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Title: New Orleans and the politics of the streetcars : 1720s-1960s
Author: McLaughlin-Stonham, C. Hilary
ISNI:       0000 0004 7653 0745
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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The history of Louisiana from slavery, through reconstruction until the Civil Rights Act of 1964 shows that unique influences within the state were responsible for a distinctive political and social culture which affected the timeliness of segregation and how it was applied. In New Orleans, the most populous city in the state this was reflected on the streetcars. Some thematic studies have researched the labour and gender conflict that occurred on streetcars from reconstruction and have addressed race as an issue within these conflicts. However this study chronologically surveys segregation on the streetcars from the antebellum period where black stereotypes and justification for segregation were formed. It then follows the political and social motivation for segregation through reconstruction to the integration of the streetcars and white resistance in the 1950s. Surveying such a long period allows insight into the changing political and social climate that evolved over the segregation era. It considers the changing nature of white supremacy that took hold in New Orleans after the Civil War and how this came to be played out in public on the streetcars daily. It then considers how the paternalistic nature of white supremacy was gradually replaced with an unassailable white supremacist atmosphere that often restricted the actions of whites as well as blacks and the effect this had on urban transport. Streetcars also became the ‘theatres’ for black resistance throughout the era and this survey considers the symbolic part they played in civil rights. Using the longest running streetcar system in the world makes it possible to explore segregation from its inception on transport in New Orleans until its demise. An important element of this survey is its chronological approach which analyses the changes in this racially preoccupied society and how this was reflected in the public space on transport.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available