Path Dependency And Counterfactuals
To explain the failure of Reconstruction, I process trace different causal narratives, using both path dependence and counterfactuals in my analysis. As Andrew Bennett and Colin Elman argue, case studies can be valuable for understanding path dependence, as they enable detailed analysis of historical events in ways that are suitable for rare cases and allow for the study of interaction effects, feedback loops, equifinality, and sequencing. If path dependency is in effect, later events, such as the spread of violence, are highly sensitive to previous decisions; solutions that might have worked at the initial stage are less viable over time.
Counterfactuals help scholars assess causal hypotheses by making claims about events that did not actually occur. They are valuable when large-N or even comparative casework is difficult. Counterfactuals are particularly useful when the number of observations of a particular case is low and multiple variables are in play. It is difficult to make definitive claims from counterfactual analysis, however, even when there is a strong understanding of all the potential causal mechanisms in the system. Consequently, my findings are suggestive, not conclusive, particularly when applied to other cases.
Eisenhower Goldwater And Nixon: 19521974
In , Dwight D. Eisenhower, an internationalist allied with the Dewey wing, was drafted as a GOP candidate by a small group of Republicans led by Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. in order that he challenge Taft on foreign policy issues. The two men were not far apart on domestic issues. Eisenhower’s victory broke a twenty-year Democratic lock on the White House. Eisenhower did not try to roll back the New Deal, but he did expand the Social Security system and built the Interstate Highway System.
After 1945, the isolationists in the conservative wing opposed the United Nations and were half-hearted in opposition to the expansion of Cold War containment of communism around the world. A garrison state to fight communism, they believed, would mean regimentation and government controls at home. Eisenhower defeated Taft in 1952 on foreign policy issues.
Eisenhower was an exception to most Presidents in that he usually let Vice President Richard Nixon handle party affairs . Nixon was narrowly defeated by John F. Kennedy in the 1960 United States presidential election, weakening his moderate wing of the party.
|Strength of parties in 1977|
African American Population Distribution 1890
African American population distribution and migration patterns can be traced using maps published in the statistical atlases prepared by the U. S. Census Bureau for each decennial census from 1870 to 1920. The atlas for the 1890 census includes this map showing the percentage of colored to the total population for each county. Although the heaviest concentrations are overwhelmingly in Maryland, Virginia, and the southeastern states, there appear to be emerging concentrations in the northern urban areas , southern Ohio, central Missouri, eastern Kansas, and scattered areas in the West , reflecting migration patterns that began during Reconstruction.
Pietistic Republicans Versus Liturgical Democrats: 18901896
From 1860 to 1912, the Republicans took advantage of the association of the Democrats with “Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion. Rum stood for the liquor interests and the tavernkeepers, in contrast to the GOP, which had a strong dry element. “Romanism” meant Roman Catholics, especially Irish Americans, who ran the Democratic Party in every big city and whom the Republicans denounced for political corruption. “Rebellion” stood for the Democrats of the , who tried to break the Union in 1861; and the Democrats in the North, called “, who sympathized with them.
Demographic trends aided the Democrats, as the German and Irish Catholic immigrants were Democrats and outnumbered the English and Scandinavian Republicans. During the 1880s and 1890s, the Republicans struggled against the Democrats’ efforts, winning several close elections and losing two to Grover Cleveland .
Religious lines were sharply drawn. Methodists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Scandinavian Lutherans and other in the North were tightly linked to the GOP. In sharp contrast, liturgical groups, especially the Catholics, Episcopalians and German Lutherans, looked to the Democratic Party for protection from pietistic moralism, especially prohibition. Both parties cut across the class structure, with the Democrats more bottom-heavy.
Violence And Military Rule
Violence was common throughout Reconstruction. White supremacist groups such as the Klan emerged throughout the South and, through the use and threat of force, intimidated or prevented Black people from voting and paved the way for Democrats opposed to Black equality to gain power.
