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Reconstruction

Reconstruction was one of the most important parts of American history. It lasted for a few decades, but its implications are still felt in our time in 2013. The evil, unfortunate assassination of Abraham Lincoln was the ending of an era. Lincoln evolved from believing in a colonization plan for Black Americans to him embracing more of an abolitionist position. By the end of the war, he was for abolition, but he was still questioning on what to do with freed black human beings. Vice President Andrew Johnson was no Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was not perfect, but he was much better than Johnson. Andrew Johnson was a stone cold racist. Class, race, and other factors influenced the history of Reconstruction. Reconstruction began when the Civil War was over in 1865. The South has been devastated by war (It reaped what it has sown. It is what it is). The Southern Confederate evil leaders wanted slavery to continue forever, but thank God that they were defeated once and forever. Communities have been displaced. African Americans were legitimately freed from the bondage of slavery. It was a long time coming. New challenges and new debates arose in the American consciousness. A lot of human beings focus just on the 20th century to research the civil rights struggle, but the struggle for civil rights was definitely fought in the time of Reconstruction. You can make the case that the golden era of the civil rights movement (from 1954 to 1968) was like a Second Reconstruction. Now, after the Civil War, three constitutional amendments were passed, which have a huge resonance in the human rights movement. They were the 13th Amendment that ended slavery, the 14th Amendment that gave African Americans citizenship, and the 15th Amendment that gave African Americans males the right to vote (it would be decades later that women would be allowed to vote in the USA). Reconstruction was a time when emancipated slaves or freed brothers and sisters had guns in their hands. They wanted political and social equality. They fought for the redistribution of land and towards political liberty. The old order of the Old South was turned upside down. The land was owned once by big proprietors, whom many of it was stolen from Native Americans. Southern lands were controlled by the federal government and the military, because Southern state governments were extremely weakened as a product of the Civil War.

In one of many conventions of African Americans, Frederick Douglass helped to pen the following appeal to give black human beings the right to vote:

In the ranks of the Democratic Party, all the worst elements of American society fraternize; and we need not expect a single voice from that quarter for justice, mercy, or even decency. To it we are nothing; the slaveholders everything. How stands the case with the great Republican Party in question? We have already alluded to it as being largely under the influence of the prevailing contempt for the character and rights of the colored race[we want] the complete abolition of the slavery of our racewe cannot be free while our brothers are slaveswe want the elective franchise in all the states now in the Union (Frederick Douglas 1864 speech to an abolitionist convention in Syracuse)

An Unique History on the Founding Fathers

The reactionaries always use faux history as a means to prop up their own agenda. They accept free market extremism like austerity as a cure for the recession. They love continuing the old health care dysfunctional system (including the sick view that you are on your own). They claim to believe in the Framers, but even they would disagree with them on some issues. The reality is that Framers wanted the U.S. Constitution to allow the federal government to have sufficient authority to do what is necessary to promote the general welfare of the nation (including protect the nation). Many Framers never believed in a rigid states' rights philosophy where the federal government was so constrained in their power base at all. Many Framers like George Washington, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Gouverneu Morris (who authored the famous Preamble) all believed that a vibrant federal government was needed to control the squabbling states. These states once pushed the Articles of Confederation, which almost lead the new country on the brink of disaster. The Tea Party crowd followed the views of the AntiFederalists, who said that the new federal structure would cause the cause the states to be bounded under the central government and endanger slavery in the South. Many of the AntiFederatists opposed the Constitution. So, this small government ideology being allied with the Framers collectively is conclusively exposed as a fiction. We do not need austerity, free market fundamentalism,

etc. Yet, the reality is that key drafters of the Constitution were staunch advocates of a strong central government invested with all the necessary powers to build a young nation and to protect its hard-won independence. Article One, Section Eight authorized a series of powers, including to provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States and To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers. In Federalist Paper 44, Madison expounded on what has become known as the elastic clause, writing: No axiom is more clearly established in law, or in reason, than that wherever the power to do a thing is given, every particular power necessary for doing it, is included. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, Madison wanted a greater concentration of power in the central government. He wanted to give Congress the authority to veto state laws. This proposal was watered down into declared federal statues the supreme law of the land and giving federal courts the power to judge state laws unconstitutional.

