hist 1302- u5 lesson 16 - CH 16 New South Beginnings The New South began to emerge almost as soon as the remaining federal troops were removed from

hist 1302- u5 lesson 16 - CH 16 New South Beginnings...

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CH 16 New South Beginnings The New South began to emerge almost as soon as the remaining federal troops were removed from the South in 1877 and continued well into the twentieth century. Compromise of 1877 In the Compromise of 1877, Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement regarding the future of the southern states. Republican party leaders promised to remove the last remaining Union troops from the region if Democrats from the South allowed Republican Rutherford B. Hayes to win the presidency after the disputed 1876 election. By this agreement a southerner would be admitted to the cabinet, monies would be made available for internal improvements, and the process of elections would be left up to the southern states. The Compromise of 1877 allowed a take-over of the last remaining southern state governments by Democrats, ending the nation’s experiment with a federally inspired Reconstruction that had provided new state constitutions, public education, and the protection of voting rights for freedmen. The Redeemers Men and women weaving in the White Oak Mill in Greensboro, North Carolina, 1909. Photo from the National Museum of American History. By the 1880s, a Democratic majority reigned in every southern state, and southerners called it Redemption. The new Democratic office holders were known as Redeemers because they redeemed the South from federal intervention. For the most part, these New South leaders came from the middle classes. They were lawyers, businessmen, and industrialists, while a few were planters with large estates. Most had served the Confederacy, and thus they cashed in on their military service and their loyalty to the Lost Cause. Redeemers were interested in increasing economic opportunities for southern businessmen and industrialists and maintaining a docile black labor for agriculture. As governors and legislators, they worked to keep taxes low, and encouraged the building of railroads, textile mills, tobacco factories, steel plants, lumber industries, and coal and phosphate mining companies, and promised a labor force that would accept low wages. The legislators offered generous land grants and tax reductions to companies that would locate in the South or to southern capitalists who wanted to start up industries. They did not spend as much effort on improving the economic condition of farmers, although they did help large landowners with laws to keep sharecroppers working on the land. Redeemers and State Governments Harper’s Weekly cartoon by Thomas Nast showing the fate of African Americans in the South. Redeemers re-crafted state constitutions, lowered taxes on land, and cut expenses wherever they could, underfunding such important endeavors as public education as well as state supported institutions for the blind, deaf, and mentally challenged. Redeemers cleverly gained power by railing against the “excesses” of the Republican dominated Reconstruction governments (1867-1877), running racist campaigns, touting the virtues of white

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