Posted on January 19, 2021 by January 19, 2021 by William Archibald Dunning (12 May 1857 – 25 August 1922) was an American historian and political scientist at Columbia University noted for his work on the Reconstruction era of the United States.He founded the informal Dunning School of interpreting the Reconstruction era through his own writings and the Ph.D. dissertations of his numerous students. Dubois Challenged Dunning school Black historians suggest good came from Reconstruction *Dubois: wrote Black Reconstruction, emphasis on Marxist interpretation, popular during 1950s Civil Rights movement The Dunning school, named for the Columbia University professor William Archibald Dunning, has not always been held in such low esteem. The Dunning School argued that Reconstruction was the most calamitous and corrupt period in the nation’s history because imperialistic Radical Republicans empowered riotous, sub-human blacks to rule over the respectable white South. On the contrary, its interpretation of Reconstruction as a tragic mistake inflicted upon a helpless South by a vindictive North held sway over both the public and scholarly realm for much of the twentieth century. W.W. Davis, The Civil War and Reconstruction … This interpretation of Reconstruction placed it firmly in the category of historical blunder. William A Dunning Explains the Failure of Reconstruction in Terms of Corruption and Failure of Governments (1901) The leading motive of the reconstruction had been, at the inception of the process, to insure to the freedmen an effective protection of their civil rights,—of life, liberty, and property. The term Dunning School is a shorthand for the interpretation of Reconstruction that dominated historical writing and public consciousness for much of the twentieth century. William Dunning and John W. Burgess led the first group to offer a coherent and structured argument.  Representative Dunning School scholars. Some historians have suggested that historians sympathetic to the Neo-Confederate movement are influenced by the Dunning School's interpretation of history. Post navigation william dunning, reconstruction, political and economic. And the following year, volume 8 of A History of the South, entitled The South During Reconstruction, 1865-1877, offered an interpretation that did not essentially differ from that of the Dunning school. Early 1900s, W.E.B. The Dunning school still casts a shadow over America’s popular understanding of Reconstruction. . Claude Bowers, The Tragic Era (1929). During the dark and bloody period of reconstruction, the Dunning school emphasized the general interpretation with attitudes towards specific Reconstruction factors. Along with their students at Columbia University, Dunning, Burgess, and their retinue created a historical school of thought known as the Dunning School. The historians in this group were strong devotees of the constitution and portrayed a strict constructionist attitude. were building rapid progress towards recovery before the congress's interference.