By Robert Goldman
"A loose poll and a good count number" examines the efforts by means of the dept of Justice to enforce the federal laws glided by Congress in 1870-71 referred to as the Enforcement Acts. those legislation have been designed to implement the vote casting rights promises for African-Americans below the lately ratified 15th modification. The Enforcement Acts set forth quite a number federally enforceable crimes geared toward fighting white southerners' makes an attempt to disclaim or limit black suffrage. There are a number of points of this paintings that distinguish it from different, past works during this sector. opposite to older interpretative experiences, Goldman's fundamental thesis is that, the federal government's makes an attempt to guard black balloting rights within the South didn't stop with the excellent Court's antagonistic rulings in U.S. v. Reese and U.S. v. Cruikshank in 1875. Nor, it truly is argued, did enforcement efforts stop on the finish of Reconstruction and the so-called Compromise of 1877. particularly, federal enforcement efforts after 1877 mirrored the continuing dedication of Republican social gathering leaders, for either humanitarian and partisan purposes, to what got here to be known as "the unfastened poll and a good count." one other designated element of this publication is its specialize in the position of the federal division of Justice and its officers within the South within the persevered enforcement attempt. Created as a cabinet-level government division in 1870, the Justice division proved ill-equipped to answer the common criminal and extra-legal resistance to black suffrage via white southern Democrats within the years in the course of and after Reconstruction. the dept confronted numerous inner difficulties resembling inadequate assets, terrible communications, and native group of workers usually appointed extra for his or her political acceptability than their prosecutorial or felony abilities. via the early Eighteen Nineties, while the election legislation have been ultimately repealed by way of Congress, enforcement efforts have been sporadic at most sensible and mostly unsuccessful. the top of federal involvement, coupled with the wave of southern nation structure revisions, ended in the disfranchisement of the majority of African-American citizens within the South via the start of the 20th Century. it will no longer be till the Sixties and the "Second Reconstruction" that the government, and the Justice division, might once more try and make sure the "free poll and a good count".
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Extra resources for A free ballot and a fair count: the Department of Justice and the enforcement of voting rights in the South, 1877-1893
Although Linden’s study provides statistical evidence of ”a marked consistency among Republican senators and representatives” in supporting measures designed to protect the civil and political rights of blacks during andafter the Civil War, it does not explain the reasonsbehind the form thesemeasures took, for example, the Fifteenth Amendment. Nor does either essay appear to preclude possible selfish motivesthat might have been present in the minds of those Republicans who were responsible for the Fifteenth Amendment.
S. Constitution, Amendment 15. 6. John Mabry Mathews,Legislative and Judicial Histoy of the Fifteenth Amendment (New York, 1971),20-36 and passim. 7. , 33. THE FIFTEENTH AMENDMENT 19 8. , 36. 9. Kirk R. Porter, A History of Supage in the United States (reprint, New York, 1971), 179. 10. Gillette,Right to Vote, 170, 172,93, and passim. 11. John and LaWandaCox,”NegroSuffrage and Republican Politics: The Problem of Motivation in Reconstruction Historiography,’’ Journal of Southern History, 33 (August 1967): 303-30.
S. 214 (1876); U S . v. S. 542 (1876). 27. Charles Warren, The Supreme Court in United States History (New York, 1922),2:6014; Cummings andMcFarland, Federal Justice,24546. According to Cummings,Attorney General Williamssuspended prosecutions in the South under the Enforcement Acts in October 1874, expecting a decision bythe Court that term on the constitutionality of the acts. That decision was never given, and during the same term Williams and Solicitor General Phillips argued the Reese case.
A free ballot and a fair count: the Department of Justice and the enforcement of voting rights in the South, 1877-1893 by Robert Goldman