Were Southern whites disfranchised during Reconstruction?

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
I am reminded of a former members quote on this topic from a long time ago.

"If you wish to secede, be sure you succeed."

It infers there will be consequences if one fail at an attempted rebellion. Being disfranchised comes across as rather mild when compared to other rebellions, especially when one considers just how quickly Southern whites were welcomed back into the national political arena so soon after trying to destroy the nation from which they originally came.

Just an observation.
Yes, it’s quite clear that former Rebels were disenfranchised. One should not conflate being a rebel with being white but we see that conflation all too often. To answer the OP, no- “whites” were not disenfranchised, rebels were an a consequence of their rebellion. How is that either a problem or difficult to understand?
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
"We had 40,000 loyal votes in Tennessee, and 80,000 rebel votes; and we disfranchised the 80,000 rebel votes, and we are now holding them back from the ballot-box....I am North, making arrangements to procure arms and ammunition. We have the boys at home; we have 30,000 men there who have been in the Federal army….our Legislature is square up with the Radical Congress of the United States…" -from a speech by Governor Brownlow (New York Times, September 12, 1866)
Again, this does not address the OP. We all know that former rebels were disenfranchised as they should have been. The op asks if whites were disenfranchised, the answer is no. Stop conflating the two. The quote you posted literally says “we disfranchised the 80,000 rebel votes” yet says nothing about white votes. I’m sure Governor Brownlow wasn’t disenfranchised, was he white?

Thank you for using an historical source to prove my point. Much appreciated.


Is it your contention that “rebel” and “white” are synonymous?
 
Last edited:

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Again, this does not address the OP. We all know that former rebels were disenfranchised as they should have been. The op asks if whites were disenfranchised, the answer is no. Stop conflating the two. The quote you posted literally says “we disfranchised the 80,000 rebel votes” yet says nothing about white votes. I’m sure Governor Brownlow wasn’t disenfranchised, was he white?

Thank you for using an historical source to prove my point. Much appreciated.


Is it your contention that “rebel” and “white” are synonymous?
"says nothing about white votes"

Doesn't need to. At the time (1866) only whites could vote in TN.
 

GwilymT

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 20, 2018
Location
Pittsburgh
"says nothing about white votes"

Doesn't need to. At the time (1866) only whites could vote in TN.
Then it’s quite obvious that whites were not disenfranchised. Thank you for answering the OP’s question with a primary source that illustrates it perfectly and I wholeheartedly agree with you- whites were NOT disenfranchised. Rebels, however, were.
 
Top