US History Summary Before 1865 Notes
Dear Students and Fellow Workers,
First–catch up! Perhaps the most important line in the syllabus is, “you are responsible for your own education.” If you are behind, catch up.
If you are caught up, great!
Second, I am pose three questions to you to consider, then in our plenary, I will ask you to use your readings as background.
1. What is your experience with racism and what, in fact is it? This web site, with what I see as a limited analysis, may be useful: http://www.pbs.org/race/001_WhatIsRace/001_00-home.htm
2. What is your experience with democracy and, in fact, what is it?
3. What is your experience with capitalism and, in fact, what is it?
I will also offer a bonus glance at “How to think reasonably, examining how things change.”
I want to give you a very sketchy view of the US before 1865, the end of the Civil War. Early on, I mentioned that you would get at least four views of history in class: Professor Devine’s, Zinn’s, mine, and yours. Your task is to locate yourself, your own interests, in our historical context.
There is a self-test at the end of this document.
This is a short summary of my take on things. Other historians would probably see things otherwise.
History connects a study of the past from a standpoint in the present that is usually embedded, in some form, with a call to action in the future. The author is not only talking about what has been, but how to analyze it, which sets up how to analyze our current state and, it follows, what to do about it.
This is why we do “What’s up?” from time to time, to demonstrate the connections of past, present, and future (and to avoid the horrors of boredom).
History, given varying standpoints, is a problem.
Further, history does not stand outside us. We make history ourselves, wittingly or not. I say we can comprehend and act on history–the world.
History is a study of the social relations (class, race, nation, sex/gender, etc.) people create in their struggle with or against nature to reproduce, produce the means of life, struggle for what is true and seek freedom.
History helps in understanding why things are as they are since, as one of our classmates said in an essay, “Nothing comes from nothing.”
Here is a contemporary example of history as a problem: Texas Approves Curriculum http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/education/13texas.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&src=ig
We have discussed textbooks in class and critiqued both Devine and Zinn.
We also touched on the contradictions of capitalism, democracy, republicanism, as well as the role of racism, slavery, empires, war, revolution. We will do a good deal more of that.
Here is an interesting side point on a problem of capitalism going back 100 years and more: Ponzi schemes: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175217/tomgram:_andy_kroll,_welcome_to_america,_sucker/
And an update on the role of racism in the age of Obama by Michelle Alexander:
A very Shorthand Take by me on the US up to around 1865)
Skipping perhaps 25,000 years, the Columbus invasion was spurred by the development of European empires (and within them, capitalism) on the hunt for raw materials like gold which every king wanted, as well as, to a lesser extent, cheap labor, markets, and regional control.
The Requiremento, however, is an example of expansionist religious ruthlessness. It was read from ships, aimed at people on the land who would neither hear it nor understand the language if the could:
“On the part of the King, Don Fernando, and of Doña Juana, his daughter, Queen of Castile and León, subduers of the barbarous nations, we their servants notify and make known to you, as best we can, that the Lord our God, living and eternal, created the heaven and the earth, and one man and one woman, of whom you and we, and all the men of the world, were and are all descendants, and all those who come after us.
Of all these nations God our Lord gave charge to one man, called St. Peter, that he should be lord and superior of all the men in the world, that all should obey him, and that he should be the head of the whole human race, wherever men should live, and under whatever law, sect, or belief they should be; and he gave him the world for his kingdom and jurisdiction.
One of these pontiffs, who succeeded St. Peter as lord of the world in the dignity and seat which I have before mentioned, made donation of these isles and Terra-firma to the aforesaid King and Queen and to their successors, our lords, with all that there are in these territories,
Wherefore, as best we can, we ask and require you that you consider what we have said to you, and that you take the time that shall be necessary to understand and deliberate upon it, and that you acknowledge the Church as the ruler and superior of the whole world,
But if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their highnesses; we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him: and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us .
The North American colonies had no known gold and their plantations were less profitable that those, say, in Brazil or the West Indies, so colonists were often left to fend for themselves. They worked hard, but drove off Indians who got in their way.
While I don’t think we can call the systematic extermination of the Indians a true genocide, it came close. Many reputable historians would disagree.
The American colonies were rooted in contradictions about religion (a few for religious freedom, many profoundly opposed) as well as the development of racism. However, since society in the colonies was just coming into being, freedom of thought established itself more widely than in much of Europe while, at the same time, drawing on many ideas of the European Enlightenment.
