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Politics After the Civil War Radical Republicans advocated extending full civil rights to ex-slaves. Conservative Republicans principally wanted to pursue.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics After the Civil War Radical Republicans advocated extending full civil rights to ex-slaves. Conservative Republicans principally wanted to pursue."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics After the Civil War Radical Republicans advocated extending full civil rights to ex-slaves. Conservative Republicans principally wanted to pursue economic development. Both the Radical and Conservative Republicans agreed that African Americans should have legal equality. Texans sought to reestablish the Democratic rule redolent of that before the war. Most urgent, for them, was to find a way to keep a newly freed black population (estimated by scholars to have numbered about 250,000) in subordination. (See p. 148)

2 Federal Army Enters Richmond, 1864, by Harper’s Weekly, New York

3 News of the Confederate surrender in April 1865 resulted in the disintegration of the army and government in Texas. Servicemen deserted in large numbers, and as the army dissolved, chaos erupted. Disbanding soldiers sacked arsenals and government buildings and confiscated Confederate public property of every sort. Scoundrels capitalized on the general disorder to rob and recklessly kill innocent civilians. Unidentified persons pillaged the state treasury on the night of June 11. Simultaneously, government at the state and local level staggered. (pp. 148-149) Chaos in 1865 1.Disbanded soldiers confiscated Confederate property 2.Criminals committed acts of violence and theft 3.State and local governments were powerless


5 General Gordon Granger - June 19, 1865 1.Declared the acts of the Texas Confederate government illegal 2.Paroled members of the Confederate army 3.Announced that all slaves were free General Gordon Granger


7 Texas was in a stronger position than other southern states 1.Slaves had been moved into the state 2.Trade with Mexico had helped Texas businesses 3.Little wartime devastation Problems at the end of the Civil War 1.Financial distress 2.Property values depreciated 3.Legacy of hatred

8 PRESIDENTIAL RECONSTUCTION President Andrew Johnson offered relatively mild terms for those states which seceded to reenter the Union. He called on them to declare secession null and void, to cancel the debt accumulated during the war, and to approve the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery. However, he did not press further to guarantee the rights of African Americans. Most white Texans who took the oath of loyalty to the United States, as required, could participate in the restoration of home rule. This lenient policy permitted the majority of Texans to assume previous civil rights. (p. 150.) President Andrew Johnson, A Unionist Democrat from Tennessee, succeeded to the presidency on April 15, 1865, after the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

9 Andrew Johnson's Restoration Plan 1.Declare secession null and void 2.Cancel the Confederate debt 3.Approve the Thirteenth Amendment 4.Amnesty program

10 Andrew Jackson Hamilton Hamilton and his supporters worried that those tied to the Confederate past would attempt to regain their former prominence, and duly block efforts to realize civil rights for black persons. On June 17, 1865, President Andrew Johnson appointed Andrew Jackson Hamilton, a former U.S. congressman from Texas and a Unionist who had fled to the North, as provisional governor of Texas. As a part of his ongoing plan to implement what historians call Presidential Reconstruction, Johnson instructed Hamilton to call a convention and undertake the necessary steps to form a new civil government in the state. (p. 150.)

11 Political Parties Position Regarding Freedmen’s Civil Rights Republican Party Unionists Proposed basic civil rights for the freedmen. Conservative Democrats (formerly the Secessionist Democrats) Conservative Unionists Opposed granting any freedoms to blacks beyond emancipation; they favored new legislation specifically restricting the rights of African Americans. See pages 150-151.

12 James Webb Throckmorton Convention Chairperson Governor of Texas On June 25, 1866, the voters approved the Constitution of 1866, which essentially consisted of an amended Constitution of 1845…. (p. 152). 1866 Constitutional Convention 1.Declared secession illegal 2.Repudiated the war debt 3.Ratified the Thirteenth Amendment

13 Federal mandates forced the convention to grant certain rights to blacks 1.Purchase and sell property 2.Sue and be sued 3.Enter into contracts 4.Testify in court in cases involving blacks The 1866 Constitutional Convention denied blacks 1.The right to vote 2.The right to hold public office 3.The right to serve on a jury 4. Public schools

14 The “Black Code” included a contract labor law specifying that laborers wanting to work for more than thirty days would have to enter a binding agreement. Although the “black code” did not mention race specifically, it clearly intended to dictate the way the freemen would earn their living. (p. 154.)

