The Facts of Reconstruction eBook

John R. Lynch
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 248 pages of information about The Facts of Reconstruction.
prevent the application of methods which would nullify any organized effort on their part.  In other words, nothing short of an effective national law, to protect the weak against the strong and the minority of the whites against the aggressive assaults of the majority of that race, would enable the minority of the whites to make their power and influence effective and potential; and even then it could be effectively done only in cooeperation with the blacks.  Then again, they seemed to have lost sight of the fact,—­or perhaps they did not know it to be a fact,—­that many leading southern Democrats are insincere in their declarations upon the so-called race question.  They keep that question before the public for political and party reasons only, because they find it to be the most effective weapon they can use to hold the white men in political subjection.  The effort, therefore, to build up a “white” Republican party at the South has had a tendency, under existing circumstances, to discourage a strong Republican organization in that section.  But, even if it were possible for such an organization to have a potential existence, it could not be otherwise than ephemeral, because it would be wholly out of harmony with the fundamental principles and doctrines of the national organization whose name it had appropriated.  It would be in point of fact a misnomer and, therefore, wholly out of place as one of the branches of the national organization which stands for, defends, and advocates the civil and political equality of all American citizens, without regard to race, color, nationality, or religion.  Any organization, therefore, claiming to be a branch of the Republican party, but which had repudiated and denounced the fundamental and sacred creed of that organization, would be looked upon by the public as a close, selfish and local machine that was brought into existence to serve the ends, and satisfy the selfish ambition of the promoters and organizers of the corporation.  Yet there were a few well-meaning and honest white men in some of the Southern States who were disposed, through a mistaken sense of political necessity, to give such a movement the benefit of their countenance.  But the movement has been a lamentable failure in States where it has been tried, and it cannot be otherwise in States where it may yet be tried.  Men who were in sympathy with a movement of this sort took a pronounced stand against the proposed Federal Elections Bill, and used what influence they had to prevent its passage; their idea being that, if passed, it would have a tendency to prevent the accomplishment of the purposes they had in contemplation.

Third, a group that consisted of a still smaller number who were Republicans for revenue only,—­for the purpose of getting office.  If an office were in sight they would be quite demonstrative in their advocacy of the Republican party and its principles; but if they were not officially recognized, their activities would not only cease, but they would soon be back into the fold of the Democracy.  But should they be officially recognized they would be good, faithful, and loyal Republicans,—­at least so far as words were concerned,—­until they ceased to be officials, when they would cease at the same time to be Republicans.  Men of this class were, of course, opposed to the proposed legislation for the enforcement of the war amendments to the Constitution.

Project Gutenberg
The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook