Northern Reconstruction

After black soldiers fought for the Union, Yankees felt compelled to make them their equals

American North

More than any other factor, it was the war against the Confederacy and the triumph of the Radical Republicans in the Union that set the North down the long road to becoming the integrated multiracial society that is so resented by White Nationalists.

Here’s an excerpt from Eric Foner’s Reconstruction (review coming in December or January) about how White racial attitudes were changed in the North during the postwar years:

“Partly because of Congressional measures that applied throughout the country, and partly due to actions at the state and local level, the decade following the Civil War witnessed astonishing advances in the political, civil, and social rights of Northern blacks. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 and postwar amendments voided laws barring blacks from entering Northern states, testifying in court, and voting, and were successfully employed by individuals pressing damaging claims against railroads and streetcars that excluded them altogether or barred them from first-class compartments. Although state courts generally held that segregated facilities, if truly equal, did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment, discrimination in transportation faded in many parts of the North. Pennsylvania’s legislature prohibited streetcar segregation in 1867 and New York Republicans six years later enacted a pioneering civil rights law that outlawed discrimination in public accommodations. Blacks also gained access to public schools in state that had previously made no provision for their education. Some cities with sizable black populations, like New York and Cincinnati, maintained separate schools, but others, like Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee, not only operated integrated systems but occasionally employed a black teacher. In a few states, integrated education now became the norm. Michigan’s legislature outlawed school segregation in 1867 (although Detroit’s school board refused to comply for four years), and the state university admitted its first black students in 1868. And Iowa’s Supreme Court ruled separate schooling a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.”

Perhaps this was inevitable for a group mostly derived from the tiny black business class and representing a politically marginal constituency (blacks still comprised less than 2 percent of the North’s population). Although black politicos won seats in the Massachusetts and Illinois legislatures, most, with no realistic prospect of elective office, found themselves beholden for position to patronage from white Republicans.

Nonetheless, blacks now found the North’s public life open to them in ways inconceivable before the war. A recognition for their claim to equal civil and political rights had become so much a part of what it meant to be a Republican that no fewer than 90 percent of the party’s voters in New York State supported equal suffrage in an unsuccessful 1869 referendum.”

The North was only 2 percent black when the Radical Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (the first federal civil rights law in American history) which repealed the state laws in Indiana, Illinois, and Oregon which excluded or heavily fined the settlement of free blacks.

Before the War Between the States, Southern planters often came to the North to capture fugitive slaves and bring them back to the South. In response, Northern states like Massachusetts (the citadel of abolitionism) passed “personal liberty laws” to nullify the Fugitive Slave Act and keep a small and growing black population in the North.

In the space of twenty years (1860 to 1880), everything from black citizenship to black voting rights to black state legislators to repeal of the anti-miscegenation laws to repeal of the laws that banned free black settlement to integrated public education became the norm in the Northeast and Midwest.

Yankees had won the war. In every conceivable way, they proceeded to reconstruct the Union in their own image. What had previously been a New England regional peculiarity (i.e., black citizenship) was now enshrined in the Constitution in the form of the 14th Amendment.

The constitutional foundation had been laid for the mass migration of African-Americans to the Northern states. For several decades, it seemed as though Reconstruction would survive in the South, but after the Jim Crow system was created in the 1890s and 1900s, millions of blacks would start moving to Northern states like Michigan and Illinois.

About Hunter Wallace 9671 Articles
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12 Comments

  1. “…that set the North down the long road to becoming the integrated multiracial society that is today.”

    Exactly correct to point out that we live in a multiracial society. The word multicultural is just a code word for multiracial, and realizing this is a good way to discover more ways to deconstruct the savage society that has demeaned our own future.

    Obviously “multicultural” has a kind of warm, inclusive sound, but it is a Big Lie…it is an exclusive, punitive “multiracial” nation that is being prepared for us.

  2. I think it’s worth noting that racial tensions rose, and race riots even occurred, when large numbers of blacks began moving north as a result of Jim Crow. Even Yankees have their limits.

  3. So basically it comes down to this.

    The Yankees demolished Jim Crow because they were sick of having the negroes flock to their previously pristine northern cities. Once they realized the magnitude of their negro problem, they upped the ante and inflicted BRA upon us all.

    They were too late as Detroit blew up in their faces right after…in 1967. Poetic justice…and why the Yankees began to move south to the “Sun belt” in the 70’s. Didn’t you just love those Boston bus riots back then? The people that always “knew better” than us…
    …elected Barack Obama just to show us that once again.

    We need a free and independent South immediately. Before they get any new ideas.

    Deo Vindice

  4. Exactly the reason I think Massachusetts is perfect for a sort of holding camp for deportees, concentration camp if you desire. The geographic size, the historical responsibility. The welcoming atmosphere to the oppressed – so long as it’s the correctly imagined oppression. It’s all there. As bad as NYC is, Boston should be the home of the statue that welcomes the refuse and teeming masses that turn civilizations into Detroit and Atlanta.

  5. Massachusetts just passed a transgender civil rights bill. I think they have gay marriage there. They have a Negro governor. Patrick is trying to favor illegals in a thousand ways. It is almost as bad as Britian there.

