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The Shadow of the Confederacy: Culture, Institutions, and the Geography of Racial Animus in the US

Samuel Bazzi, Andreas Ferrara, Martin Fiszbein, Thomas Pearson, Patrick Testa

Centre for Economic Policy Research, September 2023

Thomas Pearson

Thomas Pearson

In recent years, race has re-emerged as a core wedge issue in U.S. politics. This column documents how the sprawling influence of Confederate culture in non-South states following the American Civil War promoted widespread and persistent racial animosity and disadvantage in the U.S.

In non-South states, Southern-born migrants disproportionately worked in influential, public-facing occupations in their new communities. The Confederate diaspora was key in the national expansion of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as well as the Ku Klux Klan, and the diaspora also transmitted their ideology to their neighbours.