Many, many people who immigrated to what became the US were unfree: slaves, indentured servants, etc. Freedom itself became a harsh contradiction.
White colonists were often far more free than most Europeans. Daily life was much more democratic. Voting was more widespread and land ownership meant wealth was more evenly distributed (but not evenly distributed at the end of the day).
Women, who were working hard in the colonies, had more power in the family and daily life than, in many cases, they would have later.
We examined many reasons why people make revolutions, and what a revolution is.
People make revolutions because (1) they cannot stand to live the way they are (2) because there are multiple social crises (lost wars, debts, many forms of oppression–like the Stamp Act–that make people believe those at the top are unfit to rule, and (3) real battles going on within ruling elites, (4) some organization connects that consciousness to the chance people might see they may win–the Minutemen, Sons of Liberty, et al. (For a fine expansion, see Chalmers Johnson, “Revolutionary Change.”) Revolutions are propelled by ideas which themselves become social forces, i.e., “Give me liberty or give me death!”
We questioned whether the American Revolution was, indeed, a real revolution, or just a replacement of one set of British rulers with American rulers. For my part, I say it was a revolution in that many social relations were in fact upended (Tory land, some of the largest estates was seized and distributed).
More significantly, the war and especially the Declaration of Independence unleashed ideas about equality, the right to revolt (and its responsibilities too), and democracy. These ideas spread all over the world --- led to the French Revolution. Slavery was theoretically abolished in the Northern states at the time of the revolution or shortly afterward.
Who fought? There were real divisions in the colonial armies between officers (gentlemen) and soldiers (small farmers, workers, etc). Most soldiers, as usual, were not rich. Indeed, many people joined the revolutionary forces as a way up in society, for a job.
The American side frequently used what became known as guerrilla tactics, un-uniformed fighters attacking from ambush, hitting and running, luring the enemy into terrain the Americans alone understood. The American side had significant advantages: they were fighting for their land and families, the British side was often made up of mercenaries. Americans knew where they were and supply lines were short. British hubris, the belief that their innate superiority had to win, helped. The Britishers relied on corrupt officials as their local puppets. The Brits were indeed invaders, and treated like that, while American soldiers on the run could usually count on local help. Both sides had experienced commanders but American commanders lived close to their troops, took daily risks, while Brits led from the rear.
The revolution won! The greatest empire in the world was defeated. Cornwallis surrendered. The military tactics of the colonial army have been studied and repeated ever since.
The revolution put into sharp relief the question: Why have government? And, What is democracy?
The Articles of Confederation created just that, a loose alliance of states (note the term “confederation” for future use). The loose confederation created problems about inter-state commerce, money and debt.
Shays rebellion saved many small farmers from foreclosure before it was crushed while on the march to capture more guns. The idea of the right of rebellion persisted, as did notions of economic oppression–at least as important as political oppression, often linked to it.
There are serious debates about the development of the Constitution in the Convention of 1787, i.e., federalism vs anti-federalism in one presentation in class.
In that convention, held mostly in secret, 55 men set a new stage for American government. No small farmers, no slaves, no women, were among them.
Some historians examine this question through the ideas of the 55; others, led by Charles Beard about 70 years ago, address their particular interests and suggest it was a deal between wealthy Northern businessmen and Southern slave-holders. It created a government designed, most surely, to protect business and commerce.
It also gave comfort to slavery, counting 3/5 of the slaves as voters in the south, when they could not vote. This gave Southern officer holders what Northerners believed was inordinate power.
The Bill of Rights, representing the interests of anti-federalists, won the popular vote favoring the Constitution. It’s outline is, to me, a real breakthrough in government, describing artfully the rights of the people, a social contract. As we have seen, many of the articles of the first ten amendments to the constitution remain controversial today, from gun control to free speech and beyond.
George Washington’s rejection of the chance to be something of a monarch is a watershed moment.
Hamilton’s role with the establishment of a national bank, and his appointment to only Federalists to officer positions in the military is worth noting, as is Jefferson’s stance opposing a standing army. The reality of a standing army did not become “normal,” until after WWII.
Subsequent attempts to crush dissent in the US, like the Alien and Sedition Acts, foreshadow events today.
