Date of Award


Document Type



The occupation of New Orleans on April 28, 1862 by Federal forces began the period of military occupation which was to last in Louisiana until the spring of 1877. This fifteen-year span can be divided into two distinct periods. The first was the era of Presidential Reconstruction under Lincoln and Johnson (1862-1867)? the second was Congressional Reconstruction under the Radicals (1867-1877). Reconstruction left a heavy mark upon the economy, politics, and people of Louisiana. So disturbed were the businessmen and planters of New Orleans and South Louisiana over the adverse economic conditions in the state that they made a noble effort to unite the permanent residents in a political movement to regain control and raise Louisiana once again to a state of wealth and prominence. This movement aimed at breaking down the racial barriers which at once divided the endemic population and made it possible for outsiders to gain control of the state government. The attempt to regain power peacefully has been termed "The Louisiana Unification Movement of 1873." It is the purpose of this thesis to analyze the factors which lead to the formation of the Unification Movement and to suggest reasons for its apparent success and abrupt failure.