeemer Democrats and the Popular Will, 1870–1900." Southern Studies, 1983 22 (3): 285–301. ISSN 0735-8342.
  • Perman, Michael. The Road to Redemption: Southern Politics, 1869-1879. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 1984. ISBN 0-8078-4141-2.
  • Perman, Michael. "Counter Reconstruction: The Role of Violence in Southern Redemption", in Eric Anderson and Alfred A. Moss Jr, eds. The Facts of Reconstruction (1991) pp. 121–140.
  • Pildes, Richard H. "Democracy, Anti-Democracy, and the Canon", Constitutional Commentary, 17, (2000).
  • Polakoff, Keith I. The Politics of Inertia: The Election of 1876 and the End of Reconstruction (1973).
  • Rabonowitz, Howard K. Race Relations in the Urban South, 1865-1890 (1977).
  • Richardon, Heather Cox. The Death of Reconstruction (2001).
  • Wallenstein, Peter. From Slave South to New South: Public Policy in Nineteenth-Century Georgia (1987).
  • Wiggins; Sarah Woolfolk. The Scalawag in Alabama Politics, 1865—1881 (1991).
  • Williamson, Edward C. Florida Politics in the Gilded Age, 1877–1893 (1976).
  • Woodward, C. Vann. Origins of the New South, 1877–1913 (1951); emphasizes economic conflict between rich and poor.
Primary sources
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