The Wilmington Coup D ' Etat And The Genesis Of Jim Crow North Carolina

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The Wilmington Coup D’État and the Genesis of Jim Crow North Carolina
On November 10th, 1898, Wilmington, North Carolina became the site of the only coup d’état in American history. The uprising of 1898 was complicated, with deep roots and lasting effects, yet this momentous event has gone largely ignored, relegated to an obscure corner of history where it is remembered only as a petty riot. It is rarely acknowledged as the incident that led to the overthrow of North Carolinian Reconstruction governments in favor of the Democratic assemblies that instituted the infamous Jim Crow laws, leading to a century of segregation. The Democrats of North Carolina staged this uprising as a reaction to the laws placed on them by Reconstruction—laws that were alien, diametrically opposed to the views held by the Old South, and laws that insisted on social equality between blacks and whites. After the coup d’état had concluded, the political turmoil created in its wake was exploited to ensure that blacks would never again rise in opposition to the white race. Beginning with a speech by a feminist and ending with the Cape Fear River dammed with the bodies of blacks, the Wilmington coup d’état was a multi-faceted social revolution led by a race ruled by unreasonable fears and determined to reopen the wounds of those whose oppression they wished back.
The roots of the Wilmington uprising trace back to the end of the Civil War, after President Lincoln and his successors established…

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