Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865-1877

By William Archibald Dunning | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
THE CLIMAX OF RADICAL RECONSTRUCTION (1869-1872)

THE prestige accruing from the result of the Geneva arbitration was very welcome to the Grant administration; for at the date at which the decision was made the presidential campaign of 1872 was in progress, and the re-election of Grant had been imperilled by a great defection of Republicans whom his radical policy in internal affairs had alienated.

We have already seen 1 the partisan motive which gave the impulse to the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. The discussion of this measure was the central feature of business in the last session of the fortieth Congress. While the administration of Andrew Johnson waned dismally to its end, the Republican majority wrestled manfully with the problem of the suffrage. To render absolutely secure the right of the negro to vote in the South was not an easy task. The right was already conferred by every reconstructed constitution; and every state but Tennessee had been declared "en-

____________________
1
See above, p. 135.

-174-

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