Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


American Studies

First Advisor

Melinda Lawson




United States, South Carolina, Civil War, Reconstruction


The United States was not always as united as its name suggests. In the middle of the nineteenth century, as the country was in turmoil, the nation was divided between the North and the South, ultimately resulting in a four year Civil War. By 1865 the regions’ tensions around the strongly contrasting views of partisanship, the role of the Federal government, and race were fully exposed. Between 1865 and 1877, the nation embarked on a path of Reconstruction as a way to rebuild itself. This path had three different phases – Presidential Reconstruction, Radical Reconstruction, and Redemption. However, South Carolina, along with other southern states, strongly resisted such a movement and refused to accept change. Thus, the state became one the loudest and most vocal critics of Reconstruction as it impacted the nation’s development. For South Carolina, 1865 until 1872 was a time of great struggle, as the state resisted Federal control yet was still subjected to forcible change. This struggle was documented in newspapers such as the Charleston Daily News. These newspapers were the passageways to South Carolina’s heart, as they directly spoke to and shaped the ideas of people, especially around partisanship, the Federal Government and attitudes towards blacks, reflecting tensions that were embedded in the fabric of the changing country. The Charleston Daily News emerged in 1865 with strong partisanship ties to state Conservatives and the nation’s Democratic Party. The News advocated for each with such dedication that the articles mildly resembled propaganda. However, as Reconstruction developed and Radicalism emerged, South Carolina’s political views changed, as reflected in the opinions of the News, which by 1872 began to encourage its readers to break from the Democratic Party and support a fusion party.