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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 05:09 am
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13PA
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Johnson, Grant and Hayes were not the moral nor mental equivalent of Truman, Marshall and MacArthur.

ACW Post-War Reconstruction policy was an absolute disaster that filled the pockets of the greedy and emptied those of the needy. O. O. Howard and his crew were in way over their righteous hairy heads.

Hancock and Longstreet were the only ones who had the guts to tell it like it was. And therein lies the trap. During the Reconstruction era it was less like "put up or shut up" and more like "show me the money".

Everybody got screwed except for those that rigged the game.



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 02:19 pm
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Johan Steele
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A trainwreck that could have been far worse.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 03:57 pm
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ole
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Lots of "not fair" going on even today. And it wasn't. It was a classic example of government bungling and vituperation. But it was a result that might be expected after picking a fight and getting thoroughly whipped. Broken bones mend and bruises fade. It seems that reconstruction doesn't go away.

"We" got whipped?:shock:

ole

Last edited on Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 04:00 pm by ole



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 05:04 pm
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younglobo
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havnt read much on reconstruction but early on the US had a mess with us and you will pay mentality (South, Indians) and how folks were treated after defeated guess we maybe have melowed a little heck we rebuilt Japan and now the build all the good stuff. LOL



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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 06:32 pm
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ole
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Please don't blame the impoverished south on the CW or reconstruction. At the time of the USCW, the south was a backwater society dominated by a few very wealthy, close-minded "aristocrats." It was not reconstruction that caused or perpetuated that stereotypical society.

Progress in the south was impeded by the peculiar institution. When it was gone, there is no reason I can think of that the south couldn't have bounced back to equal the progress in the north -- not even reconstruction -- except the obsession about "we was robbed."

True, the north did not suffer the devastation that the south did. But we are 150 years past that. And you're still blaming reconstruction for the lack of equality?

In any event, I don't see how reconstruction works into your argument that it kept the south impoverished to this day. If (IF) the south is impoverished, it can't be blamed on reconstruction. Something in the water?

ole



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 06:36 pm
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What if there had been no civil war and therefore no need for reconstruction? Would not the deep south states, almost exclusively agrarian and devoid of heavy industry, have entered the 20th and 21st centuries relatively impoverished compared to the north anyway? I agree reconstruction didn't help matters, but I think some of the comparative 'woes' of today's south were indigenous to the region's antebellum history anyhow.

I've lived here in Lexington, NC, for more than 30 years and this was once a thriving mill town, productive in both furniture and textiles (even as late as the 1970s). The town immediately to the east of us, Thomasville, is also famous for furniture. The town west of us, Spencer, was a bustling hub for the Southern Railroad. Further west is Kannapolis, site of the now defunct Cannon Mills (Cannon towels). North of us is Winston-Salem, its very name synonymous with tobacco.

We must be going through a new era of reconstruction and carpetbagging. Furniture and textiles have gone offshore, the railroads are museum pieces and tobacco is politically incorrect. The local economy sucks, but that wasn't true when I first arrived here. (Hey, maybe it's me)

(Just for fun, we have access to two interstates, and we're a town of only 20,000. I-85 goes through us to Charlotte and Greensboro, and I-40 runs through W-S.)

I guess all I'm saying is I don't think that you can't make blanket statement about reconstruction affecting the entire south in the same way. Some regions in the south bounced back better than others.

Also, I like relatively the slower pace of the south, which is why I'm still here instead of in Pennsylvania.



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 06:53 pm
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Also, I like relatively the slower pace of the south, which is why I'm still here instead of in Pennsylvania.
Maybe you've hit on the crux of Bama's argument? Where did that slower pace, however pleasant, come from?

ole

 



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 07:03 pm
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ole
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(Just for fun, we have access to two interstates, and we're a town of only 20,000. I-85 goes through us to Charlotte and Greensboro, and I-40 runs through W-S.)

Just for fun, I have access to three intestates. One is 3 miles away, one is 23 miles away, and one is 30 miles away. The local metropolitan area numbers close to 30,000. The Interstate system was not designed to include this area, it just happened that we were close to the Chicgo/St. Louis/Memphis link. Accidental proximity. Nothing at all to do with preferential treatment.

ole



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 07:23 pm
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I'm guessing that the slower pace was always there in the pre-war, under-industrialized south. Climate, no doubt, played a major role in slowing everybody's social metabolism. But the world is quickly encroaching. Charlotte is an hour away, and it might as well be Philadelphia. I avoid Charlotte as much as possible.