At its founding in Tennessee after the war, the KKK was initially dedicated as much to amusement as to violence. By 1867, the movement spread and had grown more unified, and for several years, Confederate war hero Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest became its commander in Tennessee. Even with Forrest’s leadership, the KKK is best thought of as a like-minded collection of local groups that initiated most of their violence without informing state or even county Klan leaders. Existing like-minded local groups also took its name, though, in some cases, they preserved their original ones, such as the Red Shirts, the Knights of the White Camelia in Louisiana, the Native Sons of the South, or the Knights of the Rising Sun in Texas. Their primary purpose was political change, not murder. As with most terrorism, the psychological effect of their violence was great. The Ku Klux terror colored nearly every aspect of Southern life and politics, often far beyond the immediate range of terrorist activity, argued one historian.
The Trump Era: 20162020
Businessman Donald Trump won the 2016 Republican primaries, representing a dramatic policy shift from traditional conservatism to an aggressively populist ideology with overtones of cultural identity politics. Numerous high-profile Republicans, including past presidential nominees like Mitt Romney, announced their opposition to Trump; some even did so after he received the GOP nomination. Much of the Republican opposition to Trump stemmed from concerns that his disdain for political correctness, his support from the , his virulent criticism of the mainstream news media, and his expressions of approval for political violence would result in the GOP losing the presidential election and lead to significant GOP losses in other races. In one of the largest upsets in American political history, Trump went on to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
In addition to electing Donald Trump as president, Republicans maintained a majority in the , in the , and amongst state governors in the 2016 elections. The Republican Party was slated to control 69 of 99 state legislative chambers in 2017 and at least 33 governorships . The party took total control of the government in 25 states following the 2016 elections; this was the most states it had controlled since 1952.
Fighting The New Deal Coalition: 19321980
Historian George H. Nash argues:
Unlike the “moderate,” internationalist, largely eastern bloc of Republicans who accepted some of the “Roosevelt Revolution” and the essential premises of President Truman’s foreign policy, the Republican Right at heart was counterrevolutionary. Anticollectivist, anti-Communist, anti-New Deal, passionately committed to limited government, free market economics, and congressional prerogatives, the G.O.P. conservatives were obliged from the start to wage a constant two-front war: against liberal Democrats from without and “me-too” Republicans from within.
The Old Right emerged in opposition to the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt. Hoff says that “moderate Republicans and leftover Republican Progressives like Hoover composed the bulk of the Old Right by 1940, with a sprinkling of former members of the Farmer-Labor party, Non-Partisan League, and even a few midwestern prairie Socialists.
Republican Party Platform Of 1960
The United States is living in an age of profoundest revolution. The lives of men and of nations are undergoing such transformations as history has rarely recorded. The birth of new nations, the impact of new machines, the threat of new weapons, the stirring of new ideas, the ascent into a new dimension of the universe- everywhere the accent falls on the new.
At such a time of world upheaval, great perils match great opportunitiesand hopes, as well as fears, rise in all areas of human life. Such a force as nuclear power symbolizes the greatness of the choice before the United States and mankind. The energy of the atom could bring devastation to humanity. Or it could be made to serve men’s hopes for peace and progressto make for all peoples a more healthy and secure and prosperous life than man has ever known.
One fact darkens the reasonable hopes of free men: the growing vigor and thrust of Communist imperialism. Everywhere across the earth, this force challenges us to prove our strength and wisdom, our capacity for sacrifice, our faith in ourselves and in our institutions.
Free men look to us for leadership and support, which we dedicate ourselves to give out of the abundance of our national strength.
The pre-eminence of this Republic requires of us a vigorous, resolute foreign policyinflexible against every tyrannical encroachment, and mighty in its advance toward our own affirmative goals.
