Reconstruction era : レコンストラクション

The Reconstruction Era was the period from 1863 (the legal end of most slavery in the United States) or 1865 (the end of the Confederacy) to 1877. In the context of the history of the United States, the term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the Civil War; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 ex-Confederate states from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate nationalism and of slavery, making the Freedmen citizens with civil rights apparently guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.

Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson both took moderate positions designed to bring the South back into the Union as quickly as possible, while Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade–Davis Bill. Johnson, a former Tennessee Senator and former slave owner, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates. Lincoln’s last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this.

Johnson’s interpretations of Lincoln’s policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866. Those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year. The subsequent 1866 election gave Republicans a majority in Congress, enabling them to pass the 14th Amendment, take control of Reconstruction policy, remove former Confederates from power, and enfranchise the freedmen. A Republican coalition came to power in nearly all the southern states and set out to transform the society by setting up a free labor economy, using the U.S. Army and the Freedmen’s Bureau. The Bureau protected the legal rights of freedmen, negotiated labor contracts, and set up schools and churches for them. Thousands of Northerners came south as missionaries, teachers, businessmen and politicians. Hostile whites began referring to these politicians as “carpetbaggers”. In early 1866, Congress passed the Freedmen’s Bureau and Civil Rights Bills and sent them to Johnson for his signature. The first bill extended the life of the bureau, originally established as a temporary organization charged with assisting refugees and freed slaves, while the second defined all persons born in the United States as national citizens with equality before the law. After Johnson vetoed the bills, Congress overrode his veto, making the Civil Rights Act the first major bill in the history of the United States to become law through an override of a presidential veto. The Radicals in the House of Representatives, frustrated by Johnson’s opposition to Congressional Reconstruction, filed impeachment charges. The action failed by one vote in the Senate. The new national reconstruction laws – in particular laws requiring suffrage (the right to vote) for freedmen – incensed white supremacists in the south, giving rise to the Ku Klux Klan. During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the south, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Hinds.

Elected in 1868, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant supported Congressional Reconstruction and enforced the protection of African Americans in the South through the use of the Enforcement Acts passed by Congress. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to effectively combat the Ku Klux Klan, which was essentially wiped out, although a new incarnation of the Klan eventually would again come to national prominence in the 1920s. Nevertheless, President Grant was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican Party between the northerners on the one hand, and those Republicans originally hailing from the South on the other (this latter group would be labelled “Scalawags” by those opposing Reconstruction). Meanwhile, “Redeemers”, self-styled Conservatives (in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party) strongly opposed reconstruction. They alleged widespread corruption by the “Carpetbaggers”, excessive state spending and ruinous taxes. Meanwhile, public support for Reconstruction policies, requiring continued supervision of the South, faded in the North after the Democrats, who strongly opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874. In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president following the close 1876 presidential election, U.S. Army troops no longer supported Republican state governments. Reconstruction was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights. Historian Eric Foner argues:

What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure.

レコンストラクションReconstruction,「再建」の意味)とは、アメリカ南北戦争によりアメリカ連合国と奴隷制システムが崩壊した後の問題を解決しようとする、1863年(または1865年) から1877年までの過程を意味するアメリカ合衆国史の用語である。レコンストラクションの間、連邦政府は南部諸州の合衆国への復帰と、元連合国の指導者たちの地位の回復に取り組んだが、解放されたアフリカ系アメリカ人(自由黒人) の法的、政治的、経済的、社会的なシステムでの、恒久的な平等の実現には失敗した。合衆国のレコンストラクションのためにこれらの課題をどのように達成するかのについての議論はすでに1861年には始まっていたものの、歴史家は通常その時代の始まりを、1863年1月1日の奴隷解放宣言からとしている。











共和党急進派は軍事再建法を通過させ、合衆国軍を用いて南部諸州を軍事的に占領するにいたった。北部の占領下の南部では黒人に投票権が与えられ、およそ1万から1万5千人の元連合国の役人や高官の白人が公職追放され投票権を取りあげられた。共和党急進派の政策は、自由黒人(解放奴隷) やスキャラワグScalawag, 南部の再編入を支持した南部白人) 、カーペットバッガー(Carpetbagger, 南北戦争後に南部にやってきた北部人) らが連携し主導権を持つ州で持続し、鉄道や公立学校の建設を通じた南部の産業・社会の再建と近代化を進展した。

しかし彼らは1870年以後、保守的な民主党の派閥で自らをリディーマー(Redeemer, 共和党急進派に対する反動として北部に対抗した保守的な南部人) と呼ぶ反対勢力によって不正行為のかどで告訴された。この時期、南部白人が結成したクー・クラックス・クランが暗躍し、北部人や黒人に対する暴力が後押しされていたが、連邦政府や軍の介入によって圧倒されていた。




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