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"Radical Republicans"

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by WJC, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. WJC

    WJC Moderator Moderator

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    Some of us are interested in learning more about the "Radical Republicans".
    Let's discuss who they were, their agenda and other relevant information.
     

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  3. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant

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    well it is in the dictionary........
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Radical Republican

    would assume Lincoln/Johnston's position of a more conciliatory nature and trying to hasten reunion would represent a more moderate position
     
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  4. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    I agree completely. The only thing the Radicals had in common was the desire to grant equal rights to blacks.
     
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  5. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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  6. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    Historian Eric Foner discusses the Radical Republicans:

     
  7. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    More on the Radical Republicans from Eric Foner:

     
  8. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

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    PBS' Reconstruction program on the Radical Republicans:

     
  9. White Flint Bill

    White Flint Bill Private

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    "Radical" has not always had a negative connotation.

    Likewise consider "Liberal", as in the "Liberal Republicans" who broke from the Radicals because they did not share the Radicals' views on Reconstruction and social equality. Many leading hardcore prowar abolitionists became "Liberal Republicans." Men like Carl Schurz, Charles Sumner, Cassius Clay and John Francis Adams. Once expansion of slavery was no longer a threat, they wanted a "hands off" federal policy toward the South. Wiki says of Schurz, he "held nineteenth century ideas of European superiority and fears of miscegenation."

    Even among Republicans and abolitionists, there was a wide range of opinion.
     
  10. 5fish

    5fish Captain

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    Liberal Republicans movement lasted in presidential cycle in 1872...

    The Republican Party had emerged as the dominant party in the aftermath of the Civil War, but many Republicans became dissatisfied with the leadership of President Grant. Prominent Republican leaders like Schurz, Charles Sumner and Lyman Trumbull had opposed slavery before and during the Civil War, but by 1872 believed that the United States should end Reconstruction and restore self-government to the Southern United States. Many Liberal Republicans also decried the scandals of the Grant administration and sought civil service reform.

    The Democrats embraced the Liberal Republican candidate for their party and many of the Liberal Republicans became Democrats in the end.
     
  11. 5fish

    5fish Captain

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    The liberals were always there in the Republican party but slavery united them with the radicals...

    The liberal Republicans had been involved in the “Southern question” for three decades by the time Hayes became president in 1877. After helping to start the Free Soil Party in 1848, many of them had then helped organize the Republican Party in the 1850s. The goal of the liberal Republicans in both parties was to end slavery and the Slave Power, both of which they thought endangered the nation’s republican institutions. During the Civil War the liberal republicans fought against the Slave Power and for the preservation of the Union’s republican form of government while becoming increasingly concerned about the effects...

    https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt13x0b50
     
  12. Rebforever

    Rebforever Major

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    Goes from bad here to worse during reconstruction!
     
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  13. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    Thanks to white violence against blacks trying to exercise their lawful civil rights.
    Leftyhunter
     
  14. 1950lemans

    1950lemans Sergeant

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    Just a note about 'liberal Republicans". IMO they were "white guys who didn't know their *** from their elbow". It is they, more than anyone else probably, they doomed Reconstruction.

    Andrew Slap, The Doom of Reconstruction: The Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era, 2007. The standard work on these characters. He tries to paint them in a sympathetic light - warts and all. Book received OK reviews but reviewers were asking a lot of "but what about....", "but this was happening..." etc.

    Wasn't really a political party but a group of 23 individuals who worked to challenge Grant and then worked over-time to ensure Reconstruction failed. Their legacy caused a lot of damage and few know how destructive they were. Then they disappeared in history. These Republicans were inept political amateurs who were outmaneuvered when they attempted a formal party system in the 1872 Republican convention.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  15. DRW

    DRW Sergeant

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    Anyone aware of quality biographies of Thad Stevens or Ben Wade more recent than the decades old Trefousse books?
     
  16. uaskme

    uaskme Sergeant

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    Liberals couldn't hold their Nose for Grant. Mid Western Germans, Schurz, Trumbull, Fenton, Sumner the surviving members of Lincolns Cabinet, and even Chase voted for Greeley but did not Bolt with the Liberals. Grant had a habit of excepting gifts and handing out favors to the givers. Grantism, misrule at the North and Bayonet Rule at the South. He had his detractors.

