Political Violence during Reconstruction; makes it obvious that in many ways the struggles of getting along were far from over. The relationship between the white man and black man was In constant turmoil, and the political problems In the South did not help either. Harsh feelings and an extensive struggle for power was the problems which the united States faced. Many often think of the United States as peaceful after the Civil War was over, but this is far from the truth. Hyde shows how evident it was that unity of this nation was far from being reached.
The carpetbaggers were northerners who supposedly carried all their belongings in a satchel made of carpet material as they came south to exploit the defeated region of the South. The white Southerners gave them this degrading name to them because they wanted to maintain control in the South. The old ruling aristocracy believed that they were born to govern, without question, not only their slaves but the white people too. The local people who supported the Republican Party and what they were trying to accomplish were known as scalawags.
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Scalawags and arbitragers were the names given to those by the white people in the South that wanted to keep running things their way. They did not want things to change. They had a lot of power and control not wanting anything to happen to It. One can only imagine the harsh feelings In the middle of these translators after the Civil War. Along with these harsh feelings came the problems with the lower-class Louisianan in dealing with the planter elite. The lower-class Louisianan wanted to create equality between them and the planter elite in their state. They felt that wings were not fair and change was needed for the better of society.
They were encouraged to reassess their fealty to these planters. Through newspapers and other ways these Louisianan felt that they needed to raise their own crops and be independent from working under these planters. However, these elite planters presented themselves as victims of tyrannical outsiders who sought not to create equality between them but to make the lower class more dominant In order to make them serve the lower classes needs. The lower class may have wanted to know what It was to be served, or they really did Just ant to have an equal opportunity at life.
This proved unsuccessful because of the power and resources the elite planters had already obtained. Another struggle for power resulted in many Florida parishes along with other parts of the country almost immediately after the war was over. Freedman’s Bureau agents under the federal government, Federal soldiers, and blacks all suffered attack after attack from anyone who wanted to. Shootings and stabbings were very frequent and almost nothing was done about them. Local law enforcement that tried o do anything about it resulted in utter failure, and many times it was laughed at.
Insufficient manpower and a slow-moving bureaucracy were so slow to get a case together to prosecute somebody, many other Incidents had already occurred. People that were taken to court were usually let off with absolutely no charges no matter what had happened. Federal authorities were not respected because It was literally a joke to take seriously. They could not enforce any laws because of its vast weakness. With the weakness and lack of any federal and local authorities, two independent ND separate white supremacy organizations were created.
The UK Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camellia were the two major white supremacy organizations. Each group functioned separately with its own set of methods and even purposes. Reports of these groups started to circulate in the late asses. Members of the UK Klux Klan were so obsessively secret that nobody knew for sure if they even existed in some places. Members of the White Camellia openly admitted their existence and even denied any knowledge of the UK Klux Klan. Both of these organizations believed they needed to preserve the superiority of the white race.
The purposes of these organizations did differ greatly. Members of the Knights of the White Camellia committed their lives to defending the social and political superiority of the white and in all places to observe a marked distinction between the white and African races. The UK Klux Klan believed that they must not only make a distinction, but also meet any problems with the black race with death as a traitor. The Klan was more violent than the White Camellia. The White Camellia’s members ere usually looking to keep leadership in the hands of whites.
They controlled a lot of political seats and made up much of the business and professional class. The Klan was mostly younger men who were known as characters who drink and do what they want. Through all of the fighting and struggles that had been going on since the Civil War, many were starting to get used to the idea of fighting as a means to solve their problems. They did not necessarily cause an increase in the amount of fighting internally as a whole for the future, but did cause certain aspects of life to be more seed to the fact of violence.
The argument could go either way, but overall influence of fighting in the future did not affect it that much. Through the writings of Samuel C. Hyde a person really get a grasp of what went on after the Civil War. Problems that were thought to have been solved as soon as the war was over resumed for many years to come. The constant struggle of power mainly of the white men led to so many problems and even death in many cases. One can really get a grasp of the true struggles that went on shaping our nation into what it is today.