Most scalawags were non slaveholding white farmers

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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 Democratic. 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. APA Style References section (at end of paper): Shmoop Editorial Team. (2008, November 11). Society in Reconstruction . Retrieved May 2, 2018, from In-line reference: (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
Camelia, the Red Shirts, and several others formed during Reconstruction to maintain the preexisting social order of white supremacy in the South. X ShmoopTube Membership and Activities After bribery failed, their members—led by merchants, Democratic politicians, and planters—used violent coercion to eliminate their competitors, white and Black. These groups recognized that Reconstruction had to be undermined so that the experiment would fail and that Blacks would never again receive such an opportunity. When Klansmen kidnapped and whipped Georgia Representative Abram Colby in 1869, he claimed to know who they were. As Colby testified three years later to a Congressional Committee investigating the matter, some of the individuals involved were "first-class men in our town," doctors, lawyers, and farmers. They broke into his home, kidnapped him, took him to the woods and made him remove his clothes. They whipped him for at least three hours "with sticks and straps that had buckles on the ends of them," and then left him for dead. Such cases weren't uncommon. White men would line up to whip and burn Black men who'd been made to strip and tied to rocks. White women participated by sewing the white robes and hoods that the Klansmen used as disguises.

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