    Schurz: In his Nashville speech, September 20, he clearly forecasted the future policy of the reform group. The pressing needs of the time, he pointed out, were general amnesty, a return to local self-government in the South, reform in the civil service, re-adjustment of the tariff, a speedy return to specie payment, and the better control of corporations. pp48 The Liberal Republican Movement by Earle Dudley Ross

    Liberal Republicans didn't have enough clout to put forth their own Candidate for 72 Presidential election so they merged with the Democrats who chose Greeley. Greeley was a strong Protectionist so many of the Liberal Republicans didn't support him. However the Bolters were attacked by the Grant Administration after the election, lost their chairmanships etc so many canvased with the Democrats, became Independents and started the Grange Faction, Anti-Monopolist, Greenbackers. These Factions became part of the Opposition. Many didnt vote with the Rs in 74 which gave the Democrats a landslide in the midterms. Hayes in 76 ran on a platform of Civil Service Reform, I term and Tariff reform which brought some Liberals back but the Failing economy sunk the Republicans.

    As far as the Liberals being Negrophobic, that would not separate them from the rest of the Negrophobic Republicans,
     
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  17. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    So white supremacy paramilitaries had nothing to do with the failure of Reconstruction? Also the lack of funding for the U.S. Army and state militias to combat said white supremacy paramilitaries was not also a factor in the failure of Reconstruction ? Also an underfunded Friedman's Bureau and quality education.
    Leftyhunter
     
  18. 1950lemans

    1950lemans Sergeant

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    I should have said something like "It is they, more than anyone else probably, they doomed Reconstruction. UP NORTH, ESPECIALLY TOWARDS THE END." :smile:
     
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  19. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    I would blame the bulk of U.S. politicians who didn't support a vigerourous counterinsurgency campaign using mostly local Southern blacks and Unionists. Also lots of support for education and vocational training for newly freed slaves. Of course the General voting public was not willing to fund such efforts.
    Leftyhunter
     
  20. 19thGeorgia

    19thGeorgia Sergeant

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    Nice little Radical Republicans...

    "...the adoption of the measures I advocated at the outset of the war, the arming of the negroes, the slaves of the rebels, is the only way left on earth in which these rebels can be exterminated. They will find that they must treat those States now outside of the Union as conquered provinces and settle them with new men, and drive the present rebels as exiles from this country....They have such determination, energy, and endurance, that nothing but actual extermination or exile or starvation will ever induce them to surrender to this Government." -Thaddeus Stevens, U.S. House of Representatives, January 8, 1863
     
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  21. MattL

    MattL First Sergeant

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    Unfortunately that definition seems pretty limited considering it only applies to after the war when the term was in fact also used before the war (and naturally might be relevant to how it applies after the war as well).

    ----
    a Republican favoring drastic and usually repressive measures against the southern states in the period following the Civil War
    ----

    Not the worst definition for the term post-Civil War, but pretty inadequate without the context pre-War.

    Britannica does a better job in their one liner

    https://www.britannica.com/topic/Radical-Republican

    ----
    Radical Republican, during and after the American Civil War, a member of the Republican Party committed to emancipation of the slaves and later to the equal treatment and enfranchisement of the freed blacks.
    ----

    the Wikipedia page also does a better job in it's initial blurb

    ----
    The Radical Republicans were a faction of American politicians within the Republican Party of the United States from around 1854 (before the American Civil War) until the end of Reconstruction in 1877. They called themselves "Radicals" with a sense of a complete permanent eradication of slavery and secessionism, without compromise. They were opposed during the War by the moderate Republicans (led by President Abraham Lincoln), by the conservative Republicans, and by the anti-abolitionist and anti-Reconstruction Democratic Party as well as by conservatives in the South and liberals in the North during Reconstruction.[1] Radicals led efforts after the war to establish civil rights for former slaves and fully implement emancipation. After weaker measures resulted in 1866 violence against former slaves in the rebel states, Radicals pushed the 14th Amendment and statutory protections through Congress. They disfavored allowing ex Confederates officers to retake political power in the south, and emphasized equality, civil rights and voting rights for the "freedmen" (recently freed slaves).
    ----
     

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