After the Civil War, the federal government implanted something called the Reconstruction Era. It was meant to restore what the Constitution called a “republican form of government” to the eleven rebel states that had seceded from the Union. The problem was that the federal government had given legal status to the freed slaves and consequently, any kind of rights for them became intensely controversial in the South. The Reconstruction Era introduced many new programs such as funding for public schools, funding for public improvements like railroad transportation, but it also raised taxes to help to pay for all this. The white people were angry that everything had to be biracial, and the idea of white supremacy spread. There is nothing like a tax raise to anger the public, and the Southern Whites thought they could blame the Negros. The radical Republicans sought stronger laws to upgrade African American rights, while at the same time the Negro population was generally afraid. The Democrats were divided and at war with each other because a part of their party, the southern faction, had led the succession from the Union to form the Confederate States of America. The two factions became seriously split. The Northern members of congress did not accept the Southern congressmen, many who had been high-ranking confederate officers just a few months before. The political wars of that time were not unlike what we see on national news in many countries today, if you exclude the racism factor. Reconstruction was a slow and staggered process.
Andrew Johnson muddled through the remaining days of his presidency after he was almost impeached. He left office after benefiting Southerners with that ploy that is still in use, and granted amnesty to a lot of Southerner officers, including Dr. Samuel Mudd, the controversial physician who had been convicted of participating in the assassination of President Lincoln. The incoming president, President-elect Ulysses S. Grant, refused to allow his family to attend outgoing President Johnson’s birthday party, and even refused to ride in Johnson’s carriage on inauguration day, as was the custom. But neither ever tweeted insults to each other.
Grant, a Republican who had been the Commanding General of the Army at the end of the Civil War, took office as president in 1869. He had openly labeled his predecessor “a national disgrace” and was fearful that Johnson’s differences with Congress would cause another insurrection in the South. He ordered the army that was occupying the South to ship all their arms North so that those arms would not be at risk of being captured by any Southerners. Grant had won the election by a landslide, partly due to his open dislike of Johnson. He lost, however, both in Louisiana and Georgia due to Ku Klux Klan violence against Negro voters. President Grant was the first elected president after the United States had outlawed slavery and he granted full citizenship to former slaves. He also became the first president to condemn atrocities against Jews in Europe, and appointed some Jews to high office.
But, as every president, he inherited a smorgasbord of serious problems. Just to comfort those readers who follow today’s news and think humankind is far worse than it used to be, I will list some of the challenges that he faced. And these are only the major ones.
But going back to prejudice, statues and flags, the white southerners began to demand literacy tests for voting, and this was only 4 years after the Negros had been freed. President Grant, despite all of the above problems he was dealing with, passed a series of laws, called the Enforcement Acts. The new laws outlawed racial discrimination and even made it a federal offense. Since many criminal acts were handled by the states, the Ku Klux Klan was able to escalate their regime of terror with little danger of being punished in the South. They attacked and intimidated Negros, especially those who wanted to exercise their new civil rights. They also attacked politicians who supported those rights. But there were some small victories. In 1870 the first black US Senator was elected in the state of Mississippi and the first black public schools were established. Southerners generally interpreted these advances as anarchy. The Klan became more active, and many white Southerners called for “Redemption” – and by that they meant the return of white supremacy and the removal of rights for Negros. In 1871, Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act, designating certain crimes as punishable under federal law. The new law allowed President Grant to send federal troops to arrest Klansmen. As a result, hundreds of Klansmen were arrested and prosecuted in federal court, or simply fined and imprisoned. The Klan was dissolved at that time. At about the same time, the president restored political rights to former Confederates, once again trying to integrate them into a unified America. Those few who remained in the Klan kept very low profiles and did not really emerge again until 1915.
But the Southerners weren’t open to peace offerings from the Federal Government, and the “Redeemers,” who wanted Redemption as opposed to Reconstruction, slowly gained control of the South, state by state, often using violence and voter fraud. The worst example of this phase happened in 1873, when there was a huge riot because of land disputes in Louisiana and 150 Negros were killed, plus three white people. The South was slipping back into the antebellum era.
