Reconstruction, how bad was it really?

Tin cup

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Earlier today I said I would post a question on reconstruction. I have two books on the subject, Foner's, and Stampp's, I just haven't been able to dig deeply in them. The jest of the question is that all too often pro-confederate folk always claim (in the most vague, and general of terms) that reconstruction was SO bad for the South.

The problem is that nearly all the time when these claims are posted, NO DETAILS OF WHY IT WAS SO BAD, are posted. It's always complaints of "policies" during reconstruction were purposely used to (so to speak) down-trod the southern people, and keep em poor.

I'm giving folk a chance to show us if these claims are true. I'm not caring for vague "my GGrandpappy said", or "GGAunt so-n-so told my Father"...I'd like to see serious documentation and factual references please.

Kevin Dally
 

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leftyhunter

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Earlier today I said I would post a question on reconstruction. I have two books on the subject, Foner's, and Stampp's, I just haven't been able to dig deeply in them. The jest of the question is that all too often pro-confederate folk always claim (in the most vague, and general of terms) that reconstruction was SO bad for the South.

The problem is that nearly all the time when these claims are posted, NO DETAILS OF WHY IT WAS SO BAD, are posted. It's always complaints of "policies" during reconstruction were purposely used to (so to speak) down-trod the southern people, and keep em poor.

I'm giving folk a chance to show us if these claims are true. I'm not caring for vague "my GGrandpappy said", or "GGAunt so-n-so told my Father"...I'd like to see serious documentation and factual references please.

Kevin Dally
From the standpoint of African Americans it was a complete disaster. Just look at the history of the modern Civil Rights movement which would of been unnecessary if Reconstruction was properly carried out.
Leftyhunter
 

jackt62

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Reconstruction was poised to advance the civil rights of the newly freed African Americans in the south. Indeed, the first few years after Radical Republicans were in control of Congress, saw real legislative improvements (Civil Rights Act, KKK Act, 14th and 15th Amendments) that allowed African Americans to hold a large number of political offices in the former confederate states. But the resistance in particular of the southern plantation class and the eventual lack of will on the part of the north, doomed Reconstruction, and in its aftermath saw the status of African Americans reduced to a new form of bondage that would not be overcome until the 1960's.
 

leftyhunter

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Earlier today I said I would post a question on reconstruction. I have two books on the subject, Foner's, and Stampp's, I just haven't been able to dig deeply in them. The jest of the question is that all too often pro-confederate folk always claim (in the most vague, and general of terms) that reconstruction was SO bad for the South.

The problem is that nearly all the time when these claims are posted, NO DETAILS OF WHY IT WAS SO BAD, are posted. It's always complaints of "policies" during reconstruction were purposely used to (so to speak) down-trod the southern people, and keep em poor.

I'm giving folk a chance to show us if these claims are true. I'm not caring for vague "my GGrandpappy said", or "GGAunt so-n-so told my Father"...I'd like to see serious documentation and factual references please.

Kevin Dally
In a related thread " Was the US Army and State Militia's cowered by the KKK and similar organizations"?
I showed how even poorly equipped state militia's could effectively fight white racist paramilitaries.
Overall I showed using General Thomas's Military District has an example that the US Army was simply severely undermanned during Reconstruction in terms of fighting a low level insurgency. Some State Militia' s did fight well at least for a time. I would compare Reconstruction to a more modern conflict but that would have to be done via the PM function.
Leftyhunter
 

Rebforever

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Reconstruction was poised to advance the civil rights of the newly freed African Americans in the south. Indeed, the first few years after Radical Republicans were in control of Congress, saw real legislative improvements (Civil Rights Act, KKK Act, 14th and 15th Amendments) that allowed African Americans to hold a large number of political offices in the former confederate states. But the resistance in particular of the southern plantation class and the eventual lack of will on the part of the north, doomed Reconstruction, and in its aftermath saw the status of African Americans reduced to a new form of bondage that would not be overcome until the 1960's.
Do you have a source to back up your post?
 

Viper21

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How bad was it...?

For starters, imagine losing your wealth, your home, perhaps a son, or other relatives. THEN living under martial law, having to look at the very soldiers responsible for your suffering on a daily basis. Not to mention, politicians governing your area that don't represent you.

A GGG Grandfather of mine, had his home, & other property taken by Yankees. He was a very wealthy man prior to the war. He died impoverished a couple years after.
 

Tin cup

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How bad was it...?

For starters, imagine losing your wealth, your home, perhaps a son, or other relatives. THEN living under martial law, having to look at the very soldiers responsible for your suffering on a daily basis. Not to mention, politicians governing your area that don't represent you.

A GGG Grandfather of mine, had his home, & other property taken by Yankees. He was a very wealthy man prior to the war. He died impoverished a couple years after.
How, why, when did he have his property taken away? WHO specifically took his property?
You are also preaching generalities here, the same spill I hear all the time, but no substance. HOW did THOSE soldiers cause "suffering" on a daily basis? How were folk NOT represented?
All I'm hearing is mostly anger, but nothing much else. It gets old, I'm offering an opportunity to give factual evidence.

Kevin Dally
 

WJC

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From the standpoint of African Americans it was a complete disaster. Just look at the history of the modern Civil Rights movement which would of been unnecessary if Reconstruction was properly carried out.
Leftyhunter
Reconstruction was not "a complete disaster" for African Americans.
Passage of the Freedmen's Bureau Act, the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Civil Rights Act of 1875 succeeded in fulfilling the promise of emancipation. Qualified Blacks were elected to positions in every level of government and demonstrated their abilities were equal to those of Whites. The claim that Blacks were incapable of intelligent thought, that they could not govern was dispelled.
New schools and Colleges were built and there were improvements in education and literacy among all Southerners, Black and White.
The failures many attribute to Reconstruction were, in reality, successes of the Redemption. The social changes many had hoped would accompany military and political success never took hold. In spite of their solemn promises to President Hayes, former Rebels ruthlessly took back power and passed black codes, voter qualifications, and other legislation taking away the rights that Blacks had gained. Through the sharecropping system, former slaveholders reintroduced a form of their 'peculiar institution' and destroyed economic opportunity for Blacks.
Sadly the Supreme Court in its decisions in the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Civil Rights Cases, and United States v. Cruikshank effectively erased most of the civil rights gains Blacks achieved during Reconstruction.
We Americans need to put the blame for our post-Civil War civil rights failures where it belongs: not with the so-called 'Radical Republicans' and Reconstruction, but with the Southern Redeemers, a Supreme Court that simply 'got it wrong' and the failure the of successive, complacent Administrations and Congresses to act to uphold the principles of Lincoln and Reconstruction.
 


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