The Tea Party crowd, the libertarians, and the Republican reactionaries are ideological descendants of the Anti-Federalists. The Anti-Federalists wanted to protect slavery as a means to
disagree with the strong federal Constitution. Led by pro-slavery Southerners like Patrick Henry and George Mason, the Anti-Federalists warned that the Constitution would concentrate so much power in the federal government that it would lead inexorably to the eradication of slavery. In battling the Constitutions ratification in 1788, Patrick Henry warned his fellow Virginians that if they approved the Constitution, it would put their massive capital investment in slaves in jeopardy. Imagining the possibility of a federal tax on slaveholding, Henry declared, Theyll free your n____s! Patrick Henry was never a paragon of liberty or equality, because he wanted slavery to exist in America forever. Similarly, George Mason, Henrys collaborator in trying to scare Virginias slaveholders into opposing the Constitution, is recalled as an instigator of the Bill of Rights, rather than as a defender of slavery. A key freedom that Henry and Mason fretted about was the freedom of plantation owners to possess other human beings as property. As historians Andrew Burstein and Nancy Isenberg wrote in their 2010 book, Madison and Jefferson, the hot button for Henry and Mason was that slavery, the source of Virginias tremendous wealth, lay politically unprotected. Besides the worry about how the federal government might tax slaveownership, there was the fear that the President as the nations commander in chief under the new Constitution might federalize the state militias and emancipate the slaves. Mason repeated what he had said during the Constitutional Convention: that the new government failed to provide for domestic safety if there was no explicit protection for Virginians slave property, Burstein and Isenberg wrote. Henry called up the by-now-ingrained fear of slave insurrections the direct result, he believed, of Virginias loss of authority over its own militia. James Madison later compromised as a means to appease Jefferson and the Anti-Federalists. The Anti-Federalists (like the Tea Party crowd now) pose as populists, but they were funded by the aristocracy (rich slaveholders then and corporate billionaires like the Koch Brothers including Rupert Murdoch today). In both movements, there also has been an undercurrent of racism, pro-slavery then and hostility to the nations demographic changes and African-American president now. Thomas Jefferson was an antiFederalist who wanted the South to continue slavery as a means to grow agricultural interests in the South. Jefferson, the coddled son of a wealthy plantation owner, preferred a philosophic or romantic view of revolution. Yet, he never fully confronted its human horrors and practical challenges. His experience representing the United States in France were marked by both his lavish lifestyle at the fringes of Louis XVIs court and a blind enthusiasm for the bloody French Revolution. Hamilton despised slavery

while Jefferson loved it and viewed blacks as innately inferior, which is a lie. Hamilton saw no problem with a multiracial society. Hamilton was more abolitionist than even John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. Hamilton was not perfect, but he supported Toussaint L'Ouverture of Haiti. Toussaint was the black African who freed Haiti from

French imperialist oppression and bondage. Thomas Jefferson and his political allies falsely accused Hamilton and the Federalists of being secret agents of Great Britain (and wanted the Constitution to be replaced with a monarchy). Even Thomas Jefferson as Vice
President under Adams devised states' rights views of nullification and even secession. Jeffersons supposed commitment to a view of the Constitution as limited to the specific powers enumerated in Article One, Section Eight also was cast aside in 1803 when Napoleon offered to sell the Louisiana Territories to the United States. Though the Constitution had no provision for such a purchase, Jefferson and Secretary of State Madison suddenly found new merit in the Constitutions elastic necessary and proper clause. The Louisiana Territories also opened up more agricultural land and thus the need for more slaves. The Federalists shrank into a narrow regional party in New England and eventually disappeared. Their abolitionist principles and pro-government attitudes suppressed for decades. Thomas Jefferson

was a hypocrite by claiming to be for the ideal that all men are created equal, but expressing racism and sexually taking advancing of a young female named Sally Hemmings. A person like that will never have my admiration at all. Further marginalizing the Federalists, Jefferson continued to solidify his political movement, ensuring 24 consecutive years of Virginian control of the White House, with Jefferson followed by James Madison and James Monroe. Today, we see the reactionaries wanting free-market
extremism to austerity in the face of recession to letting 30 million Americans suffer without health insurance the Tea Partiers are convinced they are doing whats right because it is what the Framers enshrined in the Founding Document. If that misconception is shaken, the Right will have nothing left to sell the American people, except perhaps bigotry and nihilism.