New white supremacy groups began to pop up under different names, and the Federal Government and its supporters grew tired of Southern attitudes. Against the president’s wishes, Congress refused to send troops to that part of the country anymore, and instead sent peace negotiators. They also refused to pass any more laws against violence, but they did pass a law that guaranteed Negros access to public facilities. Unfortunately, that law was overturned in 1883.
Ulysses S. Grant finished his two terms in 1877, tired but beloved. Curiously, he finished his actual life in poverty. That was partly due to an overly expensive 1-year-and-7-month world tour he took with his wife soon after he left office, and also because of an investment in a railroad that subsequently failed. But his financial woes were mostly caused by one of his sons, Ulysses Jr. who opened a Wall Street brokerage house with a partner. The former president invested in the company to help his son, but the company soon began to go bankrupt because the partner operated the company as a Ponzi scheme. President Grant asked his personal friend, William Henry Vanderbilt, who was at that time the richest person in America, for a loan, but even that did not save the company. The president and his son, neither of whom had known about the partner’s work ethic, were left penniless. The partner, who had been called the young Napoleon of Finance, was sent to Sing Sing for 6 years. As for the Vanderbilt loan, Ulysses Grant began to sell off his Civil War memorabilia, including his sword, to pay off his debt. He didn’t quite wipe out the debt, and Vanderbilt later bought back what the president had sold, and then returned everything to Grant’s widow after his death. William Henry Vanderbilt is Anderson Cooper’s great-great-grandfather, but Cooper has said publically that his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, has disinherited him (and also that he doesn’t care). Anderson Cooper is highly empathetic to civil rights and human rights and reportedly has a salary of $11 million a year from CNN, aside from bonuses. Sorry for getting so far off the track, dear readers, but it is interesting to learn how prominent people remain connected.
Rutherford B. Hayes became the 19th president of the United States in 1877, at the end of the Reconstruction Era. He was also a Republican and a veteran of the Civil War and had been wounded 5 times while serving as a Union officer in the Civil War. Hayes had been a lawyer before the war and his political career, and had defended slaves who escaped from their former masters. He was elected in one of those only-in-America situations in which there was a dispute about who received more electoral votes and both the Republicans and the Democrats claimed victory. To make a long story short, Hayes’ victory was negotiated in a D.C. hotel and the Republicans promised concessions in exchange for the Democrat’s acquiescence. One of those was that Hayes would not run for re-election. But the primary concession was that the federal government would withdraw federal troops from the south and would not interfere in the election of southern state governments. The first act of the new president was to end Reconstruction; to be fair, he was boxed in and could do little to better peace and civil rights for southern blacks, even if his presidency had not been negotiated. The white Southerners pretended not to recognize his presidency, and his efforts to bring peace and equality to the South were in vain. Rutherford B. Hayes left office 1881, as he had promised.
The Jim Crow laws had been enacted just after the end of the Reconstruction Era by white Democratic-dominated state legislatures, and these laws continued to be enforced until 1965. The Jim Crow laws legalized “separate but equal” status for African Americans in all public facilities in the former Confederate States of America. As was to be expected, facilities for African Americans were always inferior and underfunded by the cities and states. The Jim Crow laws were named after a white actor who had been popular in the 1820s when he performed with his face blackened. Jim Crow became a derogatory term for African Americans. It was another era of second-class citizenship for blacks, and of white supremacy.
You can plate appetizers on or in many things. Fill in the blanks with on or in: Deviled eggs a platter Figs with bacon a plate Spinach & Yogurt dip a bowl Bacon, lettuce & tomatoes toothpicks Chicken croquettes napkins Oysters with turkey bacon a tiered cake plate Cold cuts a breadboard Raw veggies & dips a Lazy Susan Cheese…
Blackberries – Blueberries – Raspberries – Strawberries Nutritious food is nourishing and efficient as food in the sense that it gives you the sufficient amount of nutrients such as vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins that you need to survive. Healthy food is food that promotes good health, in other words, prevents illness and keeps you younger longer. I. All of the berries above are healthy and nutritious. However, according to nutritional content, total carbohydrates,…