  6. Yup- The repeal of everything up to and including the 14th Amendment, must be a goal that we will not back down from, will not shirk from implementing and will achieve- even if it takes 100 years.

    Of course, secession from Yankeedom would accomplish the same thing. Deo Volente!

  7. “In every conceivable way, they proceeded to reconstruct the Union in their own image.”

    How then did Jim Crow exist from 1876 to 1965 if the Yankees set about reshaping the Union in their own image? The answer is they didn’t. It wasn’t until after WWII, a war whose Southern support was unequaled in any region of the US, that the human rights discourse reached a tempo, in the culture of critique, unmatched by any era in US history. After the war even George Wallace supped at the well of the moderates on issues of race. The New Dealers in the South, who supported FDR at unprecendented levels despite his promotion of a civil rights agenda (Executive Order 8802, “The order required all federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination as to “race, creed, color, or national origin.” )like Samson brought down the house of Jim Crow upon their own heads in wanton acts of myopia. 8802 was followed by Executive Order 9981; “there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin” , followed by Executive Order 11246 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

    Incredibly, the Southern support for FDR never diminished despite his clear Unionist sympathies.

    “President Roosevelt publicly criticized Lindbergh’s views on neutrality three months later during a White House press conference on April 25, 1941, as being those of a “defeatist and appeaser” and compared him to U.S. Rep. Clement L. Vallandigham (D-OH), the leader of the “Copperhead” movement that had opposed the American Civil War.”

  8. How then did Jim Crow exist from 1876 to 1965 if the Yankees set about reshaping the Union in their own image? The answer is they didn’t.

    (1) The Jim Crow system didn’t emerge in the South until after the Plessy decision in 1896.

    (2) The Yankees abolished slavery and made blacks into American citizens. In 1860, blacks were citizens in five New England states. Blacks had lost voting rights in New York and Pennsylvania in the 1820s and 1830s. They also lost ground in the North (outside of New England) in the 1850s.

    (3) Reconstruction was violently overthrown in the South.

    (4) In the North, Reconstruction was not violently overthrown. Instead, the Northern states passed a ton of new state laws to conform to the Reconstruction Amendments and the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

    It wasn’t until after WWII, a war whose Southern support was unequaled in any region of the US, that the human rights discourse reached a tempo, in the culture of critique, unmatched by any era in US history.

    (1) If you check the Jim Crow History website, you will find that the Yankees continued to pass laws at the state level throughout the entire Jim Crow era that banned segregation and outlawed racial discrimination and racial defamation.

    (2) As late as 1890, Henry Cabot Lodge was pushing the Federal Elections Bill.

    (3) Northern Republicans continued to support “civil rights” through the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century.

    (4) Northern Republicans repeatedly pushed for the federal anti-lynching bill in that period.

    (5) The White House wasn’t resegregated until the Wilson administration.

    (6) The Republicans ran against FDR on a civil rights plank on three separate occasions in 1936, 1940, and 1944. Wendell Wilkie even wrote a book called “One World.”

    (7) WW2 changed racial attitudes in the North and West, but not the South. In the aftermath of WW2, the South became even more committed to the defense of segregation and white supremacy than it was before the war.

    After the war even George Wallace supped at the well of the moderates on issues of race.

    George Wallace lost to John Patterson who sued the New York Times and attempted to ban the NAACP in Alabama. In the Senate, Claude “Red” Pepper (Florida), Frank Graham (North Carolina), and Al Gore Sr. were thrown out of office.

    The New Dealers in the South, who supported FDR at unprecendented levels despite his promotion of a civil rights agenda (Executive Order 8802, “The order required all federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination as to “race, creed, color, or national origin.” )

    The Republican Party, the Party of Lincoln, had been the party of “civil rights” in America since the 1860s. Southerners voted for FDR because voting for the Republicans wasn’t an option because of their liberal position on race.

    It is true that Northern Democrats began to support “civil rights” in the 1930s which had traditionally been a Republican position. In 1948, the Democratic Party adopted a civil rights plank for the first time. That is what caused the Dixiecrat revolt.

    like Samson brought down the house of Jim Crow upon their own heads in wanton acts of myopia.

    Not really.

    After the Truman administration, the South was forced to choose between two Northern dominated parties that were equally committed to “civil rights reform.”

    Northern Democrats like Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota led the fight for the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Northern Republicans like Dwight Eisenhower or Earl Warren weren’t any better on “civil rights.”

    Incredibly, the Southern support for FDR never diminished despite his clear Unionist sympathies.

    Who was the South supposed to support? The Republican Party campaigned against FDR over his position on civil rights.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wendell_Willkie#Civil_rights_activist

    Willkie spoke often of the need to uplift blacks and addressed a convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1942, one of the most prominent politicians to do so up to that time. When a violent race riot broke out in Detroit on June 20, 1943, Willkie went on national radio to criticize Republicans and Democrats for ignoring “the Negro question.” He said, “The desire to deprive some of our citizens of their rights — economic, civic or political — has the same basic motivation as actuates the Fascist mind when it seeks to dominate whole peoples and nations. It is essential that we eliminate it at home as well as abroad.” During this time, Willkie also worked with Walter White, executive secretary of the NAACP, to try to convince Hollywood to change its portrayal of blacks in the movies.

