Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print.
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The successes claimed may be summarized as follows: (1) there was no more legislation for the negro similar to that of 1865-66, that following the Reconstruction being “infinitely milder”; (2) Reconstruction gave the negroes a civil status that a century of “restoration” would not have accomplished, for though the right to vote is a nullity, other undisputed rights of the black are due to the Reconstruction; the unchangeable organic laws of the state and of the United States favor negro suffrage, which will come the sooner for being thus theoretically made possible; (3) Reconstruction prevented the southern leaders from returning to Washington as irreconcilables, and gave them troubles enough to keep them busy until a new generation grew up which accepted the results of war; (4) by organizing the blacks it made them independent of white control in politics; (5) it gave the negro an independent church; (6) it gave the negro a right to education and gave to both races the public school system; (7) it made the negro economically free and showed that free labor was better than slave labor; (8) it destroyed the formerPg 802 leaders of the whites and “freed them from the baleful influence of old political leaders”; in general, as Sumner said, the ballot to the negro was “a peacemaker, a schoolmaster, a protector,” soon making him a fairly good citizen, and secured peace and order—the “political hell” through which the whites passed being a necessary discipline which secured the greatest good to the greatest number. ...On the other hand, it may be maintained (1) that the intent of the legislation of 1865-1866 has been entirely misunderstood, that it was intended on the whole for the benefit of the negro as well as of the white, and that it has been left permanently off the statute book, not because the whites have been taught better by Reconstruction, but because of the amendments which prohibit in theory what has all along been practised (hence the gross abuses of peonage); (2) that the theoretical rights of the negro have been no inducement to grant him actual privileges, and that these theoretical rights have not proven so permanent as was supposed before the disfranchising movement spread through the South; (3) that the generation after Reconstruction is more irreconcilable than the conservative leaders who were put out of politics in 1865-1867—that the latter were willing to give the negro a chance, while the former, able, radical, and supported by the people, find less and less place for the negro; (4) that if the blacks were united, so were the whites, and in each case the advantage may be questioned; (5) that the value of the negro church is doubtful; (6) that as in politics, so in education, the negro has no opportunities now that were not freely offered him in 1865-1866, and the school system is not a product of Reconstruction, but came near being destroyed by it; (7) that negro free labor is not as efficient as slave labor was, and the negro as a cotton producer has lost his supremacy and his economic position is not at all assured; (8) that the whites have acquired new leaders, but the change has been on the whole from conservatives to radicals, from fri