We know that there are legitimate criticisms about the White House. Now, the following information is not about that. This is a about the illogical, bigoted folks in the GOP that hate President Barack Obama personally in an evil way. Many reactionary Republicans in Congress want to even cripple the U.S. government if the first African American President Barack Obama doesn't submit to their demands. Now, this doesn't represent all Republicans. Some Republicans want to do the right thing, but this just describes the extremists. Some Republicans want to use gerrymandering for the purpose of trying to continue to have a majority in the House. They want to filibuster if necessary. There are many possible fiscal crises in the fall. Some Republicans have threatened to shut down the federal government or even default in the national debt. The GOP has been responsible with sugarcoating the health reform law. Some of them want to devastate funding for food stamps, environmental advancements, transportation, education assistance, and other domestic programs. These are tough bills, Rep. Harold Rogers, RKentucky, who heads the House Appropriations Committee, told the New York Times. His priorities are going nowhere. Many reactionaries believe that minorities, women, immigrants, etc. are undeserving of certain rights or services. Many of them gloat over the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial (where he murdered an unarmed black teenager named Trayvon Martin). Some FOX News pundits even mocked the outrage of the verdict from the African American community and Obama's personal expression of sympathy. This is not a post racial America. This time is a signal that we should refute the views of the reactionaries. We must defeat the goals of the reactionaries completely. They want to take back America to a regressive time. The reality is that the modern Republican Party has been mostly white and the nation's minorities have turned more and more to the Democratic Party outlines a dilemma for the GOP (in shattering their image of racial tolerance). This new crypto-fascism by the reactionaries is nothing new. The Republicans who are extreme do not want compromise or execute revolutionary changes. They want to sink the world's economy via an U.S. debt default if they do not get their way. Either we have white supremacy as a system in

the world or we will defeat it. We must defeat white supremacy and replace that system with JUSTICE plain and simple. The size-of-government narrative is just a euphemistic

way of avoiding the underlying issue of race, a dodge that is as old as the Republic. We know that Thomas Jefferson was a great hypocrite who was a front man for the then South's chief industry of human slavery. Though he had famously declared, as self-evident truth, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, he also was one of Virginias major slaveholders. And he engaged in the pseudo-science of racial supremacy, measuring the skulls of his African-American slaves to try to prove their inferiority, which he did not do I might add. He, Patrick Henry, and George Mason wanted a strong state controlled militia in Virginia as a means to prevent slave revolts. The Southern plantation structure funded his political campaigns.

Thomas Jefferson took a teenage girl named Sally Hemmings around his travels including in France. He exploited a vulnerable girl, which is one of the worst crimes that a man can do. The Federalists believed in a strong federal government while Jefferson was an anti-Federalist. The Federalists also were the ones, particularly Hamilton and Adams, who
demonstrated sympathy and support for Haitis black freedom-fighters, while Jefferson did all he could to undermine their success. Thomas Jefferson (when he agreed with the French Revolution)

was not opened minded to support black men, black women, and black children who were successful in defeating the evil French Empire in Haiti at all. Jefferson sympathized with the Alien and Sedition Acts, which violated free speech and free press. Thomas Jefferson claimed to be for limited government, but he agreed with the imperialist Louisiana Territories acquisition. Many reactionary Southerners back then followed states' rights ideal to the extreme. As University of Virginia historian Brian Balogh noted in his book,
A Government Out of Sight, Southerners asserted an extreme version of states rights in the period from 1840 to 1860 that included preventing aid to disaster victims. Balogh wrote that the South feared that extending federal power even to help fellow Americans in desperate need might establish a precedent for national intervention in the slavery question, as Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne noted in a May 22 column. There were some gains as a product of the Second Reconstruction (of the golden age of the 20th century civil rights movement from the 1950's to the early 1970's). The white reactionary backlash came in the mid 1960's to the next level with Republican Ronald Reagan and others talking about small government and states' rights. The Reagan era reversed many strides made after WWII to open mainstream society to black citizens. There was hostility to even legitimate rights. Today, reactionaries want to make the current Presidency fail not as for a just reason. They want it to fail as

