By Richard Worth
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Additional resources for African Americans During Reconstruction (Slavery in the Americas)
Before the Civil War, they had had little power in Southern politics because political power had been controlled by wealthy cotton planters. Some scalawags had opposed the South’s seceding from the Union, although they fought for the South in the Civil War. While scalawags supported equal rights for African Americans, they did not want to put an end to segregation. As one of them said, “There is not the slightest reason why blacks and whites should sit in the same benches, in Churches, school houses, or Hotels.
They attacked a white Republican state legislator, 65-year-old William Wyatt of Tennessee, and beat him almost to death. On March 31, 1868, Klansmen broke into the house of George Ashburn, a leading Georgia Republican, and murdered him. No one was ever convicted of Ashburn’s murder.
It also wanted to prevent the success of new governments based on equal rights. Its weapons were fear and violence, including murder. During the slavery era, slave patrols had ridden along the roadways, terrorizing African Americans. The Klan was A New Political Role · 63 similar to these earlier armed bands. Generally, the Klansmen rode at night. They broke into the homes of African Americans and took any guns they found. Like many other whites, Klan members feared that African Americans might use the guns to start a violent revolution in the South.
African Americans During Reconstruction (Slavery in the Americas) by Richard Worth