Reconstruction: Political & Economic, 1865-1877

By William Archibald Dunning | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII
POLITICAL AND SOCIAL DEMORALIZATION IN THE SOUTH (1870-1873)

THE disastrous collapse of the Liberal movement brought dismay and despair to the white people of the South; it seemed to postpone indefinitely the reversal of national policy which had been so sanguinely hoped for, and to forebode an increase of the rigor with which the enforcement acts were applied by the administration. Some mitigation of the burdens of which the southerners complained had, indeed, attended the progress of the Liberal movement. In 1871 the requirement of the ironclad oath was repealed so far as ex-Confederates were concerned;1 the next year Congress, by a sweeping amnesty act,2 removed the disabilities from all but a small remnant, estimated at about seven hundred and fifty, of those whom the Fourteenth Amendment excluded from office; and an effort of the radicals to extend the term of the president's

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1
Richardson, Messages and Papers, VII., 123.
2
U. S. Statutes at Large, XVII., 142; Blaine, Twenty Years of Cong., II., 513.

-203-

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