On one of the blogs (the name of which escapes me for now) in a discussion of the Fourteenth Amendment, a commenter made a comment which I intended to post myself. The comment contained the observation that the motivation behind that amendment was, in part, a desire by the North to punish the South for what the North saw as ‘treason’ or rebellion, rather than an attempt at peaceful secession. The Union government had not ‘forgiven’ the South for being on the wrong side on the slavery issue, and the freedmen were being used to exact vengeance on the White population, for the North’s satisfaction as well as for their own grievances.
The issue of citizenship for freed slaves was apparently important to the North because of the numbers of ex-slaves who would be given the vote, and of course the Radical Republican party steered the newly enfranchised citizens to vote the correct way, for their benefactors, the Radical Republicans. Not many Americans seem aware that the Republicans of that day were the ‘progressives’ of their time, with all that implies. Many modern-day Republicans are proud that the Radical Republicans ‘freed the slaves’ and enfranchised them, in fact putting many newly-minted voters in the governing bodies of the Southern States, which of course worked out very badly for the White citizens — who were under the repressive rule of Northern carpetbaggers and Southern scallywags, plus the Freedman. White Southrons were at the mercy of the Reconstruction occupiers, having stripped them of their rights during the Reconstruction era, thought to further punish them by putting them under the rule of mostly black State Legislatures. Without the protection of the rule of law, Whites found it necessary to form ‘secret societies’ to guarantee the safety of their families and themselves. How many Americans know this? They know only the politically correct version of history, and have never heard the other side of the story.
Some modern-day Republicans actually boast about their political party ending slavery and giving newly-freed slaves the vote. Yet the future of this Republic was supposed to be reliant on an informed and mature electorate. Now, of course the Democrats, the ideological heirs of the Radical Republicans, want to give the vote and citizenship to non-English speaking immigrants who have no knowledge of how our system works, and no concept of what makes America. All they know is to vote for the benefit of their people and not the common good. And just as in the Reconstruction South, where Whites had to look to their own interests or be subjugated, ‘identity politics’ are a means of survival, though our ‘betters’ tell us we are wrong to play the game being played by all other ethnic groups.