Few males took part in talk of woman suffrage and redesigning marriage ● It was said the reconstruction was “Negro’s hour” (the hour, that is, of the black male) ● 14th Amendment for the first time introduced the word “male” into the Constitution ● 15th Amendment outlawed discrimination in voting based on race but not gender ● These measures produced a bitter split both between feminists and Radical Republicans, and within feminist circles. ● Some feminists opposed the Fifteenth Amendment because it did nothing to enfranchise women. ● They denounced their former abolitionist allies and moved to sever the women’s rights movement from its earlier moorings in the antislavery tradition. ● On occasion, they appealed to racial and ethnic prejudices, arguing that native born white women deserved the vote more than non-whites and immigrants. ● split in the movement and the creation in 1869 of two hostile women’s rights organizations —the National Woman Suffrage Association, led by Stanton, and the American Woman Suffrage Association, with Lucy Stone as president. ● They would not reunite until the 1890s. ● Reconstruction left the gender boundary largely intact ● When women tried to use the rewritten legal code and Constitution to claim equal rights, they found the courts unreceptive ● Free labor principles, the justices declared, did not apply to women, since “the law of the Creator” had assigned them to “the domestic sphere.” Radical Reconstruction in the South- “The Tocsin of Freedom” ● Among former slaves, the passage of the Reconstruction Act inspired an outburst of political organization ○ African Americans staked their claim at equal rights during mass gatherings ■ Inspired direct action to remedy long-standing grievances ■ Sit-ins for desegregated streetcars in cities across the south ■ Plantation workers organized strikes in support of higher wages ○ Ellen Watkins Harper ○ James D. Lynch ● Union league = organization closely linked to the Republican Party and the vast majority of African Americans who were registered to vote ○ Many black representatives in congress came out of this organization ● By 1870, all confederate states were admitted into the Union ○ In this region where republicanism rarely existed - it was now fully under republican control ● The new constitutions of these states were created with black representation, so they were a step in the right direction from those existing before and during the war ○ Greatly expanded public responsibility ○ Established the region’s first state-funded systems of public education and created
new prison systems, orphan asylums and homes for the insane ○ Guaranteed equality of civil and political rights and abolished practices of the antebellum era ● A few states originally barred some confederates from voting but this policy was quickly abandoned by the state governments The Black Officeholder ●
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