There are slower paces northward, too. The Finger Lakes region is nice. Upstate Pennsylvania, near Penn State, is very rural. And there are places in New England that are quite bucolic. But they also get blizzards and I'm seriously allergic to shoveling snow, and even worse, driving in it.

In the circles that I move, there are lots of things about the south that are slower than the north. A slower way of talking, a slower way of moving, a more casual approach to deadlines and a keener sense of community (at least in my neighborhood). I'm not so sure these aren't regional traits that are handed down from generation to generation (Southern hospitality) and that I find very appealing. Not sure reconstruction had much to do with that.



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 07:25 pm
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younglobo
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the railroads are museum pieces and tobacco is politically incorrect.

In my opinon and I am a non Smoker that occassionally smokes a cigar or pipe with the boys. We as a society have become to ME oriented if you want to smoke 3 packs a day in your own home or even in public that is cool with me just be considerate of others around you, and being considerate isnt the norm these days, I dont care if you smoke but use sense smoke in the non smoking area and dont go to resturants that dont have one and complain if they dont .  ( think that was off topic or was it sorry).

I think you hit the nail on the head pvt when you said that this is not a south issue it  is a national issue our economy is struggling now , believe me I am unemployed and lookin for work and each interview that I go thru the interviewer has a stack of resumes to pick from.

Buisnesses are failing everywhere I heard a statistic last month that 260 Mom and pop trucking buisnesses closed there doors last month in the midwest area due to fuel prices and freight prices . (my former field of employment) 

Reconstruction hurt the south yes but does it still effect it today yes  it was a huge event in its past but today to say interstates are not in certian areas for that reason is playin the blame game IMO . Highways cost money and in hard times cash is short and the population pays for highways in taxes when jobs are short folks move to populated areas to find work hence no money for new roads or repairs.

I generally just leave these sensitive threads alone for fear of hurting anyones feelings, Hope I have NOT here.   :dude:=+-



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 07:54 pm
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Bama46 wrote: How could it have been worse?

The US Army could have been a Roman, Mongol, French, British, Russian, Japanese etc.

 

There was no decimation, depopulation, mass executions etc.

 

The problem w/ concentrating wholly upon the CW is that it's not very easy to realize how many times things have happened before.  Knowing history too well you realize that the more things change the more they stay the same.

I often hear how brutal Sherman's march wa or that Sherman was the first to practice total war.  the only way to say such w/ a straight face is to ignore more than 2000 years of history prior to 1865.



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 08:11 pm
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younglobo
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good post Johan well said



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 08:28 pm
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javal1
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This has the possibility of being a fantastic thread. The problem, as alluded to in previous posts, is that you can't look at the problems the South may have today and ascribe them all to reconstruction. I do, by the way, happen to believe that reconstruction was a horrible setback for a country which, after 4 years of hell, finally had an opportunity to come together. And I certainly believe (which will draw the ire of all those Lincoln haters out there) that had he lived, things would have been done differently (and better).

Now at the risk of offending some Southerners, I think many of the problems they have today are the fault of norms and mores that they carried well into the 20th-century. Yes, the South still lags behind in many (most) statistics - education, per capita income, etc., but can that really be blamed on reconstruction? Is it possible that the overt racism of the 1940's, 50's, and 60's contributed? Before all the partisans jump on me and point out that the North was racist as well, I concede that. But give a black in the 40's, 50's, or 60's a choice of where to live, say Philadelphia, Mississippi or Philadelphia, Pa., where do you think they chose?

What does that have to do with why the South lags behind today? Much of the income to state's comes from the Federal government in the form of Block Grant's. Money given to state's by the US Gov't. to build schools, build roads, etc. How are they allocated? Population.

There are other issues that could be blamed, but the point is this - how do you differentiate between the the social problems caused by reconstruction and those caused by the behavior of the South in the 20th-century?



 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 08:47 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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"Give a black in the 40's or 50's or 60's a choice of where to live, say Philadelphia, Mississippi, or Philadelphia, Pa. where do you think they chose?"

Lets see the racist South or the racist North? How about the place with the industry and possibly jobs! Same with Detroit, Chicago, NY......

Look at the school desegregation. How many Northern states does this Federal Law apply to? How many Southern States?

Why are only Southern States still under Federal oversight? Why did this not apply to Northern States? Or the rest of the US?

So yes hints of reconstruction are still with us today.



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 Posted: Sat Dec 22nd, 2007 10:28 pm
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javal1
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Bama and 39th,

Good posts by both of you. That's really what I was trying to do - get folks to relate the late 19th-century events (reconstruction) to what we saw in the early and late 20th-century. To me anyway it's so important to (as I believe Bama said) look at these things as a "continuim" rather than isolated events.



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