Economic Growth and Business
Lessons For The Global Economy
Lincoln would have well understood the challenges facing many modern emerging nations, particularly large and diverse ones such as China, Russia, India, Brazil, and Indonesia. Of course, the context is different. Today, the forces of economic disruption are generally external rather than internal. The source of turmoil is the rapid expansion of international commerce, finance, communications, and transportation, which is inexorably drawing industrialized and emerging nations together into one large global economy.
Now, as then, we also hear charges of worker exploitation, this time because multinationals have established manufacturing facilities in low-wage countries. And, in another echo of Lincolns time, there are calls for protectionist measures. These come not only from companies and workers in industrialized countries, who must compete with lower-priced goods from emerging economies, but also from companies and workers in emerging economies, who must compete against the industrialized economies more technologically advanced products.
One could benefit by looking to Lincoln and the Republican Congress that came to power with him after the election of 1860. Emerging economies today are unlikely to replicate their policies per se. But much can be learned from the principles that informed those policies:
- Emphasize the good of the national economy over regional interests.
- Tailor your policies to your own national situation.
Reaction To The Attack On Fort Sumter
With the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, followed by President Abraham Lincoln‘s April 15 call for 75,000 volunteers to put the seceded states back into line, public sentiment turned dramatically against the Union.
Historian Daniel Crofts thus reports:
- Unionists of all descriptions, both those who became Confederates and those who did not, considered the proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand troops “disastrous.” Having consulted personally with Lincoln in March, Congressman Horace Maynard, the unconditional Unionist and future Republican from East Tennessee, felt assured that the administration would pursue a peaceful policy. Soon after April 15, a dismayed Maynard reported that “the President’s extraordinary proclamation” had unleashed “a tornado of excitement that seems likely to sweep us all away.” Men who had “heretofore been cool, firm and Union loving” had become “perfectly wild” and were “aroused to a frenzy of passion.” For what purpose, they asked, could such an army be wanted “but to invade, overrun and subjugate the Southern states.” The growing war spirit in the North further convinced southerners that they would have to “fight for our hearthstones and the security of home.”
Black Exodus To Kansas
During Reconstruction freed slaves began to leave the South. One such group, originally from Kentucky, established the community of Nicodemus in 1877 in Graham County on the high, arid plains of northwestern Kansas. However, because of several crop failures and resentment from the county’s white settlers, all but a few homesteaders abandoned their claims. A rising population of 500 in 1880 had declined to less than 200 by 1910.
A page of photographs and a township map from a 1906 county land ownership atlas provide evidence that some of these black migrants still owned land in and around this small village. Their impressive determination in an area with few good natural resou rces has resulted in the only surviving all-black community in Kansas.
1 of 2
Standard Atlas of Graham Co. Kansas, Including a Plat Book of the Villages, Cities, and Townships. Index of families in Nicodemus. Chicago: A. Ogle, 1906. Geography and Map Division, Library of Congress
Bookmark this item: //www.loc.gov/exhibits/african-american-odyssey/reconstruction.html#obj3
Grant And The Government Debt
In the first two years of Ulysses S. Grants presidency, Treasury Secretary George Boutwell helped reduce federal expenditures to $292 million in 1871, which was down from $322 million in 1869. The cost of collecting taxes fell to 3.11 percent in 1871. Grant reduced the number of employees working in the government from 6,052 on March 1, 1869, to 3,804 on December 1, 1871. He also increased tax revenues by $108 million from 1869 to 1872. During his first administration, the national debt fell from $2.5 billion to $2.2 billion. The United States had debt prior to the Civil War, but it increased sharply during the war. One reason for the increase of debt was the selling of bonds to citizens to pay for the war efforts.
On May 19, 1869, Grant protected the wages of those working for the U.S. government. In 1868, a law had been passed that reduced the government working day to eight hours. However, much of the law was later repealed in order to allow day wages to also be reduced. To protect workers, Grant signed an executive order that, no reduction shall be made in the wages regardless of the reduction in hours for the government day workers.
