Union Failures During Reconstruction

jackt62

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Thank you for your reply.

Seems incredibly short-sighted; so hard to believe. Who would think that was enough? But if I remember correctly, there was no government assistance provided to anyone during/after the 1927 Mississippi River flood, so I guess I am looking back with modern, multiple-governmental-program eyes.
It was short sighted but remember that there were powerful forces working against an equitable integration into society of the newly emancipated. The Radical Republicans were the only group that strongly advocated for the freed people and instituted various Reconstruction Acts to that end. (Although even that agenda was perhaps geared towards obtaining more Black voters for the Republican party). Even Lincoln, who fought for passage of the 13th amendment, did not have a good grasp of what freedom would look like or what form it should take.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Here are a couple of useful threads that might assist you:

https://civilwartalk.com/posts/1902935

https://civilwartalk.com/posts/1600432

If you research Reconstruction and Freeemen's Bureau that should help you. I think the Bureau and Reconstruction were extremely hindered by the death of Lincoln. Shelby Foote called the Freedmen's Bureau a "joke".
May I recommend the book "America Aflame, How the Civil War Created A Nation'=David Goldfield .One does not have to read the entire book ,though it is one of very interesting insight as to the war and Reconstruction, . If you just read the last chapter' ''Let It Be" ,the year 1873-1874 is one of social and political change in this country .In 1874 there is a change in Republican policies towards reconstruction reverting back to the party of commerce ,banking, and business and with declining interest in continuing to the support of reconstruction or of the former blacks.'' Northerners were unwilling to continue fighting the Civil War."pg 501 What is interesting is what part that Northern press in the South contributed to Northern change towards the former Confederacy . Attitudes had radically changed from 1850s to 1873,The election of 1877 or Compromise of 1877 placed the nail into the Reconstruction.
 
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It was short sighted but remember that there were powerful forces working against an equitable integration into society of the newly emancipated. The Radical Republicans were the only group that strongly advocated for the freed people and instituted various Reconstruction Acts to that end. (Although even that agenda was perhaps geared towards obtaining more Black voters for the Republican party). Even Lincoln, who fought for passage of the 13th amendment, did not have a good grasp of what freedom would look like or what form it should take.
And the reality is radical republicans fell in disfavor both north and south, part of it was probably the political pendulum always swings, though imagine Grant contributed to it as well.

Many foreign nations as well have discovered our support can wane with the pendulum swing.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Location
New York City
And the reality is radical republicans fell in disfavor both north and south, part of it was probably the political pendulum always swings, though imagine Grant contributed to it as well.

Many foreign nations as well have discovered our support can wane with the pendulum swing.
The pendulum certainly swung backwords, particularly in the former states of the Confederacy. Once Reconstruction officially ended in 1876 with the pullout of the final US troops, the so-called "Redeemer" governments quickly reasserted control over those states.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
It was short sighted but remember that there were powerful forces working against an equitable integration into society of the newly emancipated. The Radical Republicans were the only group that strongly advocated for the freed people and instituted various Reconstruction Acts to that end. (Although even that agenda was perhaps geared towards obtaining more Black voters for the Republican party). Even Lincoln, who fought for passage of the 13th amendment, did not have a good grasp of what freedom would look like or what form it should take.
Would a Marshall Plan similar to the one following WWII for Europe have to change the South from a agriculture economic system to a introduction of the capitalist one similar to the North have aided in the recovery of the South? The problem would be that there may be those in the North that preferred maintaining the Southern states as the state they were in following the war. This would be like when Northern industries moved South because of no unions , cheap labor force, and states that offered benefits to those who moved their shops to the South in reduced taxes . As to the fact that there were Northern politicians who believed that the Rebel states should be inflicted with curses for their past and for being responsible for the war, as they had no role in bringing on the war. Hostilities on the part of both that were not solved by the war prevented any true reconstruction. As an old saying goes in the South ''Forget H'll '' and the North with their campaign of continuing to wave their ''bloody shirts'' in the South's face did little to help. The shame was that the former slaves were used on both sides and for their own purpose ,the North politically by maintaining radical control and the South on social bases with two tear systems. The error was that neither side attempted to find a neutral method ,both Caus. and the black, which may have helped to resolve the issues at that time ,but due to political deals and a era which choose to Romanize the war .this failed. Thanks to the War of 1898 we once again became a Union .
 
