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The Republican Party In The South. Reconstruction winds down. Republican Success?. Their strength was tied to the number of freedmen voting. 14 African Americans were elected to Congress. Including both senators from Mississippi. . Hiram Revels. James Rainey. Pushing the Republican Agenda.

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the republican party in the south

The Republican Party In The South

Reconstruction winds down

republican success
Republican Success?

Their strength was tied to the number of freedmen voting.

14 African Americans were elected to Congress.

Including both senators from Mississippi.

Hiram Revels

James Rainey

pushing the republican agenda
Pushing the Republican Agenda

In order to ensure that freedmen were receiving the recently guaranteed constitutional protections. The North had to take military control of the South.

Military districts were established.

re admittance into union
Re-admittance into Union?

Draft a new constitution for the state in question. This would need to be approved by both congress and the people of the state.

Adopt the “reconstruction amendments” 13-15

republican policies in the south
Republican Policies in the South

Protecting freedmen from KKK violence and encouraging them to use their rights of suffrage.

Modernizing southern society

Creating public school systems for both races

Building a “northern style” judicial system

Updating infrastructure: railroads, hospitals, prisons, etc…

Rebuilding destroyed cities

This required…taxes.

south and taxes
South and taxes

Tax rates were roughly ½ of what they were in the north.

However, that was 3-4x was they had been in the south!

They were also collected regularly, something foreign to southerners at the state level.

Whites felt that this benefitted freedmen and were outraged.


Most southern Democrats believed in “redemption”

Redemption: driving Republicans and the north out of the south and re-establishing the southern way of life.

How? Win elections

How? KKK

reconstruction fades
Reconstruction Fades

Ulysses Grant elected in 1868. Pledged to defeat the KKK and move nation towards reconstruction.

KKK efforts were successful until the Supreme Court declared the “Enforcement Acts” unconstitutional.

Grant soon became sidetracked with other issues.

grant loses focus
Grant Loses Focus

Occupied with dealing with scandal in his own administration.

Occupied with the new fascination of the nation—settling the frontier and relocating Native Americans.

Panic of 1873

north abandons reconstruction
North Abandons Reconstruction

Violence and distraction prompted the North to refocus its assets.

Redeemers pushed their message: low taxes, home rule, and restoration of southern values.

Colfax Massacre

mississippi plan
Mississippi Plan

Mississippi had elected two African-American senators. Mississippi had a black majority.

“Carry the election peacefully, forcibly if we must”.

Grant wouldn’t send in troops to protect voters.

The result…3 districts which had overwhelming majorities for Revels and Rainey in previous elections—now saw 0, 2, and 4 Republican votes.

election of 1876
Election of 1876

Republican dominance was in trouble.

Economy, trouble on the plains, failed reconstruction, were the messages of the Democrats.

Samuel Tilden v. Rutherford B. Hayes

The most controversial election in US History?

Three states were contested—southern states.

A commission made up of a majority of Republicans was appointed to decide those states.

Compromise of 1877…end reconstruction and you can have Hayes in the White House.

was reconstruction a success
Was Reconstruction a Success?

They faced a daunting challenge to restore the confederacy to the union and transform southern society to resemble the north in terms of social attitudes.

To be successful: Republicans would have had to rebuild the southern economy while reshaping the southern social structure.

Were they successful? The hatred and bigotry of slavery would take nearly a century to erode in the south.

positive achievements
Positive achievements

The reconstruction amendments

Union was restored

Schools were built

Families were reunited

Yet…for the most part Reconstruction failed and its long lasting achievements didn’t match the goals. For the rights granted to freedmen won’t be finally realized until the 1960’s…for until then they lived a life of exploitation, discrimination, and segregation.

The South also became a one party region with limited economic success until the 1960’s!