"Radical Republicans"

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WJC

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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.
Tell us more. Names, their speeches, writings and statements....
 

Joshism

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would assume Lincoln/Johnston's position of a more conciliatory nature and trying to hasten reunion would represent a more moderate position
Lincoln and Johnson may have held some similar views, but I can't imagine Lincoln turning a blind eye to white supremacist violence against Southern blacks. Lincoln wanted to let the South up easy, so long as they behaved.
 

WJC

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Sorry, can't do that. Don't buy books anymore. Get them through the inter-library loan system. Book had all the references you inquired about.
Thanks for your response.
I understand and don't want to put you on the spot, but- perhaps only from memory- is there any more you can share?
Anything you can add will be appreciated....
 

civilken

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yes we can look to the radicals as nothing but trouble makers. The liberal Republicans or moderates looking more to calm the waters. Or the Democrats who are just looking for control of the South. When we do this we leave out the human factor the willingness to write off an entire race because of their color. How did we as a government for the people and by the people forget that these dark skinned individuals are all brothers and sisters. And not just property to be used and cast aside when was our humanity after the war when we turned our back on reconstruction. Just to make peace what happened to the people with high moral standards that believe in dignity for all men . We allowed groups of bullies and racists with their hoods to scare harass and Lynch black men and women and pass black codes to control them. in the North turned a blind eye. Our people were tired of war and so like a virus they spread through the south.. 150 years later we are still coming to terms with our actions of non-action after the war maybe that's the real story.
 

WJC

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jgoodguy

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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.
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Always a problem when the public does not want to fund a forever war.
 

O' Be Joyful

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Always a problem when the public does not want to fund a forever war.
And several Supreme Court rulings that made it, if not next to impossible to enforce the existing laws on the books to protect those Freedmen, those who came south in earnest to assist them, along with the more "enlightened" (insert all encompassing Scalawags) Southerners, those rulings almost certainly took the Steam out of any efforts to continue that struggle.

Now, some will also point to the lack of resolve of the Republican (aka The Complicit North) controlled Congress. But, thanks to the knowledge of others here at CWT, I have learned and seem to recall that in that time there were very few sessions of Congress where the republicans obtained exclusive control of both Houses, not to mention the absolute trifecta of the Presidency as well.

That is to say that, after Redemption and the resurgent southern Democrats and their northern(and bitter) allies combined to strangle any future efforts to fight back against the Supremes in the way the Republicans were poised to do in the 1860's if a particular form of "Unpleasantness" had not intervened.
 
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leftyhunter

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And several Supreme Court rulings that made it, if not next to impossible to enforce the existing laws on the books to protect those Freedmen, those who came south in earnest to assist them, along with the more "enlightened" (insert all encompassing Scalawags) Southerners, those rulings almost certainly took the Steam out of any efforts to continue that struggle.

Now, some will also point to the lack of resolve of the Republican (aka The Complicit North) controlled Congress. But, thanks to the knowledge of others here at CWT, I have learned and seem to recall that in that time there were very few sessions of Congress where the republicans obtained exclusive control of both Houses, not to mention the absolute trifecta of the Presidency as well.

That is to say that, after Redemption and the resurgent southern Democrats and their northern(and bitter) allies combined to strangle any future efforts to fight back against the Supremes in the way the Republicans were poised to do in the 1860's if a particular form of "Unpleasantness" had not intervened.
Yet with Crushanick still on the books Reconstruction 2.0 still occurred 100 years latter.
Leftyhunter
 

Mike Griffith

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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.
A few points about the Radicals:

* They had little or no regard for the Constitution and would not hesitate to use federal power unconstitutionally. The Radicals were all about expanding federal power well beyond the limits set by the Constitution.
* Some/many Radicals were quite racist themselves.
* Most Radicals not only supported but cheered the committing of war crimes against the South during the war.
* The Radicals cheered and sought to promote generals who would use vicious, illegal, and immoral war tactics, while they smeared and sought to ruin capable generals who refused to use such tactics.
* The Radicals played a major role in sabotaging reasonable compromise efforts that would have avoided war and banned slavery from 2/3 of the territories. After the Radicals blocked the Crittenden Compromise in Congress, they successfully fought against an effort to allow a national referendum on the plan--because they knew that a large majority of Americans supported it.
* Although the Radicals screamed loudly about abolition, they were perfectly willing to allow slaves in the newly created Union state of West Virginia to remain in bondage for 15 years or more.
* Most of the Radicals disliked or even hated Lincoln, and some of them cheered the fact that he was assassinated. (Quite a few moderate and conservative Republicans suspected that the Radicals were involved with Lincoln's murder. Otto Eisenschiml, an outstanding early Civil War scholar, compiled a circumstantial case for Radical involvement in Lincoln's death in his book Why Was Lincoln Murdered? Modern Civil War scholars tend to dismiss Eisenschiml's work, but anyone who reads his scholarship for themselves will see that he was a careful and methodical scholar.)
* When Andrew Johnson was president, the Radicals wanted Army generals, including General Grant, to disobey Johnson. They even claimed that Johnson had no right to choose a new Secretary of War, and they sought to remove him from office when he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was arguably the most corrupt, tyrannical, vicious, and despotic cabinet member in American history.

