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Germans and African AmericansTwo Centuries of Exchange$
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Larry A. Greene and Anke Ortlepp

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604737844

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604737844.001.0001

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German Immigrants and African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, 1850–1880

German Immigrants and African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, 1850–1880

(p.37) German Immigrants and African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina, 1850–1880
Germans and African Americans

Jeffery Strickland

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter explores the relationship between German immigrants and African Americans in Charleston, South Carolina during the years 1850–1880, with particular reference to how concepts of class and ideology brought from Germany gave rise to diverse racial views within German communities. It focuses on how the Germans, as an immigrant minority in Charleston, searched for their place in America, as did the African American inhabitants of both cities. The chapter also examines how racial perceptions were shaped by the varied ways in which regional patterns of race relations shaped German and black interactions, especially in the North and South. Furthermore, it discusses the transition of Charleston’s German population as neutral non-belligerents between the city’s conflicting black and white populations in the antebellum era, to a supporter of the Democratic Party, and their goal of white supremacy in the post-Civil War era. Finally, the chapter highlights the incompatibility of German immigrant goals and the Freedmen’s goals of assimilation, civil rights, and political rights.

Keywords:   immigrants, African Americans, Charleston, South Carolina, Germans, class, ideology, race relations, Democratic Party, assimilation

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