Organized mob violence defeated him in 1878 but he

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Chapter 18 / Exercise 01
Cengage Advantage Books: Essentials of the Legal Environment Today
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Organized mob violence defeated him in 1878, but he bounced back to win by decision of Congress a contested congressional election in 1880. He did not leave the House of Representatives for good until 1886, when he lost another contested election that had to be decided by Congress. In their efforts to defeat him, Smalls’s white opponents fre- quently charged that he had a hand in the corruption that was allegedly rampant in South Carolina during Reconstruction. But careful historical investigation shows that he was, by the stan- dards of the time, an honest and responsible public servant. In the South Carolina convention of 1868 and later in the state leg- islature, he was a conspicuous champion of free and compulsory public education. In Congress, he fought for the enactment and enforcement of federal civil rights laws. Not especially radical on social questions, he sometimes bent over backward to accom- modate what he regarded as the legitimate interests and sensi- bilities of South Carolina whites. Like other middle-class black political leaders in Reconstruction-era South Carolina, he can perhaps be faulted in hindsight for not doing more to help poor blacks gain access to land of their own. But in 1875, he sponsored congressional legislation that opened for purchase at low prices the land in his own district that had been confiscated by the fed- eral government during the war. As a result, blacks were able to buy most of this land, and they soon owned three-fourths of the land in Beaufort and its vicinity. Robert Smalls spent the later years of his life as U.S. collector of customs for the port of Beaufort, a beneficiary of the patron- age that the Republican party continued to provide for a few loyal southern blacks. But the loss of real political clout for Smalls and men like him was one of the tragic consequences of the fall of Reconstruction. For a brief period of years, black politicians such as Robert Smalls exercised more power in the South than they would for another century. A series of political developments on the national and regional stage made Reconstruction “an unfinished revolution,” promising but not delivering true equality for newly freed 1863 Lincoln sets forth 10 percent Reconstruction plan, p. 000 1864 Wade-Davis Bill passes Congress but is pocket-vetoed by Lincoln, p. 000 1865 Lincoln assassinated (April), p. 000 Johnson moves to reconstruct the South on his own initiative, p. 000 Congress refuses to seat representatives and senators elected from states reestablished under presidential plan (December), p. 000 1866 Johnson vetoes Freedmen’s Bureau Bill (February), p. 000 Johnson vetoes Civil Rights Act; it passes over his veto (April), p. 000 Congress passes Fourteenth Amendment (June), p. 000 Republicans increase their congressional majority in the fall elections, p. 000 1867 First Reconstruction Act is passed over Johnson’s veto (March), p. 000 1868 Johnson is impeached; he avoids conviction by one vote (February– May), p. 000 Southern blacks vote and serve in constitutional conventions, p. 000
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Cengage Advantage Books: Essentials of the Legal Environment Today
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Chapter 18 / Exercise 01
Cengage Advantage Books: Essentials of the Legal Environment Today
Cross/Miller
Expert Verified

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