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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #127)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 09:53 AM

129. Harping about the corruption of the Grant administration

is neither here nor there, when dealing with the realities of what passed for Reconstruction on the ground.

State governments of that era--north and south--were notoriously corrupt, though I hardly think the corruption of the reconstructed states was any worse than pre-war or post reconstruction.

Among the "carpetbaggers" were hundreds of northern school teachers who went south to found public schools and educate both blacks and poor whites. Go to the National Archives sometime, as I have, and read their accounts--the threats, arson, attempts at murder they encountered, all for the "crime" of wanting to teach people to read and write. The way northern women were reviled as whores by "decent" southern citizens makes very interesting reading indeed. Or check out the Memphis riot of 1865 for an example of the sort of abysmally corrupt and incompetent--and downright racist--city government that was par for the course for many southern cities before the wicked carpetbaggers arrived to corrupt all those poor innocent southerners.

Was all of Reconstruction wonderful, were all the people who participated pristine and honorable? Of course not. But was the era the parody and caricature foisted on us by southern revisionists? Also of course not.

Either way, the process was sadly cut short, and it wasn't until the 1960s that the nation picked up where it had left off in the late 1860s.

Part of that process should have been the trial of the worst traitors and war criminals--Nathan Bedford Forrest among them. Or do you believe we should still be erecting statues and naming state parks after these traitors, thus at least tacitly endorsing their racism and treason, as flying the Confederate flag on state property most definitely endorses a heritage of hate, fear, and apartheid?

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LineLineLineLineLineLineNew Reply Harping about the corruption of the Grant administration
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