Until well into the 1930s historians accepted as standard the interpretations of Reconstruction offered by the “Dunning school.” Professor William A. Dunning and his students at Columbia University had undertaken extensive research in preparing scholarly monographs on the Reconstruction period in each southern state. But they wrote at a time when most Americans considered Negroes as inferior beings and their studies usually began with this basic assumption. It usually followed that the Congressional Radicals had been wrong in all they attempted. Helpless white populations had been subjugated by selfish outsiders who plundered the states, using ignorant Negro voters to maintain control. Since it was fundamentally wrong to assume the Negroes should vote, it had been regrettably necessary that the native whites employ severe measures including violence to “redeem” their states from “Radical rule.”
Shofner, Jeffell H.
"Political Reconstruction in Florida,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 45
, Article 6.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol45/iss2/6