Reconstruction | Palmetto Special


The Reconstruction period will perhaps always be one of the most controversial in South Carolina's history. In this lesson we use a number of vignettes tied together, by the host, to present various views and events of the times. These include:

  1. An incident at Trinity Episcopal church in Columbia
  2. Though the Emancipation Proclamation had been in eflect since 1863, its full effect wasn't felt until the end of the war. Most southerners. both black and white, were not prepared to deal with this.
  3. Term "carpetbagger" formed
  4. Corruption ran rampart in state government.
  5. Native white South Carolinians who sided with the new regime were referred to as "scalawags."
  6. Introduction to Robert Smalls
  7. The "Red Shin Campaign" arose
  8. Voter polls - eligibility requirements

BACKGROUND: "There was probably no more a trying period in South Carolina's history than the years 1865-1877. The people were exhausted by the war, stunned by defeat, and overwhelmed by the political confusion arising out of the Reconstruction. Actually, the social, economic, and political changes that followed the war shook South Carolina to her depths.

Reconstruction fell into two periods: (l) Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-68, and (2) Radical Reconstruction, 1868-77. All ex-Confederate states went through some form of Reconstruction. But only in South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida did reconstruction last until 1877. By contrast, reconstruction in Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee was brief and not nearly so violent and tragic."

Reference: The History of South Carolina in the Building of the Nation, Archie Vernon Huff, Jr. and Alester G. Furman, lll, 1991 , pp.277-291.


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