History Final Exam Study Guide

Rapier thought the federal government needed to

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mixed school. Rapier thought the federal government needed to create a new agency for the distribution of public land (50 million acres) to propertyless black tenant farmers in order to release them from their debts and make noticeable profits for their work, which they could then do as had with his wealth; redistribute it to various Negro schools, churches, newspapers, and emigration projects. Rapier believed that anyone who supported full citizenship rights for blacks should be allowed participate in the political process and the federal government should allow freedmen easy access to homestead land. Rapier ever stood with these tenant farmers in their struggle for political rights, economic opportunity, and social dignity. 4. What factors were most responsible for the failure of Radical Reconstruction in Alabama? What does Rapier’s changing attitude toward emigration suggest about African-American life in the South during post-Reconstruction period? a. The radical Reconstruction failed in Alabama due to the rapid pace of events following the civil war, attitudes that could be termed radical, a few months later could be called moderate, and then in the next year would be referred to as conservative. By the time Rapier and other black’s came to power in the early 1870’s such ideas as complete disfranchisement of ex-confederates and the redistribution of ex confederate property among freedmen had long since been rejected by congress, the president, and the American people. The issues, then, as Rapier saw them, were how to harmonize the various elements within the Republican party without sacrificing the integrity of the Reconstruction amendments, and how to make a majority of formers slaves landowners. b. Rapier always considered himself a southerner saying “I was born in Alabama and I expect to stay here. However after the realization that he and other black reconstructionists had deemed their goal to be unachievable even after coming to power, he became faced with the idea of a mass migration of blacks out of the south. Rapier liked the idea and was quick to announce he would do anything in his power to promote and keep in motion what became known as the great exodus. This promotion and sudden change of heart on the part of Rapier was brought about in response to such Alabama statutes as “the governors commission to choose grand and petit jurors.” Rapier claimed that it was Alabama statutes such as this that afford the oppression that he and other emigrationist complain of and desire to get away from. He also supported emigration with examples of the failure of state and local governments to provide adequate allocation for Negro education. In fact conditions in Alabama became so bad that most emigrationist had the view that settlement was ok in the south in any other state than Alabama.
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