I try to write in a clear way but then I become impatient and just start jotting.
Browse my topics here
This is an Eleventy project created from the
Reconstruction; A Concise Historybooks
Reconstruction; A Concise History by Allen C Guelzo
Chapter 1: Nuts and Bolts (pp. 9 - 18) #
Written by an academic so we get a brief discussion in the beginning of which technical terms to describe Reconstruction with. Technical terms for the economy and social systems are used.
The writing is vivid:
- he finally applied the torch
- protection for Black Americans evaporated at the stroke of a telegraph key ("when prez said "we are not longer putting down a rebellion so, go home Union soldiers")
- as if on cue..
- The timing could not have been worse
- The war had wrecked the southern economy beyond most implications of the word wrecked.
I found myself outrage-laughing out loud every four pages or so. (The low mordant guffaw of outrage. )
Nutshell starting point: Reconstruction was overthrown by the resurgent political power of an aristoacy that was bloodied but unbowed.
If Reconstruction had four phases, the fourth phase was 1870 - 1877. This is how long it took, state by state, to elect hardline-Democrat (i.e. hardcore-racist) white regimes, in every state, for the next 90 years.
There was a crazy period of 1865 - 1867: President Johnson sort of a lenient, winking white suburbanite type, letting confederates immediately leak back in, at every level of ownership and governance.
President Johnson was opposed by a 2/3 veto proof Congress, full of abolitionists, now technically called Radicals.
Guelzo describes the rhetoric of Andrew Johnson as first Moses, later Pharoah. He granted one by one all kinds of exceptions and leniencies. His hardest opponents wanted hangings, et cetera, of the rebel confeds.
WhileCongress was out, Johnson (with no authority, since it's not military) appointed state governments to go out and run the states. They were to varying degrees Donfederates.
Back then, senators were appointed by states, so these states tried to send a bunch of anti-reconstructionist to washington.
The local govs started setting up: immunity for ex confed lgislators + "Lets deal with this confed debt" as if it were just a mundane budget issue.
"Traitor" someone shouted during a presidential speech. He shouted back at the heckler and lost lots of public respect.
Nationaaly getting ready to force voiting rights by slaves from north on south, even though three northern states had just voted that down for themselves (so it was farfrom settled, nationally)
Otis Howard, in congress?, makes bureaus so freed men can get fair trials.
Arable land from the belt seized by war, was given to freedmen. 4/5 became white within 15 years.
Freed people had no press, no way for news to easily travel out of the chaos and terror.
Educational levels varied. Some black leaders were Oberlin grads, or the fellow that stole the Navy Boat, driving it right out of the Confederate harbor and delivering it to the north.