Most scalawags were non-slaveholding white farmers from the upland region, as well as
urban and small town artisans, who were wartime Unionists and who sought to prevent
the rebels from reclaiming power. In the early Reconstruction period, the scalawags
composed a substantial minority of the population in Arkansas, North Carolina, and
Tennessee. Throughout the region, they composed an important if small group, because
they were in many respects the swing vote between the almost equally divided Blacks—
who voted overwhelmingly Republican—and the rest of the Southern whites, who were
But the scalawags experienced the same factionalism and corruption that plagued many
political parties of the period, preventing them from creating an attractive alternative to
the racist appeals of Southern whites. Their failure, along with the federal government
withdrawal and the decline of Northern interest or sympathy, brought about not only the
end of Reconstruction, but the beginning of a solidly Democratic Southern government
that employed racial politics to maintain its firm grip on the electorate.
References section (at end of paper):
Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11).
Society in Reconstruction
. Retrieved May 2, 2018,
(Shmoop Editorial Team, 2008)
RACE IN RECONSTRUCTION
Ku Klux Klan Organized
The Klan has been described by historian Clarence E. Walker as one of the "original
American terrorist organizations."
Most white Southerners viewed literacy, political equality, or any advancement for
Blacks as a loss to whites. Terrorist groups like the Klan, the Knights of the White