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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Civil rights and universal education - James A. Garfield

Are event that continue to stifle progress truly random, especially those that affect Afro Americans?

James A. Garfield - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The plight of African-American civil rights weighed heavily on Garfield's presidency. During Reconstruction, freedmen had gained citizenship and suffrage that enabled them to participate in state and federal offices. Garfield believed that their rights were being eroded by southern white resistance and illiteracy, and was vitally concerned that blacks would become America's permanent "peasantry". The President's answer was to have a "universal" education system funded by the federal government. Garfield's concern over education was not exaggerated; there was a 70% illiteracy rate among southern blacks. Congress and the northern white public, however, had lost interest in African-American rights. Federal funding for universal education did not pass Congress during the 1880s.

President Garfield appointed several African-Americans to prominent positions: Frederick Douglass, recorder of deeds in Washington; Robert Elliot, special agent to the U.S. Treasury; John M. Langston, Haitian minister; and Blanche K. Bruce, register to the U.S. Treasury. Garfield began to reverse the southern Democratic conciliation policy implemented by his predecessor, Rutherford B. Hayes. In an effort to bolster southern Republican unity Garfield appointed William H. Hunt, a carpetbag Republican from Louisiana during Reconstruction, as Secretary of the Navy. Garfield believed that Southern support for the Republican party could be gained by "commercial and industrial" interests rather than race issues. To break hold of the resurgent Democratic Party in the Solid South, Garfield cautiously gave senatorial patronage privilege to Virginia Senator William Mahone of the biracial independent Readjuster Party.. Garfield was the first Republican president to initiate an election policy to obtain support from southern independents. - Wikipedia

Garfield not only favored abolition, but also believed that the leaders of the rebellion had forfeited their constitutional rights. He supported the confiscation of southern plantations and the punishment of rebellion leaders.

Following President Lincoln's assassination, Garfield attempted to ameliorate the strife between his own Radical Republicans and the new president, Andrew Johnson. When Johnson undermined the Freedman's Bureau, however, Garfield rejoined the Radicals, subsequently supporting Johnson's impeachment. -

14th Amendment Participants in rebellion

 In 1975, the citizenship of Confederate general Robert E. Lee was restored by a joint congressional resolution, retroactive to June 13, 1865.[160] In 1978, pursuant to Section 3, the Congress posthumously removed the service ban from Confederate president Jefferson