Regional State And Local Politics
The Republicans welcomed the Progressive Era at the state and local level. The first important reform mayor was of , who was elected Governor of Michigan in 1896. In New York City, the Republicans joined nonpartisan reformers to battle Tammany Hall and elected Seth Low . Golden Rule Jones was first elected mayor of as a Republican in 1897, but was reelected as an independent when his party refused to renominate him. Many Republican civic leaders, following the example of Mark Hanna, were active in the National Civic Federation, which promoted urban reforms and sought to avoid wasteful strikes. North Carolina journalist William Garrott Brown tried to convince upscale white southerners of the wisdom of a strong early white Republican Party. He warned that a one party solid South system would negate democracy, encourage corruption, because the lack of prestige of the national level. Roosevelt was following his advice. However, in 1912, incumbent president Taft needed black Republican support in the South to defeat Roosevelt at the 1912 Republican national convention. Brown’s campaign came to nothing, and he finally supported Woodrow Wilson in 1912.
An African American Institution Of Higher Learningwilberforce University
A group of Ohioans, including four African American men, established Wilberforce University near Xenia, Ohio, in 1856, and named it after the famous British abolitionist, William Wilberforce. When the school failed to meet its financial obligations, leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased it in 1863.
The articles of association of Wilberforce University, dated July 10, 1863, state that its purpose was to promote education, religion and morality amongst the colored race. Even though the university was established by and for people of color, the articles stipulated that no one should be excluded from the benefits of said institution as officers, faculty, or pupils on account of merely race or color.
1 of 2
Economic And Governance Collapse In The South
When Reconstruction began, the South was economically devastated. One-fifth of white Southerners of military age, the core of the labor force, had died in the war, and even more had been wounded. Machinery and work animals also had been lost in the war. In addition, emancipation raised the question of who would harvest the crops, which in the past had depended on slave labor. By 1868, however, the plantation economy had begun to stabilize, and the planter class again began to prosper, but many poorer white Southerners faced competition from Black labor.
As dire as the economic situation was for the old order, it was even worse for the newly freed Black population. Slavery, with its rape, brutality, and family separations, had shattered much of the community’s social capital, and land, animals, and equipment were all in the hands of white Southerners. In response, Congress created the federal Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to protect the rights of the formerly enslaved, administer justice, and help them negotiate labor contracts and lease lands.
Yet, the racial power imbalance was profound. White Southerners conspired to prevent the formerly enslaved from buying land or starting businesses. In addition, Democratic newspapers had far more circulation and influence than the new pro-Republican ones , and they dispensed a steady stream of vitriol against the Radicals, at times even publicizing orders for groups such as the KKK. Freedmen’s
Dwight D Eisenhower: Domestic Affairs
Although there were dangerous moments in the Cold War during the 1950s, people often remember the Eisenhower years as “happy days,” a time when Americans did not have to worry about depression or war, as they had in the 1930s and 1940s, or difficult and divisive issues, as they did in the 1960s. Instead, Americans spent their time enjoying the benefits of a booming economy. Millions of families got their first television and their second car and enjoyed new pastimes like hula hoops or transistor radios. Young people went to drive-in movies or malt shops, often wearing the latest fashionspegged pants for men, poodle skirts for women.
he Eisenhower years were not so simple or carefree
As President, Eisenhower thought that government should provide some additional benefits to the American people. He signed legislation that expanded Social Security, increased the minimum wage, and created the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. He also supported government construction of low-income housing but favored more limited spending than had Truman.
Prosperity and Poverty
Even though poverty was widespread, poor people got little attention during the 1950s. It was easier to celebrate the abundance of a booming consumer economy. People who had lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s emphasized the economic security of the 1950s. It was not until the 1960s that affluent Americans rediscovered the poverty amid the prosperity.