The Whiskey Rebellion of 1794 was the first instance in which Federal Forces (of a size of about 12,000–nearly the size of the colonial army of the revolution) was used to smash a popular citizen uprising. Popular sentiment turned on the Federalists in part because of this action.
Invasion of the Indian territories (which after all began as the whole of the Americas) was relentless. While some Indian leaders signed treaties seeking to make gains in inter-tribal struggles, other like Tecumseh and Osceola of the Seminoles (who never surrendered) fought back fiercely.
In 1803, Jefferson bought the Louisiana territories, not from Indians, but from the French who had been defeated by slave rebels in Haiti.
Literacy became widespread and heated political debates, backed by dozens of popular presses, abounded. Political consciousness was widespread, unusual in the world.
In the War of 1812, sometimes called the “silly war,” by people who did not fight it, Andrew Jackson, slave owner and Indian fighter, made his reputation, especially at the Battle of New Orleans, fought by the most diverse US military ever.
The wars on the Great Lakes demonstrated US capabilities on the water as well as ship-building prowess.
The War of 1812 finalized a real sense of US nationalism and with it, began to usher in an era of the Common Man (personified by Jackson). The war also cemented US control of the Mississippi and the remarkable river systems of the US.
Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in the mid-1790's transformed the south, turning it to a cotton economy (note that Whitney’s patent didn’t hold up, he made his money by inventing interchangeable parts for weapons).
Sharp differences, contradictions, grew between the North and South, yet they were integrated into the slave economy. Northern industry profited from the slave economy and used the money it generated to expand and develop. Border states literally grew slaves.
In part at issue was whether the new territories, taken from Indians, would be slave-based regions or sites of industrial expansion. While industrialists often relied on the slave economy, indeed were born in it, the two forms of economies are contradictory and became incompatible.
Abolitionists were only in their early stages. In the 1780's, Pennsylvania passed a law for but the gradual end of slavery in the state. Quakers were early abolitionists. Slaves, of course, were perpetual abolitionists, but are too rarely noticed as such. In this period, anti-slavery societies were more powerful in Britain.
The factory system began to develop in the north, meaning workers did not have possession of tools, operated by the time owners set. There was a revolution in transportation, i.e., the steam ship, and a real market, capitalist, economy rapidly came into being.
In 1817, Jackson invaded Florida. Spain ceded Florida and, in a sense, California.
Indians were forcibly removed to lands west of the Mississippi. Thousands died.
A real financial collapse (one of many past and future) from around 1819-23 led to a cultural background of hating bankers and deepened egalitarian ideas about opposing unearned wealth like usury and large inheritances–an extension of what was Republicanism. At issue for us: what is the cause of these repeated financial panics?
The 1820 Missouri Compromise admitted Missouri as a slave state; Maine as a free state, and declared that future territories north of what was meant to be the southern border of Missouri would be admitted as free states. We shall see what comes of this deal.
John Marshall’s thirty plus year on the Supreme Court solidified the legal protection of commerce, capital above all, and the primacy of the national, over state, government.
The Monroe Doctrine of 1823 declared the Carribean an American lake and warned the endlessly warring empires of Europe that all of the Americas, North and South, were US protectorates.
Looking back; Washington owned slaves. Adams did not. Jefferson owned slaves. Madison and Monroe owned slaves. That’s a list of the presidents, in order–gratis.
This isn’t meant to replace a reading of the rich work done by Devine or Zinn. Reading the texts (and bringing them to class) is worth the candle. Reading critically is an important goal of our class.
Here ends part one.
From time to time, we will need to skip “What’s up?” as we will need three days for end of semester presentations.
Here is your test. If you cannot answer these questions; people may think you are a barbarian.
1. Marbury vs________________
2. Washington, Adams,___________ and ___________________
3. Old Hickory was____________________________
4. Osceola leader of the ___________________________
5. Francis Scott Key wrote______________________________
6. Man given credit for the Declaration of Independence________________________
7. Truth, Justice, and _____________________________
8. Nina, Pinta, and the _______________________
9. The Whiskey Rebellion was about_______________________
10. One if by land and________________________________________
11. Author of the Federalist Papers______________________________
12. Synonymous with the name Benjamin Arnold (once a great military leader) is the word_____
13. Rifling is____________________________
14. The 3/5's Rule meant_______________________
15. Leader of Haitian Slave Revolt_______________________________
16. “Who knows what lurks in the minds of men? The_________________ knows.
