This chapter examines the collective identity crisis Mississippians underwent in the years immediately following the Civil War. White Mississippians faced an uncertain identity within the Union. Some hoped to retain their identity as Confederates without appearing as traitors and rebels. Transitioning back into the Union proved much more difficult than their previous decision to secede. The end of slavery shattered the social structure on which many whites built their sense of identity, causing them to struggle with their place in society. Black Mississippians started to form their own sense of national identity in the wake of the Civil War as Congressional Reconstruction brought full citizenship and the ability to participate in politics.
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