Eisenhower and McCarthy
Republicans Dominate The 1920s
The party controlled the presidency throughout the 1920s, running on a platform of opposition to the League of Nations, support for high tariffs, and promotion of business interests. Voters gave the GOP credit for the prosperity and Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover were resoundingly elected by landslides in , and . The breakaway efforts of Senator Robert M. La Follette in 1924 failed to stop a landslide for Coolidge and his movement fell apart. The Teapot Dome Scandal threatened to hurt the party, but Harding died and Coolidge blamed everything on him as the opposition splintered in 1924.
Those Racist Dixiecrats Create Mainstream Republican Policy
But their ideas formed modern GOPs core platform.
In a campaign ad, Democrat-turned-Republican Jesse Helms said racial quotas prevented white people from getting jobs. The lie of racial quotas persists in the GOPs rejection of affirmative action. Racial quotas are illegal.
Take the idea of special interests. Heres Helms view, as a Republican:
Are civil rights only for Negroes? While women in Washington who have been raped and mugged on the streets in broad daylight have experienced the most revolting sort of violation of their civil rights. The hundreds of others who have had their purses snatched by Negro hoodlums may understandably insist that their right to walk the street unmolested was violated. Television commentary, 1963, quoted in The Charlotte Observer.
But you would think that Ted Cruz would have a clearer understanding of the connections between the Dixiecrats and the Republican Party.
Looking to do your part? One way to get involved is to read the Indivisible Guide, which is written by former congressional staffers and is loaded with best practices for making Congress listen. Or follow this publication, connect with us on , and join us on Facebook.
Teaching The Newly Freed Population
Sea-island School, No. 1,St. Helena Island. Established in April 1862.Education among the Freedmen, ca. 1866-70. Broadside. Page 2. Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-107754
Bookmark this item: //www.loc.gov/exhibits/african-american-odyssey/reconstruction.html#obj11
The New Deal Era: 19321939
After Roosevelt took office in 1933, New Deal legislation sailed through Congress at lightning speed. In the 1934 midterm elections, ten Republican senators went down to defeat, leaving them with only 25 against 71 Democrats. The House of Representatives was also split in a similar ratio. The “Second New Deal” was heavily criticized by the Republicans in Congress, who likened it to class warfare and . The volume of legislation, as well as the inability of the Republicans to block it, soon made the opposition to Roosevelt develop into bitterness and sometimes hatred for “that man in the White House. Former President Hoover became a leading orator crusading against the New Deal, hoping unrealistically to be nominated again for president.
Most major newspaper publishers favored Republican moderate Alf Landon for president. In the nation’s 15 largest cities the newspapers that editorially endorsed Landon represented 70% of the circulation. Roosevelt won 69% of the actual voters in those cities by ignoring the press and using the radio to reach voters directly.
Roosevelt carried 46 of the 48 states thanks to traditional Democrats along with newly energized labor unions, city machines and the Works Progress Administration. The realignment creating the Fifth Party System was firmly in place. Since 1928, the GOP had lost 178 House seats, 40 Senate seats and 19 governorships, though it retained a mere 89 seats in the House and 16 in the Senate.
Boutwell And The Treasury
George S. Boutwell: George S. Boutwell served as secretary of the Treasury under Ulysses S. Grant.
Following in line with the Republican Party national platform of 1868, Secretary Boutwell advocated that the national debt must be reduced and the United States return to a gold specie economy. Boutwell believed that the stabilization of the currency and the reduction of the national debt was more important than risking a depression by withdrawing greenbacks from the economy.
On his own, with neither the knowledge of President Grant nor other Cabinet members, Boutwell controversially began to release gold from the Treasury and sell government bonds in order to reduce the supply of greenbacks in the economy. As secretary, he opposed a rapid lowering of taxes and favored using surplus revenues to make a large reduction of the national debt. In 1870, Congress, at his recommendation, passed an act providing for the funding of the national debt and authorizing the selling of certain bonds, but not authorizing an increase of the debt.