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Location
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Would a Marshall Plan similar to the one following WWII for Europe have to change the South from a agriculture economic system to a introduction of the capitalist one similar to the North have aided in the recovery of the South? The problem would be that there may be those in the North that preferred maintaining the Southern states as the state they were in following the war. This would be like when Northern industries moved South because of no unions , cheap labor force, and states that offered benefits to those who moved their shops to the South in reduced taxes . As to the fact that there were Northern politicians who believed that the Rebel states should be inflicted with curses for their past and for being responsible for the war, as they had no role in bringing on the war. Hostilities on the part of both that were not solved by the war prevented any true reconstruction. As an old saying goes in the South ''Forget H'll '' and the North with their campaign of continuing to wave their ''bloody shirts'' in the South's face did little to help. The shame was that the former slaves were used on both sides and for their own purpose ,the North politically by maintaining radical control and the South on social bases with two tear systems. The error was that neither side attempted to find a neutral method ,both Caus. and the black, which may have helped to resolve the issues at that time ,but due to political deals and a era which choose to Romanize the war .this failed. Thanks to the War of 1898 we once again became a Union .
The north didn't really want to transform southern economy...... arguably the primary purpose of freedman's bureau was to ensure former slaves would go back to work on the plantations.

Where a Marshall plan might have made a difference is in civil rights, if they had offered the carrot of economic assistance to them in exchange for concessions.

What killed reconstruction from the start was a spirit of vindictiveness on the part of the radicals, it ensured white southerners would not be getting on board and continued defiance. Personally think Lincoln had the foresight to recognize this, why his plan depended on the speedy restoration of the white governments of the southern states.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
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The north didn't really want to transform southern economy...... arguably the primary purpose of freedman's bureau was to ensure former slaves would go back to work on the plantations.

Where a Marshall plan might have made a difference is in civil rights, if they had offered the carrot of economic assistance to them in exchange for concessions.

What killed reconstruction from the start was a spirit of vindictiveness on the part of the radicals, it ensured white southerners would not be getting on board and continued defiance. Personally think Lincoln had the foresight to recognize this, why his plan depended on the speedy restoration of the white governments of the southern states.
A very interesting observation of this issue. So many mistakes based on emotional attitudes of the political parties. The failure is that at the most critical time following the war there was a lack of administration that had no policy or plan for the social and political Southern states which were in total destruction of a system and sociality which no longer existed. The mistake was the worse error on the part of Lincoln for this country was the selection of a Southern Democrat who was disliked by the Republican establishment. In 1942 the selection of Truman was based on the fear of Franklin may die and his friend would not be accepted .Different situations but no leader would select a mate that would his party would not support ,esp. on the "what if". But then no leader ever thinks that such would happen to them. History proves this is not the case. Best to take in consideration of the ''WHAT IF'' at certain situations
 
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Location
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A very interesting observation of this issue. So many mistakes based on emotional attitudes of the political parties. The failure is that at the most critical time following the war there was a lack of administration that had no policy or plan for the social and political Southern states which were in total destruction of a system and sociality which no longer existed. The mistake was the worse error on the part of Lincoln for this country was the selection of a Southern Democrat who was disliked by the Republican establishment. In 1942 the selection of Truman was based on the fear of Franklin may die and his friend would not be accepted .Different situations but no leader would select a mate that would his party would not support ,esp. on the "what if". But then no leader ever thinks that such would happen to them. History proves this is not the case. Best to take in consideration of the ''WHAT IF'' at certain situations
Actually Johnson was a rather perfect for Lincoln, why he chose him.

