Political corruption the misuse of public office for

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Political Corruption—The misuse of public office for political gain. During Reconstruction, South Carolina’s state government was plagued by corruption. Representatives often took bribes, lied to their constituents, and spent tax money freely (the state debt tripled in less than three years). Inefficiency and corruption both led to thedownfall of the Republican Party.Public Education—Schooling that is provided by the government, paid for by taxes, and usually available to all state residents. Prior to the Civil War, a respectable system of public education was virtually non-existent in South Carolina. The Constitution of 1868 made early attempts to establish public education, and the creation of new prep schools and land-grant colleges exploded during the late 1800s.Philanthropy—The voluntary effort to improve human welfare, usually be charity or donations. During Reconstruction, many wealthy Northerners used their money to help rebuild the war-torn South. A great deal of this money was used to promote the standing of freed slaves and African Americans.Ku Klux Klan—A secret society of white citizens organized during Reconstruction to intimidate African Americans. Ku Klux Klan members hoped to prevent African Americans from voting and participating in America’s democratic system, and they did it through acts of terror (i.e. lynching).Republican Party—Political party after the Civil War made up primarily of northerners, northern sympathizers, and African Americans. This party had supported the abolition of slavery prior to and during the Civil War, so it easily won the support of freed slaves during Reconstruction. Because the African American population outnumbered the white population in South Carolina, the Republican Party rose to power during Reconstruction and extended new freedoms (i.e. the right to vote) to African Americans.Democratic Party—Political party after the Civil War made up primarily of white farmers and ex-Confederate soldiers. Because the African American population outnumbered the white population during Reconstruction, the Democratic Party fell out of power (most African Americans belonged to the Republican Party).Racial Tensions—A huge problem in South Carolina during the Reconstruction Era. The end of the Civil War also brought an end to slavery, and the number of freed slaves greatly outnumbered the white population. African Americans were given the right to vote for the first time during Reconstruction, and they used their superior numbers to gain political power. This led to extreme racial tensions throughout South Carolina.8-5.3 Events to Know…Election of 1876—The gubernatorial election of 1876 in South Carolina pitted Republican Governor David Chamberlain against Democrat Wade Hampton. It was a dirty campaign on both sides. In the end, the election was so close that both men declared themselves winners. Eventually, the federal government had to step in, and Wade Hampton was declared to be the only true governor. This decision marked the end of Reconstruction in South Carolina.

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