17. Burr shot________________________
18. From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of ___________________________
19. Rule Britannia! Britannia rules the ____________________________
20. Who was the Swamp Fox? _________________
21. What is a Federalist?_____________________
23. Kukla, Fran, and _______________________________
24. What of Detroit in 1812?__________________________
25. A War Hawk is_________________________________
26 John Paul Jones said, “I have only begun_______________”
Surely though, it is possible that people who can answer these fine questions may still be, to one degree or another, barbarous, eh?
US History before 1865 Part 2
Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin and its growing widespread use in the early 1800's made the rapid expansion of slavery possible. Before the cotton gin, “good” cotton could only be grown in Georgia and the Carolinas. After, slavery moved Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas and Tennessee. (Whitney, interestingly, did not grow rich from the cotton gin but from inventing weapons with interchangeable parts).
Florida was unsuitable for cotton. The Seminole Indians, who never surrendered, harbored slaves and members of other tribes, always resisting. The Army was sent to put them down in the 1830's but failed.
The US provoked a war with Mexico in 1846, in part to extend slavery. Mexico lost both land and citizens. The US won, via force, California, Texas, and much of the southwest. Nearly 100,000 Mexicans witnessed the border cross them. Many of them lost the property they owned as the new arrivals burned documents that proved who had rights to what property.
Slavery involved the entire US and parts of Europe too. Border states kept slaves and sold them to the south, overcoming objections about importing them from Africa. The south was absolutely dependent on slave labor. Northern shipowners profited from the transport of cotton while northern industry reaped capital from slavery. English manufacturing was built on cotton, hence slavery.
Dispossessed white people (the push for a move being often more powerful than the pull) headed west, took Indian land, and began to form a middle class, hard working, always on the edge of poverty.
At the same time, a new world of wealth came into being in the USA made up of real estate speculators, merchants, financiers.
This zone of wealth became in the modern sense, a ruling class, but this class was unlike the inherited monarchs of Europe. People in the US retained a sense of “the common man,” as important, rejecting birth-right privileges that were, and often are, seen as the norm in much of the rest of the world.
This class, coupled with industrialization, needed “free” labor, that is, workers sufficiently taken off the land that they needed jobs in the cities. Initially, this free labor was made up of craftsmen as Paul Revere, silversmith.
Over time, however, under pressure from above, these craftsmen were stripped of their tools and the knowledge of the craft; made into interchangeable industrial workers. Employers won more and more control over work places.
With this, another class of accountants, superintendents, foremen, salespeople, time and motion specialists, came into being, something of a buffer.
Workers, recognizing the contradictory interests of employers and employees, began to form unions–far too weak to seriously make a challenge, either to their bosses or the social system itself.
1837 saw yet another financial collapse. It, like others, can be oversimplified as a crisis of over-production. Wages reached such a low that people could not buy the products they themselves made.
Working people persevered. In some areas, workers won a ten hour day. However, most industrialized cities were scenes of fearsome exploitation, that is, harshly treated and low paid women, immigrants, and children, all often working more than 14 hours a day, six days a week, and with luck, a ½ day on Sunday. These people were treated like machines, replaceable. Worn out–thrown out. Indeed, sometimes greater care was given to machinery. The term “wage slavery” became commonly known.
This era saw the development of racism as an idea in the US. The notion of people as property applied to quite a few people as with indentured servants (usually white people serving a term of time, typically around seven years) who sold themselves in exchange for, say, passage from Ireland or England, and slaves (who did not sell themselves, but were kidnaped), too.
Still, the idea that people are born to be slaves, that their children are also born to be slaves, that they are less than human, that this has to do with blood lines and cannot be changed, that they can do nothing else, can do nothing else, would be unhappy otherwise, had to be developed and sold. And it was. Thousands of white people, especially, came to believe it and, over time, it became an idea of genetic inferiority, i.e., that black people were some kind of different species.
This is a pretty good explanation about the nature of racism. http://www.pbs.org/race/001_WhatIsRace/001_00-home.htm
What the link above leaves out is that racism has been incredibly profitable for a few people. The slave-South enriched a few planters to degrees that may be hard to imagine today. Even today, the black/white inherited wealth gap persists, as does the pay gap, life expectancy gap, unemployment gap, etc. All that is a remnant of racism and slavery combined. Racism also serves as a divide and rule method for elites.