a means to cause states' rights to dominate human rights, to allow imperialism to be more ballistic, and to love laissez faire capitalism without real justice for the poor and suffering in the world. So, we are fighting the system of white supremacy. The enemy hates a multicultural America and they hate the movements for Black Unity also. We have every right to advance progressive economic justice and progressive social justice in the world for all of humanity.
The Tea Party Republicans are something else. They are testing the government shutdown and the credit default crisis to see how much that they can get. The real issue is that the system of white supremacy has been evil and is promoted by the global elite all of the time. Reactionaries readily want a right wing white minority to dominate society. The demographic changes in America (with most Americans being human beings of color soon) will erode the political domains of white conservatives and white racists. We should always believe in the commitment to one person, one vote. Many Republicans do not want to operate within the traditional standards of democratic governance. They want to use corporate money as a means to create policies that limit the vote. The agenda of the reactionaries is expressed by the conservative thinker William F. Buckley in 1957: The white community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas in which it does not predominate numerically. Now, we know that many anti-democratic measures have been made by Tea Party members in state, local, and federal levels of government. That crowd wants to have the requirement of specific photo IDs (and other limitations on voting) in various states (to address the nonexistent problem of in person voting fraud). Studies have shown that such laws will reduce the number of urban minority

voters, the poor, the elderly, etc. who are less likely to have driver licenses and other approved identification. Its there in the reduction of voting hours, which when combined with disproportionately fewer (and less efficient) voting booths in poor and minority areas guarantees long lines and further skews the political power to wealthier white areas. In the pivotal election of 2000, we saw how this combination of factors in Florida suppressed the vote for Al Gore and handed the White House to the national vote the non-victor George W. Bush. There is gerrymandering by Republicans that try to lump minorities and other Democratic voters into one deformed district so other districts have comfortable Republican majorities. This policy and other things contribute to the Republican majority in the House even though Republicans lost the national popular vote in 2012 by about 1.5 million voters. There have been the Republican filibusters coming about as a means to stop Congressional work. Republicans also have found endless excuses to deny congressional voting rights to Washington DC residents. You can probably guess what color skin many DC citizens have and what political party they favor. We know that back in the 19th century, Democrats was the old part of slavery and they use sabotage to advance evils. Reconstruction tried to address the legitimate grievances of African Americans in civil rights and human rights in general. Then, the Democrats of the 1960's wanted to break from the Dixiecrats. These new Democrats and some Republicans supported civil rights legislation that was pushed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other advocates for racial equality. Many Republicans like Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan exploited some of the racist sensibilities among some to gain political power in the South. They used coded language about states rights and hostility to the federal government as a means to get their agenda rolling. Reactionary billionaires know that more and more Hispanics, Asian-Americans and blacks as well as by younger whites who viewed racial bigotry as a disgusting residue from the age-old crimes of slavery and segregation. So, these billionaires use propaganda engines (like FOX, Beck, Limbaugh, etc.) as a means to cause division and agitation. The Tea Party certainly hates it when the federal government promotes the general welfare of society. So, we see the government shutdown and the debt ceiling debate as one of the last efforts of the reactionaries to get what they want (this is the crushing of the public social safety net and the advancement of radical privatization of society).

The Events of Reconstruction

The South, during the beginning of Reconstruction, was changed forever. For 250 years, Black human beings have been enslaved and oppressed by the enemy. The Southern aristocracy then lost their empire and rightfully so. The freeing of the slaves caused an economic disaster for much of the South. These are some of the fruits of the end of the Civil War:

After the war, property value fell. Southern cities, factories, banks, bridges, machinery, livestock, etc. were reduced to rubble. Many have died as a product of the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands of acres of Southern land was either confiscated or left deserted during the war. The federal government had in its possession more than 800,000 acres of confiscated land in 1865 when the war ended.

The slave trading pieces of work should not of have owned slaves in the first place. Reconstruction dealt with how would the newly freed slaves would exist in American society, who would own the lands now, and who would control labor. Freedmen (both black males and black females) saw a

whole new world. They had more freedoms and did not have to worry about being in overt slavery. The new threats dealt with the Klan, economic oppression, and human rights violations. Many former slaves owned guns, and changed their names to titles like General, King, and Queen as a means to demand respect. Black families attempted to reunite with each other. The reason is that one of the worst
crimes of American slavery was that it destroyed many black families in the name of profit. That evil legacy still persists today. Freed slaves constructed new churches, new schools, and other forms of infrastructure in the South including nationwide. The Freedmen organized in organizations, political action groups, conventions, and other means to fight for access to land, the right to vote, and human equality including justice. You can never have equality without justice.

