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.
the State in satisfaction of the obligations.  In turn they were disposed of at a discount to bankers and brokers by whom they were held until there should be sufficient cash in the treasury to redeem them,—­such redemption usually occurring in from three to six months, though sometimes the period was longer.  To raise the necessary money to put the new machinery in successful operation one of two things had to be done:  either the rate of taxation must be materially increased or interest bearing bonds must be issued and placed upon the market, thus increasing the bonded debt of the State.  Although the fact was subsequently developed that a small increase in the bonded debt of the State could not very well be avoided, yet, after careful deliberation, the plan agreed upon was to materially increase the rate of taxation.

This proved to be so unpopular that it came near losing the Legislature to the Republicans at the elections of 1871.  Although it was explained to the people that this increase was only temporary and that the rate of taxation would be reduced as soon as some of the schoolhouses had been built, and some of the public institutions had been repaired, still this was not satisfactory to those by whom these taxes had to be paid.  They insisted that some other plan ought to have been adopted, especially at that time.  The War had just come to a close, leaving most of the people in an impoverished condition.  What was true of the public institutions of the State was equally true of the private property of those who were property owners at that time.  Their property during the War had been neglected, and what had not been destroyed was in a state of decay.  This was especially true of those who had been the owners of large landed estates and of many slaves.  Many of these people had been the acknowledged representatives of the wealth, the intelligence, the culture, the refinement and the aristocracy of the South,—­the ruling class in the church, in society and in State affairs.  These were the men who had made and molded public opinion, who had controlled the pulpit and the press, who had shaped the destiny of the State; who had made and enforced the laws,—­or at least such laws as they desired to have enforced,—­and who had represented the State not only in the State Legislature but in both branches of the National Legislature at Washington.  Many of these proud sons, gallant fathers, cultured mothers and wives and refined and polished daughters found themselves in a situation and in a condition that was pitiable in the extreme.  It was not only a difficult matter for them to adjust themselves to the new order of things and to the radically changed conditions, but no longer having slaves upon whom they could depend for everything, to raise the necessary money to prevent the decay, the dissipation and the ultimate loss or destruction of their large landed estates was the serious and difficult problem they had before them.  To have the rate of taxation

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The Facts of Reconstruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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