15 A contract labor law specified that the freedmen were to choose an employer and then sign a binding contract if their work exceeded one month. A child apprenticeship law provided that parents could indenture their offspring to employers until the age of 21. The black code legislation prohibited blacks from marrying whites, holding office, and voting. African Americans suspected of being truant from their jobs could be arrested and forced to work on public projects without pay until they agreed to return to their employer. In dealing with whites, African Americans could not make insulting noises, speak disrespectfully or out of turn, dispute the word of whites, or disobey a command. Further, they had to stand at attention when Whites passed, step aside when white women were on the sidewalk, address whites "properly" and remove their hats in the presence of whites. Whites insisted upon this behavior because they continued to believe in white supremacy. In dealing with whites, African Americans could not make insulting noises, speak disrespectfully or out of turn, dispute the word of whites, or disobey a command. Further, they had to stand at attention when Whites passed, step aside when white women were on the sidewalk, address whites "properly" and remove their hats in the presence of whites. Whites insisted upon this behavior because they continued to believe in white supremacy. (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 154.) Black Code Legislation

16 Carpetbagger or Good Freedman Bureau Officer In 1865, the U.S. Congress established the Freedman’s Bureau to help African Americans make the transition from slavery to freedom. White Texans detested the outsiders from the North, looking upon bureau men as “carpetbaggers” who wanted to render the South powerless, as intruders bend on interfering with race relations, and as opportunists working only for the money they derived from their office. “Carpetbaggers” in Texas were not very numerous and played a very minor role in Texas ReconstructionCarpetbagger

17 Freedmen’s Bureau White Texans detested the outsiders from the North. “carpetbaggers” and “scalawags” With only about 70 field agents and subordinates at its full manpower level, the bureau lacked the personnel to help ex-slaves successfully enter society as free persons. Many Texans saw the bureau as an institution thrust upon them by the Radical Republicans E. M. Gregory, the first head of the bureau in Texas, asserted that the freedmen had full legal rights and demonstrated a sympathetic attitude toward their aspirations. This incurred so much protest from Texans that the bureau transferred Gregory to Maryland. (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 155.)

18 How do you reform an enemy who does not want to be reformed? How do you govern those who view you as a detestable outsider? Agents of the Freedman’s Bureau faced formidable opposition in carrying out their work. For example, they had to contend with thugs such as Cullen Montgomery Baker in northeastern Texas (Bowie and Cass counties). Baker claimed his enemies were all carpetbaggers, Texas Unionists and freedmen. Baker killed several such persons before being killed himself in 1869. The southerner’s view that bureau agents were opportunistic carpetbaggers is not substantiated by recent, balanced studies of the Texas bureau. True, some agents were inept. However, many, such as William G. Kirkman, who was stationed in Bowie County in 1867 (and who was murdered by Cullen Montgomery Baker the next year), and Charles E. Culver, enforced laws equally for blacks and whites, refereed labor and apprenticeships contracts, mediated disagreements between the races, and encouraged blacks to be self-sufficient and independent. Overall, agents who served in Texas tended to be men of high principles who worked towards carrying out the intentions of the bureau despite the limitations imposed upon them. Re-evaluating the Agents of the Freedman’s Bureau (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 160.)

19 The Freemen’s Bureau supported the education of former bondspeople. In 1865, the bureau began operating sixteen schools for freedmen in Texas. (p. 155)

20 The Freedman’s Bureau made schooling a high priority, and by 1870 the state managed some sixty-six schools, with an enrollment of more than 3,000 black children; approximately 300 blacks students even engaged in “higher” learning. Black literacy had been reduced in the process, and the groundwork for black education in the state had been established. (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 160.)

21 During Reconstruction, the church emerged as the focal point of the black community. The most popular religious denomination among Texas blacks was Baptists.

22 Numerous situations provoked acts of violence by whites against blacks: Political events (historians find a correlation between political setbacks for anti-Unionist Texans and an increase in violence) Disagreements over labor relations Violation of social codes by blacks A sense of defeatism within the white population Mindless hatred or sadism (“thin the niggers out and drive them to their holes.”) One historian has estimated that close to 1 percent of black men in Texas between the ages of fifteen and forty-nine met a violent death at the hands of whites in the three years following the end of the war. (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 154.)

23 At the national level, Radical Republicans believed 1.Southerners should take an oath of allegiance before voting or hold office 2.The southern states were "conquered provinces" 3.Blacks should have equal civil rights Under Andrew Johnson's Restoration Plan 1.Ex-Confederates controlled the southern governments 2.Black codes limited the rights of freedmen 3.White terrorism

24 1.Divided the South into five military districts 2.Abolished the Restoration governments 3.Required new constitutions with equality for blacks 4.Restricted the political participation of former confederate leaders A series of congressional acts in 1867 established Radical Reconstruction In 1867 Congress implemented Congressional Reconstruction when it passed the Reconstruction Acts. A March 1867 cartoon, following the passage of the Reconstruction Act, shows President Johnson and his southern allies angrily watching African Americans vote. The Reconstruction Acts

25 Congressional (Radical) Reconstruction Between March and July 1867, the U.S. Congress passed a series of new Reconstruction Acts that divided the ex-Confederacy into five military districts, suspended existing state governments, and demanded that the ex-Confederate states write new constitutions with all races participating in the selection of delegates to the constitutional convention. The Reconstruction Acts led to the establishment of the Republican Party in Houston on July 4, 1867. Texas Unionists now joined Congressional Republicans in repudiation of Conservative Democrats. The new constitutions must grant suffrage to black males and permit them to hold public office. (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, pp. 156-157.)

26 General Philip Sheridan Elisha M. Pease

27 The Election of the Constitutional Convention, February 1868 Many black voted (Mobilization efforts of George Ruby and the Union League Many whites refused to participate. They had hoped to scuttle the convention by not going to the polls, for the Reconstruction Acts stipulated that at least one-half of the registered voters had to cast ballots in favor of the convocation before it could convene. The result was the election of delegates (among them ten blacks) sympathetic to Radical Reconstruction. Overall, the Republican party of the era was a frail organization of blacks, native white Unionists, and a few northerners. The Constitution of 1869: 1. granted suffrage and general civil rights to black Texans 2. extended enthusiastic support for the opportunity of all Texans to receive a public education 3. sought to check local- and county-level interference with state laws by increasing the power of the governor (who could appoint people to executive and judicial posts) 4. attempted to keep the railroads from plundering the state’s most valuable asset (its public lands) by prohibiting land grants for internal improvements

28 The Democratic opposition launched a vigorous campaign to undermine the power of black voters. Arsonists victimized centers in which blacks assembled, including offices of the Freedman’s Bureau and Bureau-run schools. An increased number of whites joined the Ku Klux Klan, which made its appearance in Texas about this time; vicious activity became the hallmark of the Klan’s conspiracy against African Americans. Black sections of towns witnessed violence. A VIOLENT REACTION TO CONGRESSIONAL RECONSTRUCTION (Calvert, De León, Cantrell, p. 159.)

29 Targets of white terrorism 1.Blacks 2.Freedmen's Bureau agents 3.U. S. Army

30 A cartoon threatening that the KKK would lynch carpetbaggers, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, 1868.

31 Donald Campbell to Pease, August 25, 1868

32 Ab initio: the belief that all official acts passed under secession to help the Confederacy were null and void.

33 By the time of the election of 1869, the Republicans had split and consequently fielded two candidates. The Radical Republicans chose Edmund J. Davis, who supported the principle of ab initio and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments. Seeking to attract disaffected Democrats, the Moderate Republicans ran A.J. Hamilton, even though he did not believe in much of their program. (p. 161.) Radical Republicans vs. Moderate Republicans The Radical Republicans marshaled the black vote through the efforts of the Union League, in which Ruby’s registration efforts had paid dividends. Moderate Republican A.J. Hamilton Radical Republican Edmund J. Davis The Election of 1869 REPUBLICAN DIVISIONS: After the establishment of the Republican Party in Texas, the state’s Republicans divided into moderate and Radical factions over the issue of civil rights for blacks.

34 Edmund J. Davis first got involved in military affairs in 1859, when as a district judge in South Texas, he accompanied the ranger unit of Captain William G. Tobin during the Cortina wars in Brownsville. As the Civil War approached, he supported Sam Houston and opposed secession. After secession, he refused to take a loyalty oath to the Confederacy and was removed from his judgeship. President Lincoln commissioned Davis a colonel in the Union army. Davis recruited and led the First Texas Cavalry (U.S.), and saw action in Galveston, Matamoros, and the Rio Grande Valley. Promoted to brigadier general in November 1864, he commanded the cavalry of General Joseph J. Reynolds in the Division of Western Mississippi. On June 2, 1865, he was among those who represented the Union at the surrender of Confederate forces in Texas. Source: Texas State Library and Archives Commission ( governors/war/davis-p01.html) governors/war/davis-p01.html This photograph shows Edmund J. Davis in uniform as a brigadier general in the federal army.

