i)Grant’s and nation’s problems confounded by Panic of 1873- began w/ failure of investment bank, later debtors wanted govt to redeem war bonds w/ greenbacks (paper currency) ii)Grant and other Repubs wanted “sound” currency based on gold that would favor banks and other creditors, didn’t want to put more money in circulation iii)1875 Repubs passed Specie Resumption Act- pegged greenback dollars to the price of gold. Satisfied creditors, hard for debtors b/c money supply grew little iv)National Greenback Party formed, unsuccessful but kept money issue alive d)Republican Diplomacy
i) Johnson and Grant administrations had great foreign affairs successes b/c of Secretaries of State William Seward and Hamilton Fish ii) Seward bought Alaska from Russia (“Seward’s Folly”), annexed Midway Islands. Fish resolved claims against GB of violating neutrality by building ships for Confed. Treaty of Washington allowed for arbitration of claims 5)The Abandonment of Reconstruction
a)The Southern States “Redeemed”
i)By 1872 nearly all S whites regained suffrage, worked as majority to overthrow Repubs. In areas of black majority whites used intimidations and violence (Ku Klux Klan, ect.) to prevent blacks from political activity ii)Klan led by former Confed Gen Nathan Forrest. Worked to advance interest of those who would gain from white supremacy- mainly planter class and Democratic party. Most of all, however, economic pressure used b)The Ku Klux Klan Acts
i)Repubs tried to stop white repression, 1870 passed Enforcement Acts (known as Ku Klux Klan Acts)- prohibited states from discriminating against voters on race, fed govt given power to prosecute violations. Allowed pres to use military to protect civil rights, suspend habeas corpus in some situations ii)Grant used law in 1871 for “lawless” counties in SC
c)Waning Northern Commitment
i)Enforcement Acts peak of Repub enforcement of Reconstruction. After 1870 adoption of 15th Amdt many in N felt...