If you want to get some idea about the Radicals, read what Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, said about them in his diary and elsewhere. He described them as hateful, intolerant, malignant, ignorant, dismissive of the Constitution, lawless, dishonest, immoral, and wild. Here are two samples of Welles' comments on the Radicals:

The Radicals of Connecticut and New England are narrow-minded party men of Puritanic-Calvinistic notions in politics and religion, intolerant and prejudiced in their opinions. Hate, revenge, and persecution enter largely into their composition. . . . These fanatics want a God to punish, not to love, those who do not agree with them. (Diary of Gideon Welles, volume 3, p. 88)​

In the next sample, Welles is talking about the disgraceful Radical effort to remove Andrew Johnson from office:

With the party appeals and party demands from the Radical press and Radical leaders throughout the country, the narrow views and inexcusable ignorance of Radicals generally in regard to our government, its structure and scope, their readiness to sacrifice the government and country for mere party ends, I have but slight expectation of an acquittal. (Diary of Gideon Welles, volume 3, p. 344)
Of course, there were some exceptions. Not all Radicals fit this description, but most did. Some Radicals were honorable and reasonable. Also, some Radical policies were wise, necessary, and moral. But, on the whole, the Radicals were a cancer on American politics, and the country was much better off when they were finally pushed out of power.
 
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leftyhunter

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A few points about the Radicals:

* They had little or no regard for the Constitution and would not hesitate to use federal power unconstitutionally. The Radicals were all about expanding federal power well beyond the limits set by the Constitution.
* Some/many Radicals were quite racist themselves.
* Most Radicals not only supported but cheered the committing of war crimes against the South during the war.
* The Radicals cheered and sought to promote generals who would use vicious, illegal, and immoral war tactics, while they smeared and sought to ruin capable generals who refused to use such tactics.
* The Radicals played a major role in sabotaging reasonable compromise efforts that would have avoided war and banned slavery from 2/3 of the territories. After the Radicals blocked the Crittenden Compromise in Congress, they successfully fought against an effort to allow a national referendum on the plan--because they knew that a large majority of Americans supported it.
* Although the Radicals screamed loudly about abolition, they were perfectly willing to allow slaves in the newly created Union state of West Virginia to remain in bondage for 15 years or more.
* Most of the Radicals disliked or even hated Lincoln, and some of them cheered the fact that he was assassinated. (Quite a few moderate and conservative Republicans suspected that the Radicals were involved with Lincoln's murder. Otto Eisenschiml, an outstanding early Civil War scholar, compiled a circumstantial case for Radical involvement in Lincoln's death in his book Why Was Lincoln Murdered? Modern Civil War scholars tend to dismiss Eisenschiml's work, but anyone who reads his scholarship for themselves will see that he was a careful and methodical scholar.)
* When Andrew Johnson was president, the Radicals wanted Army generals, including General Grant, to disobey Johnson. They even claimed that Johnson had no right to choose a new Secretary of War, and they sought to remove him from office when he fired Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was arguably the most corrupt, tyrannical, vicious, and despotic cabinet member in American history.

If you want to get some idea about the Radicals, read what Lincoln's Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, said about them in his diary and elsewhere. He described them as hateful, intolerant, malignant, ignorant, dismissive of the Constitution, lawless, dishonest, immoral, and wild. Here are two samples of Welles' comments on the Radicals:

The Radicals of Connecticut and New England are narrow-minded party men of Puritanic-Calvinistic notions in politics and religion, intolerant and prejudiced in their opinions. Hate, revenge, and persecution enter largely into their composition. . . . These fanatics want a God to punish, not to love, those who do not agree with them. (Diary of Gideon Welles, volume 3, p. 88)​

In the next sample, Welles is talking about the disgraceful Radical effort to remove Andrew Johnson from office:

With the party appeals and party demands from the Radical press and Radical leaders throughout the country, the narrow views and inexcusable ignorance of Radicals generally in regard to our government, its structure and scope, their readiness to sacrifice the government and country for mere party ends, I have but slight expectation of an acquittal. (Diary of Gideon Welles, volume 3, p. 344)
Of course, there were some exceptions. Not all Radicals fit this description, but most did. Some Radicals were honorable and reasonable. Also, some Radical policies were wise, necessary, and moral. But, on the whole, the Radicals were a cancer on American politics, and the country was much better off when they were finally pushed out of power.
So much wrong with this post. Let's take one point at a time.
Radical Repubicans allowed slavery in West Virginia for 15 years? So slavery was legal in West Virginia until 1878?
Leftyhunter
 
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