The approximately four million slaves in the US by the 1840's made up a huge anti-slavery block, despite claims in the south that they were happy and part of the family. There were many slave rebellions; Nat Turner’s in 1831 being one of the more famous. Turner organized a band of slaves and killed more than 50 slavers. For that, he and many others were caught and hanged. Slavers lived in fear of slaves, for good reason, and instituted complex, vicious, methods of keeping people isolated, ignorant of geography, divided as with house and field slaves, constantly under surveillance.
Frederick Douglass was a famous escaped slave who wrote eloquently for abolition. Harriet Tubman slipped back into the south, time and again, freed more than 300 hundred slaves despite having a slavers’ price on her head.
White abolitionists played an important role in fighting slavery, especially John Brown who believed slavery was an abomination against God.
White abolitionists, however, were a fairly small minority—having an impact beyond their numbers. They were repeated attacked by mobs, had their homes and printing presses burned. Women abolitionists were in special danger because women were not only expected to support slavery, but they were to have no role in public debates like this.
Nevertheless, the abolitionists mattered. Northern capitalists developed a somewhat parallel ideology insisting on the “freedom of labor,” inherently attacking the notion of enslaved people. Over time, what the abolitionists were saying gained popularity in the north.
Even so, abolitionism was not necessarily anti-racism. Many abolitionists doubted the humanity of slaves, preferred to see them returned to Africa, etc.
John Brown was an outstanding exception. Brown was made famous by his violent retribution against Missouri “ruffians” that is, racist pro-slaver border raiders, in Bloody Kansas. Brown lived a fully anti-racist life and died for it when he and a relatively small band of two dozen others raided a fort at Harpers Ferry seeking to steal weapons to distribute to slaves in a march through the Appalachians, into the South. Trapped by slaver Robert E. Lee, tried by slavers, and sentenced to hang, Brown delivered a memorable speech as he was sentenced in 1859. This is part of it:
“Had I interfered in the manner which I admit, and which I admit has been fairly proved (for I admire the truthfulness and candor of the greater portion of the witnesses who have testified in this case)--had I so interfered in behalf of the rich, the powerful, the intelligent, the so-called great, or in behalf of any of their friends--either father, mother, brother, sister, wife, or children, or any of that class--and suffered and sacrificed what I have in this interference, it would have been all right; and every man in this court would have deemed it an act worthy of reward rather than punishment.
This court acknowledges, as I suppose, the validity of the law of God. I see a book kissed here which I suppose to be the Bible, or at least the New Testament. That teaches me that all things whatsoever I would that men should do to me, I should do even so to them. It teaches me, further, to "remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them." I endeavored to act up to that instruction. I say I am yet too young to understand that God is any respecter of persons. I believe that to have interfered as I have done--as I have always freely admitted I have done--in behalf of His despised poor was not wrong, but right. Now, if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments--I submit; so let it be done!”
Racism and slavery were the key issues that led to the Civil War.
In this context, the question of expanding slavery became a core matter. Slavers, who largely controlled the federal government, wanted to expand to the west and they wanted political control of those territories. Hence, the battles in Kansas where a parody of a democratic vote was scheduled on the question of slavery (do people have a right to vote for slavery?).
To the western independent middle class, often busy dispossessing Indians, the expansion of slavery meant an end to their opportunities. Lincoln and the Republican Party came to represent these people. He joined with “radical railroad Republicans,” in a critique of the problems of slavery in regard to this middle class as well as industrialists, merchants, and financiers. Those people wanted the west industrialized, free of slaves. They preferred “free” workers, people dispossessed of land who had to sell their labor in order to live–and who were not a burden later in life.
Following Brown’s raid at Harper’s Ferry, which I believe was the real spark to the Civil War, Lincoln was elected. The south seceded, attacked Fort Sumter.
The south entered the war at terrific disadvantage in transportation systems, industries, communications, leadership, and, most importantly, they had rebellious slaves at their backs. Slaves freed themselves every time the Union army got close, fought back every chance they got–proof that where there is oppression, there is, sooner or later, resistance.
Thousands of men in the north enlisted, singing “John Brown’s body lies a molderin on the grave but his truth goes marching on...”
