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Strange Bedfellows: Nativism, Know-Nothings, African-Americans, And School Desegregation In Antebellum Massachusetts, Stan Prager Sep 2017

Strange Bedfellows: Nativism, Know-Nothings, African-Americans, And School Desegregation In Antebellum Massachusetts, Stan Prager

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In Massachusetts in the 1850s, rapidly changing economic conditions fueled a bewildering set of dislocations. Among other forces, falling labor values for the working class, exponential increases in foreign born populations, poverty and crime, and changing social and political institutions translated into a rage directed at the elite and their failed institutions. This spawned a populist revolt that manifested itself in racism, hatred, xenophobia, exclusion and a determination to overthrow the old order and start afresh. At the same time, African-Americans—chafing at life at the margins in a state that nevertheless offered the best overall quality of life in ...