You cant understand about Reconstruction fully without talking about land for black human beings inside of the States. On one time, in January 1865, Freedmen talked with General William T. Sherman. The Freeman wanted their own land. Within a few months 40,000 freedmen were settled on 400,000 acres of what became known as Sherman land. Shermans revolutionary Special Field Order Number 15 made this possible. The order designated forty acres for each family on the South Carolina coast and Georgia Sea Islands. Most freedmen thought Shermans order was a prelude to land redistribution for all. In fact, the issue of land confiscation was to become a key struggle throughout the Reconstruction period. Land is related to power, because you need land as a means to establish infrastructure and growth in general. Freed slaves wanted to plant their own food in their own lands. The military occupied Southern lands until they were on their feet. Abraham Lincoln wanted the South to be united as compassionately as possible while the Radical Republicans wanted justice sent to the South more strongly because of their actions. When Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson was

President. He was one of the most prejudiced and racist Presidents in American history. Andrew Johnson was not only a Freemason, but he started to amnestying former slave owners and weeded radicals out of the Freedmen's Bureau. He pardoned the Confederate traitor and 33rd Degree Freemason Albert Pike (who was the author of Morals and Dogma. We know who he is). Andrew Johnson had a very evil, vicious hatred of black people. Andrew Johnson was a former slave-owner. That is why he never liked the link up of
poor blacks and whites. Johnsons amnesty proclamations were an abrogation of Shermans Field Order No. 15. Forty thousand freedmen were deprived of 485,000 acres of land. Land is a key portion of true liberation not just political action. In the summer of 1865 when Congress was between sessions, Johnson tried to let the former Confederacy back into national politics through the back door. He set up reconstituted Southern state governments and appointed racist conservatives from the South to lead them. Andrew Johnson wanted a quick reconciliation between the North and the South. He wanted the South to resume their position in government. What this essentially meant was re-enfranchising former Confederate generals and officials. It meant not a single Confederate official or officer served a prison sentenceexcept for Jefferson Davis, who served a two-year sentenceor was executed for dragging the country into the bloodiest war in the history of the hemisphere, the height of treason. It meant that war criminals like Nathan Bedford Forrest, the Confederate officer who orchestrated the worst atrocity of the Civil War when more than 200 Black soldiers attempting to surrender at Fort Pillow in Tennessee were massacred, walked free. In the months after the defeat of the South, Forrest went on to organize the Ku Klux Klan. Johnson supported the Southern reactionaries and rescinded Shermans order to give land tracts to freed slaves. Johnson agreed with the Black Codes that oppressed and killed Black Men, Black Women, and Black Children. Tons of black Americans fought back against oppression. In Charleston, South Carolina, for example, more than 2,000 Blacks crowded into a local church to strategize about fighting for their political rights. The Northern industrial

bourgeoisie wanted to exploit Black labor not to create genuine equality just like the Southern racists did not want black humanity to have true equality either. The Radical Republicans fought the Republican industrialists for control. That is why
the Radical Republicans and the moderate Republicans override the vetoes from Andrew Johnson (over the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 14th Amendment, and the Freedmens Bureau funding). Frederick Douglass agreed with suffrage for black human beings. To underline the intransigence of the Southern governments, consider that Mississippi did not ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, until 1995130 years after the war. Congress made some progress in early 1867. The Congress passed three Reconstruction Acts. There was the Union League in the South that tried to organize Blacks and Whites to improve the South. Chapters of the league conducted political activity for the

Republican Party, built churches and schools, launched labor strikes and protests, trained Black political leaders, created armed militias to defend Black communities, and helped to organize and mobilize Blacks to take political office. Many blacks soon were in

Congress and in state governments for the first time in history. Reconstruction was not fully perfect, but it was revolutionary for its time. The racists did not like Reconstruction for obvious reasons. Many of the Northern ruling class viewed
Radical Reconstruction going too far in harming their capital base and the Northern ruling class opposed government assistance. The Northern bourgeoisie was opposed to economic assistance to the poor in the Southdeeming it state-sponsored charity, a thing they did not want applied in the North. They opposed the continued armed occupation of the South again because it constituted government interference. And they universally believed that the Freedmans Bureau amounted to special privileges for African Americans (they wanted to suspend its funding).

