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Ballots and Bullets

Ballots and Bullets

(p.136) Five Ballots and Bullets
Beyond Redemption
Carole Emberton
University of Chicago Press

This chapter explores how the black American right to suffrage to bear arms came into being. It was during the presidential elections of 1868 that the question arose of whether ex-slaves had the right to vote without giving up their right to bear arms. It was during this time that the blacks’ experiences during the Civil War helped to shape the political climate, as the equation of freedom with fighting for the Union created a vision of muscular democracy that intertwined questions of enfranchisement and arms bearing.

Keywords:   black americans, suffrage, arms bearing, democracy

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