  9. The end of Reconstruction and the withdrawal of Union troops was a compromise over the Hayes presidency. The primary responsibility for individual election rights fell to the states and in the South they were not enforced. Jim Crow thus began with the Hayes compromise and given legal sanction later by Plessy. However, the point that the Union was remade in the Yankee image doesn’t withstand scrutiny because the civil rights legislation was passed at the state level. At no time did NY and MI join forces to demand Alabama invoke similar legislation. Neither did the Feds nor did the Supreme Court as Plessy demonstrates. The Yankee state legislatures, the Yankee federal gov’t nor the Yankee dominated courts did not engage in attack upon Southern state legislatures until after WWII.

    “WW2 changed racial attitudes in the North and West, but not the South. In the aftermath of WW2, the South became even more committed to the defence of segregation and white supremacy than it was before the war.”

    How can this be true when the South, alone amongst all regions of the US, pushed incessantly for war against Germany. Despite this alleged commitment to segregation and white supremacy the South blindly and continually supported FDR’s push to unleash the egalitarian Yankee behemoth upon Germany supporting a doctrine put forth in the FDR administration of the total annihilation of the German people. This is an administration, overwhelmingly supported by Southern voters that over-saw the starvation of at leastr a million German POWs post war. This is an administration, which up to 95% of the Southern electorate, sent back to Washington time and again, that sat silent while over two million German women and children were brutally raped by the beast of Bolshevism. This is the same Southern people who bemoaned the atrocities of Sherman and Grant but were quite willing to aid and abet the slaughter and degradation of millions of Germans, fellow white supremacists, through crimes of which were never seen in the darkest moments of the fall of the Confederacy. And despite this we are to believe that the South was “committed to the defence of segregation and white supremacy”. It boggles the mind.

  10. (1) The withdrawal of Union troops from the South in 1877 wasn’t the beginning of Jim Crow. Mississippi didn’t pass its pioneering constitution until 1890.

    The Supreme Court did not uphold the constitutionality of segregation until 1896. Alabama didn’t pass its new constitution until 1901. There was integration and black voters and black congressmen in the South until the 1890s and 1990s.

    (2) The Southern states did not immediately pass Jim Crow laws at the time because the North had not entirely given up on Reconstruction. As we have already seen, Henry Cabot Lodge was pushing for the Federal Elections Bill in 1890.

    (3) There were hundreds of thousands of black voters in Louisiana until the 1890s. There was widespread integration in the South throughout the 1880s. Only a handful of segregation laws were passed in the 1880s and their constitutionality was still in question at the time.

    (4) Michigan and New York fought for the Union which (1) abolished slavery in the South, (2) made blacks into citizens, and (3) gave them equal rights under the Constitution in the form of the 14th Amendment and 15th Amendment. Northern troops were also used to suppress the Klan.

    (5) Northern Republicans continued to support “civil rights” (they passed dozens of civil rights laws at the state level) and they continued to push for the federal anti-lynching law (it was defeated several times) throughout the early twentieth century.

    They were unsuccessful because the South had succeeded in marginalizing the black vote in the 1890s and 1890s and because the Northern wing of the Democratic Party recovered some of its previous strength during the Gilded Age.

    (6) I don’t know why you keep making this bullshit argument. The only reason the South was “more supportive” of entering WW1 and WW2 is because Irish and German immigrants who were opposed to England overwhelmingly settled in the North and West and that skews the poll numbers of the respective regions.

    (7) As I have already shown, the South always voted for the Democratic Party because the Republican Party was identified with Yankees and Reconstruction and especially with civil rights and negro equality.

    (8) FDR’s government was controlled by the Northern wing of the Democratic Party. FDR himself was from New York State. The previous Democratic candidate for president was Al Smith from New York State.

    (9) The North had been an integrated society since the 1870s. Northern states had been passing “civil rights laws” since the 1860s. The North voted 9 to 1 for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    (10) Ever since the 1860s, the South has been forced to choose between two Northern dominated political parties: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party.

  11. Southerners did not perceive the war on Germans AS IT IS PORTRAYED in propaganda today, obviously. That propaganda (the German as white supremacists, just like the evil southerners) did not exist yet, but only came later.

    They were fighting centralized power in government in Germany (in their perception of the time, were fighting for “states rights” at that time in another context.)

    They were against centralized power. When southern commentators talk, like even someone like Alex Jones, you can hear that they are framing that war in this way (even despite the years of propaganda, saying Germans are evil blonde-blue white supremacists, just like all the southerners.)

    Germany, for many Americans, represented Centralized Power and the corruption (and dangerous power grabs since power is so centralized) that it brings— the wild swings from “right” (fascism in the sense of corporatist-militarist like the “neo-cons”) then to the “left” (the various socialist factions, from crypto to open). Like, the demo-republican “swings” the u.s. experiences.

    One of the strangest things i heard mexican activists yelling in the streets has been “it’s our turn”— that perception that people “take turns” running societies. Completely upside-down, of an organic society that then works for the people.

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