The Radical Republicans soon got control for a while for most of Congress and they set much of the tone of Reconstruction. The South was held under military control by Congress. General Grant appointed generals running each district. Former Confederate states had to accept the terms of the Union in order to be readmitted into the USA. Many black Americans wanted 40 acres and a mule. This comes from Shermans Special Order No. 15, which he issued in Savannah in 1865, right after he finished his march through Georgia. That order gave 40 acres of abandoned land and also unneeded old Army mules to newly freed black families. In the summer of 1865, the redistribution of abandoned and confiscated land was Freedmen's Bureau policy supported by the military. The Freedmen's Bureau was a federal agency that assisted freed slaves from 1865 to 1872. It was weaken heavily by 1870. Abraham Lincoln initiated it in 1865. They wanted economic development, agricultural development, and labor rights among black Americans. They wanted legal rights for African Americans. Andrew Johnson tried to cut funds from it and its funding was decreased by 1869. One of the greatest achievements of the Freedman's Bureau was education. African American George Ruby worked as a teacher and as a school administrator including a traveling inspector for the Bureau. He evaluated the performance of Bureau field officers. About 90,000 black Americans were in schools by the end of 1865. Many Republicans dominated Reconstruction governments across the South. The majority of officeholders were white with a significant minority of blacks, based on the support of blacks and some poor whites. Black Republicans became the major focus for

political, social and economic justice in the South. Black human beings wanted more political rights, more schools, more land, more hospitals, more debtors relief, etc. These
things benefited the vast majority of the South, both black and white. Many Black Republicans were in state Congresses all over the Old South indeed. The first African American Congressman was Hiram Revels.

Reconstruction is still a very important historical event. The history of Reconstruction is not the one the movie Gone with the Wind showed. It was not Gone with the Wind fabulous. LOL. Reconstruction outlined an experience of democracy in the South. Reconstruction was a political struggle between nearly freed Black slaves in the South and the oppressor. Early Reconstruction from 1865 to 1867 was no real liberty based reality at all. Many Confederate states were admitted to the Congress with hardly any reservations at all. Many of the planter class maintained their power and privilege. They used violence and the Black Codes, which was nothing more than a continuation of the old slave system. Radical Reconstruction was advanced by numerous Radical Republicans and revolutionary African Americans. Black human beings wanted political and social equality. Many former abolitionists and Northern labor activists feared that the Johnson plan restored slavery with a new face. Northerner capitalists influenced the federal government during the Civil War. Activists and the Freeman fought for some reforms. In the period from 1867 to 1877, there were about 2,000 African Americans holding political office. There were black Senators and House of Representative in that period of time as well. Southern Blacks and poor whites voted for Radical Reconstruction governments. The South soon was more democratized in its state constitutions. There was a system of free and universal public education, penal reforms came, greater rights were given to women, and there were some public welfare institutions. This was without precedent in the South. Giving a freedman 40 acres and a mule did not pass in the South. Land reform and redistribution did not exist since some of the Northern capitalists turned against Reconstruction. The elite banks fought workers wanting an 8 hour day, farmers, and Molly Maguires (fighting for the workers in the mines). So, the ruling class in the North and South worked together in harming black liberty with their Compromise of 1877. That compromise was one of the worst events in the history of the black liberation struggle. It allowed federal troops to be withdrawn from the South. Black rights were violated by violence, intimidation, and fraud. Southern reactionaries ended Reconstruction governments and the achievements of Reconstruction. Economic oppression via sharecropping, etc. ruined the lives of workers in the South. The Dixiecrats and the Northern moderates worked together in trying to block every reform measure that came before Congress even in the 20th century. We know that states' rights was the battle cry of slaveholders of the Confederacy in the Civil War. States' rights have been used as a means to suppress the people in the

state in question (from having slavery or harming workers at the polls). The right of the state historically stands in opposition to the rights of the people. They or the Dixiecrats fought against child labor, they opposed women's suffrage, they hated income taxes on the rich, etc. They hated real labor rights and social welfare. Even today, the South offers a haven for runaway shops from the North. *Reconstruction

taught all of us that revolutionary social change must come mixed with political change as a means to help society.

