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The Port Royal ExperimentA Case Study in Development$
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Kevin Dougherty

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628461534

Published to University Press of Mississippi: January 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628461534.001.0001

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The Development of Civil Society

The Development of Civil Society

(p.69) Chapter Five The Development of Civil Society
The Port Royal Experiment

Kevin Dougherty

University Press of Mississippi

Modern-day nation-builders describe civil society as occupying “the political space between the individual and the government.” It includes a variety of organizations and activities, all of which “contribute to a democratic society and nonviolent political transition from war to peace” by performing a multitude of functions. For many individuals and organizations associated with the Port Royal Experiment, civil society was built upon “the four corner-stones of the church, the school-house, the militia, and the town-meeting,” because it was these institutions that provided for “the essential rights of religion, education, self-defense, and self-government.” Local black preachers and white missionaries, educational efforts such as the Penn School founded by Laura Towne, the recruitment of black soldiers, and the rise of black political consciousness were all part of this process. Through initiatives such as these, civil society made unprecedented, albeit imperfect, progress on the Sea Islands.

Keywords:   Civil society, Black soldiers in the Civil War, Penn School, Laura Towne, Port Royal Experiment

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