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History 104 - Mark Graffia HIS 104 Reconstruction Presence...

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Mark Graffia 1/30/2008 HIS 104 Reconstruction Presence of Union troops made sure the freedmen could act as freedmen. When the troops marched home, guarantees of freedom had to take place at the State level. One power of the State government is the Police power. Freedmen were very interested in controlling State and Local police. Other State powers include: courts, right to a fair trial by jury (not an all white jury), schools. The best way to ensure that the freedmen could control the state powers was to vote (15 th amendment). If the southern whites are successful in preventing the freedmen from voting the south will become majorly democratic. Republicans are looking at extinction as a party, shared interest in seeing that the black’s can vote. The only sure way to let the freedmen vote is to send the troops back. Made the southerners hate Yankees, and the troops had already been there for 12 years. Troops return home, and southern whites surround the polling areas and refuse to let freedmen vote. Southerners are armed and trained from civil war, they are dangerous. Freedmen lost through force and intimidation. Whites called them selves “redeemers,” and set up “Redemption” governments. They wanted makes sure that freedmen couldn’t exercise their new rights, but needed to be subtle about it so that northern troops didn’t come back. White southerners wanted to make sure the freedmen and their children do not get educated, the answer is having no public schools. This is the reason that the American south school districts are the worst nationwide. Private schools are opened and because they are private they can discriminate and they can have a high tuition. Redeemers changed tax laws, made taxes low. This made an excuse for the reason of no public schools or welfare. The number one thing that was taxed was land. Redeemers want to make sure that freedmen can not become economically independently, taxes on seeds, farming tools, furniture, mules, etc. This was to guarantee a cheap, local, reliable labor force. Law to make criminals do community service ensures cheep labor force. Crimes like not paying taxes and vagrancy (loitering, not working) would land you in a chain gang. In some southern states vagrancy is a felony (even in present day) and if you are tried and convicted of a felony you are striped of your right to vote. Redeemer’s gained control and remained in control all the way up to the 60’s. Industrial Revolution in the north, you need an educated work force. Machines have manuals which need to be read. The south pays a price for not having a public education system. However, the south was famous for the textiles industry and cigarettes. Republicans run the force bill through congress, any men denied the right to vote will result in a decrease in representatives in congress.
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