More on the End of Reconstruction

The economic depression of 1873 harmed the Reconstruction movement. It was a massive economic downturn in American society. It caused economic troubles in the North, South, Midwest, and the West Coast. There was political and economic corruption as well in that time period. There was the growth of the consolidated American state. Thousands of miles of railroad tracks were laid in the South and the West. Some states subsidize the costs of labor and materials. There was a growth of cynicism about government. Some railroad bosses paid out thousands of dollars in bribes to get the lucrative deals involving state subsidized railroads that would be controlled ultimately by private enterprise. Many states spent millions in tax dollars to subsidize railroads even when the work was not guaranteed. The federal

government hypocritically back then was hesitant to give land to freedmen black Americans and poor whites, but it gave more than 180 million acres of land to railroad companies by the end of the nineteenth century. Those in the North and the South were outraged by the open corruption and bribe taking. Reconstruction was in trouble. The

Depression of 1873 lasted until the end of the decade. It harmed the poor and the workers all across
the States. It caused strife and labor disruption. In some Northern mining and railroad towns, officials called up soldiers from the South to put down strikes in the North. Vagrancy laws were passed across the Northnot for the purpose of controlling labor but more to remove the rebellion of the unemployed. The events created a political vacuum. The Southern ruling class came in to seize more power. This planter class relied on the terrorism of the white supremacist groups like the KKK to harm human rights. There were another wave of murders and assassinations. In 1871, the Ku Klux Klan Acts and the Enforcement Acts were passed, which called for legal and military assistance in rooting out the Klan. They were remarkably successful. Hundreds of Klansmen were arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned. Republicans were influential in getting the laws passed in Congress as they wanted to maintain electoral power if disenfranchisement of Blacks came in the South. 4 years later, the government retreated from trying to stop the Klan. Ulysses S. Grant had economic scandals. The Southern elite continued to use assassination, murder, and political coups. In 1875 in Vicksburg, Mississippi, armed whites calling themselves the Whites Partyled by the political elitestruck during municipal elections to oust Republicans and install Democrats. Whites patrolled the streets, shooting Blacks on sight. Within a couple of days, 300 Blacks were killed. Many racist whites

united to intimidate Republicans and blacks from voting. Ballot votes were stolen and stuffed with ballots for Democrats. The Whites Party harmed the Republican vote. When the racist whites could not win the vote, they shot and killed black officeholders and replaced them with white men. The racists scapegoated Black freedmen for the economic problems during Reconstruction. With the federal government refusing to intervene, the racists had a green light to harm the South in Mississippi, South Carolina, etc. There was the electoral compromise of 1877. In the presidential election there were contested Electoral College votes. The compromise was that the Democrats would throw the election to the Republican, Rutherford B. Hayes, if they were guaranteed that Reconstruction would end. Since Hayes ran his campaign on ending Reconstruction, the deal was struck. Hayes was President. He withdrawn the last remaining troops form the South. Reconstruction was a revolutionary era, but it was not an era filled with total justice. The oppressor harmed African Americans, workers,

poor whites, Native Americans, and others during that time period and afterwards. After Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation grew and many courageous human beings fought for liberation. It would not be until decades later until Jim
Crow would be finally defeated overtly. The Second Reconstruction ended overt Jim Crow by the 1960's. We still are fighting battles now in 2013.

Here is a summary of our economic situation in the States:


1). We know that Reaganonomics failed society. Although, the House Republicans among many of their members love it. Some of them took the economy hostage. We need programs as a means to create jobs and rebuilding the middle class and the poor. The reactionary Republicans are licking its wounds about most of the public disapproves of their actions. Some of the Tea Partiers have shown a false narrative on why the U.S. debt has grown and why the economy struggles. We know about the harm done to the economy by many forces. 2). The current $16.7 trillion federal debt is about $11 trillion more than it was when George W. Bush took office. The ex-President George W. Bush was a massive tax cutting and war spending President. Those policies eliminated the surpluses of the Bill Clinton final years and reversed a downward trend in the debt that had threatened to eliminate the debt entirely over the ensuring decade. Amazingly, President Clinton left office in January 2001 with the federal budget in the red by $236 billion and with a projected 10-year budget surplus of $5.6 trillion. The budgetary trend lines were such that Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan began to fret about the challenges the Fed might face in influencing interest rates if the entire U.S. government debt were paid off, thus leaving no debt obligations to sell. Greenspan is an Ayn Rand acolyte. He was first appointed by Ronald Reagan. So, Greenspan allied with Bush Jr. to create massive tax cuts that would mostly benefit the wealthy. This action did not solve the issue of paying off the federal debt at all.

