Carpetbaggers & Scalawags - American Civil War In general, the term “carpetbagger” refers to a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a satchel (or carpetbag) of possessions, and who attempts to profit from or gain control over his new surroundings, often against the will or consent of the original inhabitants. After 1865, a number of northerners moved to the South to purchase land, lease plantations or partner with down-and-out planters in the hopes of making money from cotton. At first they were welcomed, as southerners saw the need for northern capital and investment to get the devastated region back on its feet. They later became an object of much scorn, as many southerners saw them as low-class and opportunistic newcomers seeking to get rich on their misfortune.
TENANT FARMING AND SHARECROPPING When the Civil War ended, the big question concerned the state of the freed slaves of the South. Recovery of the southern economy depended on getting the freedmen back into the cotton fields. During the period of Reconstruction the Radical Republicans in Congress tried to convert the freedmen into small free-holding farmers, but the former slaves were simply not ready to manage their own farms. What emerged out of necessity was southern farm tenancy, a system of near slavery without legal sanctions. Instead of working in gangs as they had on antebellum plantations, the freedmen became tenants. In the decades after Reconstruction tenancy and sharecropping became the way of life in the Cotton Belt. As farm tenancy grew, a tenancy ladder evolved. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of farmers fell down the tenancy ladder rather than moving up it. Sharecropping and tenancy remained accepted as a normal part of southern life until the Great Depression. BIBLIOGRAPHY: David E. David E.
Sharecropping Sharecropping was an agricultural labor system that developed in Georgia and throughout the South following Reconstruction and lasted until the mid-twentieth century. Under this arrangement, laborers with no land of their own worked on farm plots owned by others, and at the end of the season landowners paid workers a share of the crop. Origins Sharecropping evolved following the failure of both the contract labor system and land reform after the Civil War (1861-65). The contract labor system, administered by the Freedmen's Bureau, was designed to negotiate labor deals between white landowners and former slaves, many of whom resented the system and refused to participate. Sharecropping developed, then, as a system that theoretically benefited both parties. Though the system developed from immediate postwar contingencies, it defined the agricultural system in rural Georgia for close to 100 years. The Labor System Land was not, however, the only thing sharecroppers needed from the owners.
About Sharecropping About Sharecropping SharecroppingTrudier Harris A practice that emerged following the emancipation of African-American slaves, sharecropping came to define the method of land lease that would eventually become a new form of slavery. Without land of their own, many blacks were drawn into schemes where they worked a portion of the land owned by whites for a share of the profit from the crops. They would get all the seeds, food, and equipment they needed from the company store, which allowed them to run a tab throughout the year and to settle up once the crops, usually cotton, were gathered. As a theme in literature, sharecropping stretches from the late nineteenth century into the contemporary era. Sharecropping as an impetus to migrate north occurs in some of the works of Richard Wright and John O. Alice Walker's characters would find sharecropping equally inescapable in The Third Life Of Grange Copeland (1970). From The Oxford Companion to Women’s Writing in the United States.
Passage of the Fifteenth Amendment . U.S. Grant: Warrior . WGBH American Experience Harper's Weekly Magazine An illustration of blacks in line to vote At the time of Ulysses S. Grant's election to the presidency in 1868, Americans were struggling to reconstruct a nation torn apart by war. Republicans' answer to the problem of the black vote was to add a Constitutional amendment that guaranteed black suffrage in all states, and no matter which party controlled the government. The writers of the Fifteenth Amendment produced three different versions of the document. Determined to pass the amendment, Congress ultimately accepted the first and most moderate of the versions as the one presented for a vote. Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment on February 26, 1869. All eyes turned toward those Southern states which had yet to be readmitted to the Union. Finally, on March 30, 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment became part of the Constitution.
14th Amendment | Constitution | US Law Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. Section 3. Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. Section 5.
