The Impact of the Civil War and Reconstruction on Arkansas


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About this book

This groundbreaking study, first published in 1994, draws on a rich variety of primary sources to describe Arkansas society before, during, and after the Civil War. While the Civil War devastated the state, this book shows how those who were powerful before the war reclaimed their dominance during Reconstruction. Most importantly, the white elite’s postwar commitment to a cotton economy led them to set up a sharecropping system very much like slavery, in which workers had little control over their own labor. In arguing for both change and continuity, Moneyhon reconciles contemporary accounts of the war’s effects while addressing ongoing debates within the historical literature.

About the author

Carl H. Moneyhon is professor of history at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. His books include Republicanism in Reconstruction Texas, Arkansas and the New South, and Historical Atlas of Arkansas. With Bobby Roberts, he is series editor of the Civil War photography series Portraits of Conflict.


“A major contribution to nineteenth-century historiography.”

American Historical Review


“Intriguing. . . . [Moneyhon] has tendered a penetrating portrait of Arkansas based on a wide variety of primary sources, some of which have been ignored entirely or little used. His narrative style is crisp and inviting, and his careful analysis . . . is perceptive and convincing.”

Journal of American History


“Its smooth narrative style and revisionist interpretations of such key topics as slavery, emancipation, and Radical Reconstruction will guarantee it a place as a standard history of an important, if often slighted, state. . . . Moneyhon’s discussion of the war years is one of the best short treatments available for any southern state.”

Arkansas Historical Quarterly


“Students of both southern and national history will welcome Moneyhon’s study. The research is sound, and excellent maps and informative tables enhance the text.”

Southwestern Historical Quarterly