The problem was neither Lincoln or Johnson, but the radical wing of his party hijacking reconstruction on his death. From that point on they sailed a course to failure that should have been rather foreseeable. Lincoln vision was tempered with pragmatism, there's was not
 

DanSBHawk

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No amount of "carrots" would have worked. Government handouts were never going to make the ingrained racist slaveholding culture change.

The rest of the country had already figured out, on its own, how to gradually emancipate their slaves over the decades. The slave states were too addicted to race-based societal and labor systems.

In the post-war, the disloyal dead-enders deserved sticks far more than they deserved carrots. But the country had wearied of the conflict.

All of the "economic assistance" should have went to the freed slaves and their families, so as to make the transition to freedom.
 
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No amount of "carrots" would have worked. Government handouts were never going to make the ingrained racist slaveholding culture change.

The rest of the country had already figured out, on its own, how to gradually emancipate their slaves over the decades. The slave states were too addicted to race-based societal and labor systems.

In the post-war, the disloyal dead-enders deserved sticks far more than they deserved carrots. But the country had wearied of the conflict.

All of the "economic assistance" should have went to the freed slaves and their families, so as to make the transition to freedom.
More recent history suggests otherwise as pointed pointed out by John, as we have rebuilt far more racist countries quite successfully, though it involved including them and aiding them.

It's rather human nature if you want something, you have to be willing to give something. Simply dictating against other people's will, simply causes resentment, gaining little.
 
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DanSBHawk

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More recent history suggests otherwise as pointed pointed out by John, as we have rebuilt far more racist countries quite successfully, though it involved including them and aiding them.

It's rather human nature if you want something, you have to be willing to give something. Simply dictating against other people's will, simply causes resentment, gaining little.
"Far more racist?" I don't think we want to go there. And the forum rules prevent it at any rate.

The US spent way too much time, and money, and blood, "giving" to the Slaveholders. And offering them compromises. The time for that was done.
 
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Indeed racial genocide is generally ranked worse.

And fine, and thats why reconstruction failed, you got what you wish then. However if one wanted a better outcome for reconstruction with civil rights, they needed to pursue a different policy.
 

DanSBHawk

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Indeed racial genocide is generally ranked worse.

And fine, and thats why reconstruction failed, you got what you wish then. However if one wanted a better outcome for reconstruction with civil rights, they needed to pursue a different policy.
What I wish? No, what I wish is the post-war and reconstruction would have been all about justice, rather than appeasing disloyal whites.
 
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What I wish? No, what I wish is the post-war and reconstruction would have been all about justice, rather than appeasing disloyal whites.
Again that's why it failed, justice has to have the support of those enforcing it. Simply making demands of what they didn't want, while providing no incentives to motivate change, resulted in a rather predictable result.

Indeed it was little different then FSL, you can't simply legislate other people's opinion, as they just refuse to enforce it, as justice is defined by your peers.
 

DanSBHawk

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Again that's why it failed, justice has to have the support of those enforcing it. Simply making demands of what they didn't want, while providing no incentives to motivate change, resulted in a rather predictable result.

Indeed it was little different then FSL, you can't simply legislate other people's opinion, as they just refuse to enforce it, as justice is defined by your peers.
"Incentives to motivate change."

I'm sorry, but considering the previous decades leading up the war, that is a ridiculous fairy-tale notion.
 
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"Incentives to motivate change."

I'm sorry, but considering the previous decades leading up the war, that is a ridiculous fairy-tale notion.
It's was indeed a fairy tale, as the north hadn't provided any incentive. Post war they had the opportunity, but dropped the ball. So we have the historical result.

If one thinks reconstruction turned out well they should defend those policies. If one thinks it didn't, then other policies then the failed ones would have offered different possibilities. Personally think it could have been improved on, if you don't it's noted.
 
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