Friday, December 28, 2007
BLACK REPUBLICAN RECONSTRUCTION
BLACK REPUBLICAN RECONSTRUCTION "Black Republican Reconstruction" is an expression used to describe those years during the Reconstruction era after the Civil War in which former black slaves, with the aid of northern carpetbaggers and southern scalawags, won election to political offices throughout the former Confederacy. The term "Black Republican" itself was an expression of contempt used by white southerners to describe white Radical Republicans who aided freedmen in their quest for public office during the late 1860's and early 1870's. During this period, nearly thirty southern blacks won election to the U. S. Congress, while two southern state legislatures (Louisiana and South Carolina) were dominated by black majorities for a brief time. With but few exceptions, however, these black office-holders were used as pawns by the real "rulers" of "Black Republican" governments, the carpetbaggers and scalawags. Southern freedmen were unscrupulously used by Republican politicians to build a viable party machine in the South while never sharing in the spoils of office in proportion to their numerical strength. See also: CARPETBAGGERS and RADICAL REPUBLICANS.