35 1.Ab initio: the belief that all official acts passed under secession to help the Confederacy were null and void. 2.Equality for blacks 3.State financing of public schools 4.The use of eastern railroad interests to build railroads in Texas 5.Disenfranchisement of ex-Confederates 6.The division of the state Radicals supported The Election of 1869

36 Some whites could not take the loyalty oath required by Congress and thus were disfranchised. Some Democrats feared that a Democratic victory at the state level would only prolong Reconstruction should the Congress then reject the state’s readmission into the Union. Some Democrats decided to boycott the election and stayed away from the polls. Democrats did not nominate a separate candidate for a variety of reasons: The Election of 1869

37 Texas v. White In March 1869, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a state’s secession from the Union was unconstitutional. This settled the issue of ab initio. All official acts passed under the secession to help the Confederacy were null and void. (p. 159.)

38 Edmund Jackson Davis Governor of Texas from January 1870 to January 1874 Governor Davis organized a state police as well as a state militia, both to be under the governor’s oversight. He also signed a bill financing a public school system with such progressive features as a state superintendent and compulsory attendance. Higher taxes were imposed on property to finance these efforts…. (p. 164.) The Radical Republican Governor Edmund Jackson Davis establishes a policy to bring order to the state, and also establishes the state’s first system of public education.

39 George T. Ruby: Born & educated in the North Educator in Louisiana Arrived in Texas in 1866 Freedman’s Bureau teacher in Galveston Agent for the Freedman’s Bureau Organizer of the Union League President of the Union League (1868) Vice President of the Republican state convention (1868) State Senator from Galveston (1869-1874) Served on several influential committees for the state legislature Matt Gaines: Self-educated former slave Preacher of the Baptist church after the Civil War Courageous advocate for African American causes in the state legislature State Senator Calvert, DeLeón, Cantrell, p. 163. Two black senators and twelve black representatives sat in the Twelfth Legislature (1870-1871): they constituted about 12 percent of the body’s entire membership. Overall, black legislators who served during the era of Reconstruction in Texas amassed political savvy and performed as well as did their black counterparts throughout the South. Black Legislators during Reconstruction

40 Republicans were weakened by 1. Internal divisions 2. White terrorism

41 Governor Davis Faces Strong Opposition Governor Davis’s opponents managed to mold public opinion into associating the Radical administration with corruption and extravagant spending. Recent research suggests that the greatest percentage of the state’s revenue went to law enforcement, the common school system, and frontier defense and that the Radicals were not in fact wasteful with the taxpayers’ money. But Texans (among them the members of the planter class, allies of the Democrats), opposed what they considered arbitrary taxation, while others condemned what they believed to be a central government’s usurpation of local autonomy. As Democrats campaigned in the special congressional election of 1871, they stressed the issues of high taxes, corruption, fraud, and misgovernment. In November of 1872, the Democrats won a majority in both chambers of the State Legislature. When the new legislature met in 1873, it abolished the state police and overthrew Davis’s public school system. (p. 165)

42 Richard Coke (1829-1897) In the gubernatorial election in December 1873, Davis again ran on the Republican ticket, while Richard Coke, an ex- Confederate, campaigned as a Conservative Democrat. During the campaign, Davis highlighted the programs he had initiated, while Coke and his followers talked of “redemption,” of restoring strong states’ rights and of overthrowing the coalition of Republicans and freedmen. Coke took the election 100,415 to 52,141. Edmund Jackson Davis Gubernatorial Election of 1873

43 Composite photo of the 1875 Constitutional Convention, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. THE REDEMPTION NEEDS A NEW CONSTITUTION! With the conservative Democrats back in power, a majority of the state’s citizens wanted to erase all vestiges of Reconstruction, and they demanded the replacement of the Constitution of 1869. A new document, they figured, would overturn Republican successes on behalf of blacks and let the state return to the limited concept of government that had prevailed before the Civil War. Governor Coke eventually convened the constitutional convention in 1875.

44 The Constitution of 1876 included provisions that prohibited the state from chartering banks, empowered the state to regulate corporations and railroad companies, established a state debt ceiling of $200,000, put a strict limit on the maximum ad valorem tax rate, and all but abolished the public school system. Many delegates to the constitutional convention argued that parents should bear sole responsibility for the education of their children. The argument came in part from those who rejected the idea that white landowners should pay taxes for the education of black children. The Constitution of 1876 eliminated the office of superintendent and compulsory education. It also mandated segregated schools. Despite its flaws, the Constitution of 1876 reflected fairly well the political views of most white southerners, displaying a general distrust of activist government and a desire to limit its powers. The constitution of 1876 decentralized government power in the state and greatly weakened public education.

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