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Old 01-25-2017, 04:35 PM
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Default Book Review: "The Story Of Reconstruction," by Robt. S. Henry

Overthrow Of American Constitution, Imperial Dictatorship By Moralist Psychopaths
Book Review: Henry's "The Story Of Reconstruction"
(Apollonian, 25 Jan 17)

"The Story Of Reconstruction," by Robert Selph Henry, Bobbs-Merrill Co., NY, 1938, 633 pp., 592 text, xi, index, some bibliography, several dozen illustrations, is extremely creditable matter-of-fact account of the US federal governmental "reconstruction" policy of conquering northern states upon formerly seceded states of the south, fm during the war, even as early as 1862, to the beginning days of Pres. Hayes in early 1877, when the federal occupation and enforcement troops were finally removed. The book is divided into three parts, "Restoration," "Reconstruction," and "Redemption," and overall, in 51 chapters.

Thus Henry's account is fm the southern perspective and isn't much concerned for a larger historical context. The Republican party was determined to impose a veritable political, imperialist dictatorship, but eventually lost credibility due to the failing economic conditions which struck USA in 1873.

Thus the Democratic party gradually gained traction against formerly victorious Republicans both in the south as well as the rest of the country, year by year when finally by the 1876 elections the Republicans decisively faltered and were forced to bargain in order to gain the Pres. office in return for allowing the last southern states (S. Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana), still under heaviest federal occupation, their autonomy, such as it was accepted under the altered conditions, the rights of the states now substantially reduced if not entirely eliminated. Such is and was the virtual REVOLUTION of the northern states against the US Constitution, against state sovereignty, and against the south which had actually stayed loyal to such constitutional contract.

As the war had continued and became increasingly onerous as for expenses, etc., the federal Congress worked to exert evermore control especially in way of policy towards the civil administration of the conquered southern territory and people. The southern people were at first required, for example, to emancipate the slaves and to award the former slaves voting rights--even though such voting rights for blacks was not allowed in the northern states.

Additionally, as war had continued, Lincoln's policy was relatively lenient for "reconstruction" of the formerly seceded states, after they had been captured, in contrast to his otherwise ruthless war policy of scorched earth as prosecuted by Grant and Sherman, Lincoln demanding only 10% of voters to take a loyalty oath to the union--of course, as Lincoln understood it in his manner, the union being superior to the states.

After Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, the new Pres., Andrew Johnson, attempted to carry on w. Lincoln's basic policies. But the Congress increasingly sought to exert its own policies of vindictiveness and vengeance, due no doubt to the heavy casualties and bitterness engendered by the war. The great loss of life, for one thing, required a distinct, significant, and meaningful moralistic justification: the south and its people had to suffer for resisting and defending itself.

Thus as the Republican-dominated Congress moved to exert its more punitive policies and Johnson resisted, the Congress became more "radical," as they became to be styled, and scored a decisive victory in 1866 elections. Soon Johnson found himself on the political defensive unable to resist the seemingly single-minded Congress which refused to seat the delegations fm the southern states and now consistently over-ruled and out-voted the President in his opposition and vetoing of "radical," legislation. The southern states were placed under overt military dictatorship, the black population given the vote, the whites substantially dis-franchised, though Johnson issued a general pardon near the end of his term.

Against the US Constitution, the radical Republicans began to dictate internal legislation of states and writing of their state constitutions, directing the military governors for the placing and removal of officers and state officials. The present Fourteenth Amendment, for example, was REQUIRED to be ratified by the southern states before they would be allowed representation in the Congress.

After election of the new President Grant in 1868 it seems the Republican radicals became more interested and diverted fm affairs in the south to more mundane but lucrative business of graft and corruption as economic expansion continued towards the western frontier and territories, the connection of the west coast by railroad, etc. But it wasn't until the 1873 economic recession that the Republican and radical political impetus against the southern states was blunted and began to significantly wane.

Surely interesting for the student of history was southern states' secession not being accepted by Lincoln as legal, but after the war, Thaddeus Stevens, the radical leader, for one, seems to have accepted the separation and secession, arguing that now the former southern states were no longer states deserving representation in the Congress but rather mere "territories" and provinces to be administered by Congress and the military. Thus the government of these territories was imposed by the Congress, the former black slaves given the vote and many offices, the whites dis-franchised and their rights heavily curtailed.

Henry's work is without footnotes, but is still outstanding for wealth of well-written detail, so the reader is not disappointed. Interesting is Henry's method of matter-of-fact accounting of detail without much analytical commentary or placing within a larger or more abstract perspective. There is no discussion of the constitutional aspects, though Henry does record some actions of the courts for many of the various incidents.

Thus we are left to ponder the amazing catastrophe for political state-craft and management which occurred in the 1860s. What happened?--it was a horrific hubristic and murderous imposition of moralism and Pharisaism against logic and truth, but which had been growing and metastasizing fm the very beginning of the un-constitutional and criminal US central banks (see Mises.org for expo on central banking), the Alien and Sedition Acts in the late eighteenth cent., to the nullification crisis of 1832, culminating in the war and aftermath for imperialism to present satanic genocide--all consistent w. one-world dictatorship as we struggle against presently.
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