Lincoln instituted a draft (the rich could buy their way out) which led to draft riots in some cities.
At first, Lincoln rejected escaped slaves who sought to enlist. Lincoln, a racist, insisted he fought mainly to preserve the union—but that grossly oversimplifies Lincoln.
With the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863, Lincoln, in a sense, freed the slaves. The deeper fact, however, is that the slaves freed themselves. More than 200,000 former slaves served in the Union Army. Lincoln admitted that their courageous sacrifices were central to the war effort. Slave self- emancipation was vital to the North’s victory.
General William Tecumseh Sherman launched a full scale assault on the south in the fall of 1864, an early form of total war that involved attacking civilian (slavers) life, the food supply, assaulting cities. He hit Atlanta and began his famous “march to the sea.” He was deep in enemy territory, cut off from lines of communications and supply (so his “bummers” took what they needed, and often more), scorching the earth, seeking to demolish the South’s will to fight in every way. They tore up railroads and twisted the ties around trees: “Sherman’s neckties.” about 70,000 men set out on the march to Savannah. They were joined along the way by escaped slaves, though Sherman considered them mainly a burden. Sherman gave Lincoln a “Christmas gift” of Savannah and planned to demolish the Carolinas, the core of slaver support. The war ended before he had a chance. Sherman, whose middle name was ironically Tecumseh, went on to be an Indian fighter. What Sherman did, somewhat parallel to his revolutionary predecessors, was develop a new form of warfare: Total War.
Lincoln was killed by pro-slavery actor, John Wilkes Booth just at the end of the war.
Four million people were freed by the Civil War, making it something of a Second US Revolution. In some ways, it went further than the first.
But what to do with the vanquished south?
The Reconstruction era began.
It may have been the most small “d” democratic period in US life. Or not. That’s a difficult call to make.
For the first time, black people as well as white working people had a voice in government, behind union troops guarding them from entrenched southern elites. Many new office holders were southern whites who opposed the war (there were a few, isolated, guerrilla movements in the south).
Hundreds of white teachers, mainly women, went south and set up some very interesting schools, more free than most.
Roads were built in the south. Taxes became more equitable.
However, despite promises of “40 acres and a mule” made to freed people, they were given really no land. A few former slaves did get and keep land, especially on islands off the east coast, but for the most part, 40 acres was a lie. With no economic base from which to build, they immediately ran into serious, life and death, problems.
Since property rights ruled the law, southern plantation owners were allowed to keep their land (other than Lee whose plantation was turned into Arlington Cemetery, but Lee, responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousand of people on both sides of the war, went un-hanged).
One war criminal, Wirtz, the commander of Andersonville, a southern prison/death camp, was indeed hanged for crimes against humanity. That decision later set up the possibility for the Nuremberg trials of Nazi war criminals.
Racism still ruled, north and south. What is racism? See the debate: http://richgibson.com/approach.htm
Southern property owners joined with poor whites, as they did during the war, in re-introducing a new form of slavery, via terror. The Ku Klux Klan was born, night riders burned homes and killed free black people.
In 1877 with the famous Compromise of that date, black people in both the south and the north, and all working people, were betrayed. Northern elites joined with their counterparts in the South and agreed to withdraw the federal troops.
Black people in the south were tied to the land as tenant farmers or sharecroppers, kept in constant debt, rounded up by Southern sheriffs for past debts (sometimes fictional) if they tried to leave. Klan terror rose, became popular, and persists today.
Jim Crow laws went into effect. Promoting a false doctrine of “separate but equal,” these laws segregated all of public life, from schools to drinking fountains and all in between. With Jim Crow, black people in the south lost the vote, education, and they never had the property that was guaranteed. Jim Crow lasted til the mid-sixties, faced down by the mass actions of the civil rights movement which made court cases overturning Jim Crow possible. Behind the law, however, was Klan and Sheriff terror, often the same thing.
The Civil War cost more than ½ million lives. The north industrialized even more rapidly. New layers of wealth moved to power in the US. The south continued to stagnate. Class struggle sharpened.
End of Part Two.
Now we shall watch as industrial capital, married to the Jim Crow south, became monopoly
capital and the empire necessarily sought to expand, and expand, and expand–and it still does—at
Here is a nice description of the processes of empire
Again, catch up!
Good luck to us, every one.