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Alexandra E. Stern

Alexandra E. Stern

United States
B.A. in American History with Honors, University of Pennsylvania, 2013
Dissertation Topic: 
Civil War & Reconstruction, Native America
Dissertation Title: 
“The Darker Side of E Pluribus Unum:” The Unraveling of Indian Territory and the Reconstruction of Native America, 1861 – 1907

I am a doctoral candidate in American history, focusing on the 19th century with particular emphasis on the Civil War and Reconstruction.  Born and raised in Louisville, KY, I earned my undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, where I gained a background in the history of the U.S. South.  I wrote my undergraduate thesis on the Sioux Uprising/Dakota War of 1862, which asserted the national importance of the Indian Wars of the trans-Mississippi West in the Civil War period.  Exploring the relationship between the Indian Wars of the West and the more traditional paradigms of Civil War and Reconstruction history continues to be my primary research interest.  I am currently at work on a dissertation focusing on Native American experiences of Reconstruction in Indian Territory, arguing that federal Indian policy was an essential element of the larger federal political project to reunite the fractured nation, homogenize its citizenry, and implement a free labor, private property-oriented national order. Charting the erasure of Indian Territory as a result of policies designed to reconstruct Native American life and land, my work offers a fresh understanding of the ways in which Americans remade the United States in the second half of the nineteenth century and the centrality of Native people and politics to that story.


Selected Publications & Projects

Alexandra E. Stern
The decline of Native American political autonomy in the second half of the nineteenth century was one of the results of increasing national...
Alexandra E. Stern
A conflict of many firsts, the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) was one of the earliest truly industrial wars.  The Civil War, however, was also the...

More Information

A. E. Stern, "War is Cruelty: The Civil War Lessons of the Dakota War of 1862" U.S. History Scene, published online November 2015,  - based on my undergraduate thesis, State of Rebellion: The Dakota Uprising in the Civil War Period, University of Pennsylvania Department of History, Spring 2013

A. E. Stern, "Open Range Ahead: The Greater Reconstruction Perspective," U.S. History Scene, published online October 2015,

A. E. Stern, "The Civil War and the Far West: Classroom Suggestions," U.S. History Scene, published online August 2015,