American Experience | Reconstruction: The Second Civil War | Black Legislators The Civil Rights Act of 1866 granted citizenship and the same rights enjoyed by white citizens to all male persons in the United States "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." President Andrew Johnson's veto of the bill was overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the bill became law. Johnson's attitude contributed the growth of the Radical Republican movement, which favored increased intervention in the South and more aid to former slaves, and ultimately to Johnson's impeachment. 1866 Civil Rights Act 14 Stat. 27-30, April 9, 1866 A.D. CHAP. XXXI.An Act to protect all Persons in the United States in their Civil Rights, and furnish the Means of their Vindication.
The Civil Rights Bill of 1866 | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives Image courtesy of Library of CongressA New York state politician for more than a decade, Representative Henry Raymond served only one term in the House of Representatives.
Ku Klux Klan - Facts & Summary In 1915, white Protestant nativists organized a revival of the Ku Klux Klan near Atlanta, Georgia, inspired by their romantic view of the Old South as well as Thomas Dixon’s 1905 book “The Clansman” and D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film “Birth of a Nation.” This second generation of the Klan was not only anti-black but also took a stand against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners and organized labor. The Great Depression in the 1930s depleted the Klan’s membership ranks, and the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944. Sharecropping and tenant farming Sharecropping was common throughout the South well into the twentieth century, and required the work of entire families. In this famous photograph, a six year-old girl picks cotton in Oklahoma. (Photograph by Lewis W. Hine. After the Civil War, thousands of former slaves and white farmers forced off their land by the bad economy lacked the money to purchase the farmland, seeds, livestock, and equipment they needed to begin farming. Tenant farmers usually paid the landowner rent for farmland and a house. Sharecroppers seldom owned anything. Over the years, low crop yields and unstable crop prices forced more farmers into tenancy. Next: Life on the land: Voices
Reconstruction - American Civil War At the outset of the Civil War, to the dismay of the more radical abolitionists in the North, President Abraham Lincoln did not make abolition of slavery a goal of the Union war effort. To do so, he feared, would drive the border slave states still loyal to the Union into the Confederacy and anger more conservative northerners. By the summer of 1862, however, the slaves themselves had pushed the issue, heading by the thousands to the Union lines as Lincoln’s troops marched through the South. Their actions debunked one of the strongest myths underlying Southern devotion to the “peculiar institution”–that many slaves were truly content in bondage–and convinced Lincoln that emancipation had become a political and military necessity. In response to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed more than 3 million slaves in the Confederate states by January 1, 1863, blacks enlisted in the Union Army in large numbers, reaching some 180,000 by war’s end.
WGBH American Experience . U.S. Grant: Warrior . Rise of the Ku Klux Klan Herb Peck A KKK Member At the time of Ulysses S. Grant's election to the presidency, white supremacists were conducting a reign of terror throughout the South. In outright defiance of the Republican-led federal government, Southern Democrats formed organizations that violently intimidated blacks and Republicans who tried to win political power. The most prominent of these, the Ku Klux Klan, was formed in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1865. Racist activity in the South often took the form of riots that targeted blacks and Republicans. In this violent atmosphere, the Ku Klux Klan grew in size and strength. White Southerners from all classes of society joined the Klan's ranks. In the time leading up to the 1868 presidential election, the Klan's activities picked up in speed and brutality. Across the South, the Klan and other terrorist groups used brutal violence to intimidate Republican voters. In the 1868 presidential election, Republican Ulysses S.
Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan, with its long history of violence, is the most infamous - and oldest - of American hate groups. Although black Americans have typically been the Klan's primary target, it also has attacked Jews, immigrants, gays and lesbians and, until recently, Catholics. Over the years since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, although in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies. Started during Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War, the Klan quickly mobilized as a vigilante group to intimidate Southern blacks - and any whites who would help them - and to prevent them from enjoying basic civil rights. After a short but violent period, the "first era" Klan disbanded after Jim Crow laws secured the domination of Southern whites. Klan glossary AKIA: A password meaning "A Klansman I Am", often seen on decals and bumper stickers. Alien: A person who does not belong to the Klan.