Did the Freedmen’s Bureau, established in 1865, help the formerly enslaved, or harm them? Priya Kandaswamy traces the Bureau’s activities in relation to vagrancy legislation and the placement of Black domestic workers in white people’s homes. Labor discipline and white surveillance, she argues, took precedence over public assistance and meaningful forms of freedom for African Americans. … Continued

The United States is a strikingly unequal country. The Republican Party is rightly credited with aiding the wealthy, but historian Lily Geismer argues that’s just half of the story. She examines the key role played by the Clinton-era Democratic Party in widening inequality through microenterprise schemes and development zones, free trade policies, and charter schools, … Continued

Is a world of nation-states desirable? If ultranationalism is pernicious, are some forms of nationalism beneficial? Should struggles framed in terms of national liberation be lauded and supported? Nandita Sharma emphasizes the exclusions inherent in all nationalist politics, exclusions dictated by considerations of who does and does not belong to the nation. Nandita Sharma, Home … Continued

The Republican Party is gripped by a hatred of immigrants. But geographer Reece Jones argues it has not always been so. Instead, one man, the late John Tanton, was responsible for making nativism appear a central concern of conservatives, by propagating scores of anti-immigrant organizations, some which eventually helped staff the Trump Administration. And, as … Continued