The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In Texas, Reconstruction was doomed

We read from Richter (190) that the Radicals didn't have the numbers to rule Texas as a democracy. That means that most whites in 1850s-80s Texas believed that blacks were unfit for self-government in such a context. Did they have good reason?

When one looks at the black delegations to Texas's Constitutional conventions, one sees many preachers and immigrants from the North. That's because, in Texas, those were the blacks who could read. The outrages of 1865 and 1866, at least along the Gulf Coast, proved that enough blacks were ignorant or wicked that white civilians could not trust them with power over them.

This taught the conservatives how to regain power over the rest of the state, and in 1873 they carried out this plan: let the Radicals win. The conservatives bet that most Texans, given a taste of Radical rule - black rule - would vote for white rule.

In Texas, the bet paid off. As for the extent to which blacks are fit to run a state nowadays - to what extent black morality has improved over the decades - I'll leave to other posts and to other blogs.

posted by Zimri on 10:00 | link | 0 comments

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