3). Bush left office in January of 2009 after the meltdown of an underregulated Wall Street. Talk of a debt free government was not in the air. The debt increased into $10.6 trillion. It was trending rapidly

higher as the government tried to avert a financial catastrophe that could have brought on another Great Depression. 4). Reagan in 1981 wanted to use supply side economics or trickled down economy. Reagan's tax cuts increased the federal debt which was $934 billion in January 1981 when Reagan took office. When he departed in January 1989, the debt had jumped to $2.7 trillion, a three-fold increase. And the consequences of Reagans reckless tax-cutting continued to build under his successor, George H.W. Bush, who left office in January 1993 with a national debt of $4.2 trillion, more than a four-fold increase since the arrival of Republican-dominated governance in 1981. During 1993, Clintons first year in office, the new Democratic administration pushed through tax increases, partially reversing the massive tax cuts implemented under Reagan. Finally, the debt problem began to stabilize, with the total debt at $5.7 trillion and heading downward, when Clinton left office in January 2001. At the time of Clinton's departure, there was the projected ten year surplus of 5.6 trillion dollars. That means that virtually the entire federal debt would be retired. 5). The Bush Jr. administration fought two major wars without paying for them. By August 2008, the debt was over $9.6 trillion, nearly a $4 trillion jump since Bush took office. This was just before the Wall Street crash. The federal government had no choice to increase its borrowing to avert a global economic catastrophe that could have been worse than the Great Depression. This was before the Wall Street collapse in September of 2008. By January 2009, just five months later, the debt was $10.6 trillion, a $1 trillion increase and counting. Boehner agreed with the Bush tax cuts, the costly Iraq war, and bank deregulation. He denounced Obama for the debt crisis that his own party helped to create. Many deregulation, free trade, and supply policies were facilitated by the Clinton administration. Some of those actions harmed good paying jobs. During the decade of the George W. Bush presidency, the USA had zero job growth. And zero is actually worse than it sounds since none of the preceding six decades registered job growth of less than 20 percent.

6). Even in the 1970's with economic stagflation and political malaise, there was a 27 percent increase in jobs. This was down from 31 percent in the 1960's. Reagan used tax cuts, global free markets, and deregulation. He caused deindustrialization in America. Job growth decreased to 20 percent during the 1980's. More deregulation and free trade agreements came under Clinton. Household net worth declined 4 percent in the last decade, compared to a 28 percent rise in the 1970s. Indeed, across the mainstream U.S. news media, it is hard to find any serious or sustained criticism of the Reagan/Bush economic theories. 7). More generally, there is headshaking about the size of the debt and talk about the need to slash entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare. Instead of paying heed to the real lessons of the past three decades, many Americans are trapped in the Reagan/Tea Party narrative and thus repeating the same mistakes. Reaganomics does not work and now we have gerrymandering by the GOP. It was the federal government that essentially created the Great American Middle Class from the New Deal policies of the 1930s through other reforms of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, from Social Security to Wall Street regulation to labor rights to the GI Bill to the Interstate Highway System to the space programs technological advances to Medicare and Medicaid to the minimum wage to civil rights. Even the Cheney family was lifted out of poverty by the New Deal.

The government has every right to increase taxes on the rich, the ones who have gained the most from cheap foreign labor and advances in computer technology, in order to fund projects to build and strengthen the nation, from infrastructure to education to research and development to care for the sick and elderly to environmental protections. I reject Reaganomics.

Reconstruction was a political time that was short-lived, but its lessons can assist us in our current fight to make a brighter tomorrow for all God's Creation. Yes, I still believe in the Lord after all of

these years. It is RBG 4 Life.

By Timothy

Peace and Blessings to You all.

Shout out to the Real Sisters and the Real Brothers (and real members of the Human Race).
Peace