James Ford Rhodes: Difference between revisions

Rhodes joined the [[American Historical Association]] and was elected [[American Historical Association#Past presidents|its president]] in 1899 for a one-year term.
In papers written in 1954 and 1960, historians Russell, Sheehan and Syrett described him as a Republican historian, noted for criticizing his own party in his work.<ref>James Russell, "Lincoln’s Successor: President Andrew Johnson," in ''History Today 4'' (1954), No. 9, p. 626</ref><ref>Donald Sheehan/Harold C. Syrett, ''Essays in American Historiography'', Papers presented in Honor of Allan Nevins. New York: 1960, p. 38</ref> Howe described Rhodes as a Democrat in his 1929 biography of Rhodes.<ref>[[Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe (writer)|Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe]], ''James Ford Rhodes, American Historian'' (1929), pp. 21 and 24</ref>
During his lifetime his chief criticism came from African-American historians. In several books and articles, former Representative [[John R. Lynch]], whoa directlyblack participatedleader in Mississippi's Reconstruction, directly challenged his assertions of fact and his interpretation. In his 1917 article titled "Some Historical Errors of James Ford Rhodes".<ref name="lynch">[http://www.jstor.org/stable/2713394?seq=1 John R. Lynch, "Some Historical Errors of James Ford Rhodes"], ''The Journal of Negro History'', Vol. 2, No. 4, Oct., 1917</ref> Lynch wrote:
<blockquote>"the reader of Mr. Rhodes' history cannot fail to see that he believed it was a grave mistake to have given the colored men at the South the right to vote, and in order to make the alleged historical facts harmonize with his own views upon this point, he took particular pains to magnify the virtues and minimize the faults of the [[Democratic Party (United States)|Democrats]] and to magnify the faults and minimize the virtues of the [[Republican Party (United States)|Republicans]], the colored men especially."<ref name="lynch353">Lynch (1917), "Errors", p.353</ref></blockquote>
In book VI, pp.&nbsp;35–40, Rhodes said of [[Thaddeus Stevens]], a federal lawmaker and fierce opponent of [[slavery]] and [[discrimination]] against [[African-American]]sAmericans, that "[[Reconstruction Acts]], ostensibly in the interest of freedom, were an attack on civilization... [and] did not show wise constructive statesmanship in forcing unqualified Negro Suffrage on the South."<ref>Rhodes 1920</ref> Lynch replied that the Acts allowed time for transition away from the society that was built on slavery. He wrote,
<blockquote>"But for the adoption of the Congressional plan of Reconstruction and the subsequent legislation of the nation along the same line, the [[abolitionism|abolition]] of slavery through the ratification of the [[13th Amendment to the United States Constitution|13th Amendment]] would have been in name only, a legal and constitutional myth."<ref name="lynch362-363">Lynch (1917), "Error", pp. 362-363</ref></blockquote>
Lynch noted that Rhodes concluded that Reconstruction had failed. He disagreed by saying that not all its goals had been accomplished, but ratification of the [[14th Amendment to the US Constitution|14th]] and [[Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution|15th Amendment]]s made it a success, as all people of color were granted citizenship, which could not be restricted by race or color, and they were granted suffrage nationally.<ref name="lynch365">Lynch (1917), "Error", p. 365</ref> In 1913, Lynch published his own history of the era, ''The Facts about Reconstruction''.
Rhodes joined the [[American Historical Association]] and was elected [[American Historical Association#Past presidents|its president]] in 1899 for a one-year term.
==Legacy and honors==