II. The Overthrow of Reconstruction A. Reconstruction’s Opponents a. Corruption did exist during Reconstruction, but it was not confined to a race, region, or party. b. Opponents could not accept the idea of former slaves voting, holding office, and enjoying equality before the law. B. “A Reign of Terror” a. Secret societies sprang up in the South with the aim of preventing blacks from voting and destroying the organization of the Republican Party. b. The Ku Klux Klan was organized in 1866. 1. It launched what one victim called a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders, black and white. 2. Example: Colfax, Louisiana, massacre (1873) b. Congress and President Grant, with the passage of three Enforcement Acts in 1870 and 1871, put an end to the Ku Klux Klan by 1872. B. The Liberal Republicans a. The North’s commitment to Reconstruction waned during the 1870s. b. Some Republicans, alienated from Grant by corruption in his administration, formed the Liberal Republican Party. 1. Horace Greeley B. The North’s Retreat a. The Liberal attack on Reconstruction contributed to a resurgence of racism in the North. b. The 1873 depression also distracted the North from Reconstruction. c. The Supreme Court whittled away at Congress’s guarantees of black rights. 1. Slaughterhouse Cases (1873) 2. United States v. Cruikshank (1876) B. The Triumph of the Redeemers a. Redeemers claimed to have “redeemed” the white South from corruption, misgovernment, and northern and black control. C. The Disputed Election and Bargain of 1877 a. The election between Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican) and Samuel Tilden (Democrat) was very close, with disputed electoral votes from Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina. b. Congress set up a special Electoral Commission to determine the winner of the disputed votes.
c.Behind the scenes, Hayes made a bargain to allow southern white Democrats to control the South if his election was accepted.d.The compromise led to Hayes’s election and the Democrats’ having a free hand in the South.D.The End of Reconstruction
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