The Dunning School was an informal group of American historians at Columbia University who studied the South during Reconstruction. Historian William Archibald Dunning directed many of the Ph.D. dissertations and wrote monographs and a survey.
The Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s brought in a new perspective called "neoabolitionism". It used the same facts but stressed the agency of the blacks and downplayed corruption. Some of the new liberal historians ridiculed the biases of the Dunning School without realizing that their own biases were even stronger. The study attempted to blame Republicans and exonerate Democrats while maintaining the Democrat terrorist wing, the Ku Klux Klan, acted benignly.