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The civil rights of the freedmen were defined by the third act. They were graciously given the right to own property and entertain action in courts, which rights the free negoes had even before the war, but they could lease landed property in cities only. Could their be found any better evidence of the class nature of this economic legislation, than this effort to prevent at the very begining the possibility of the growth of negro land ownership? Mixed marriages were strictly prohibited, and the presence of one eighth of negro blood was sufficient to classify a person a member of the negro race. Negroes could be admitted as witnesses only when one of the parties belonged to the negro race. Each negro was required to have a definite place of residence and an occupation, and to prove such by a written labor contract or a license from the authorities for performance of temporary work. The negro who broke his labor contract was to lose the right to claim his pay, was liable to arrest and forcible return to his employer; and the latter was to pay to the sheriff who accomplished his capture a consideable reward, to be deducted from the wages of the negro. Influencing a negro to escape or assisting him in his escape by furnishing food, was prohibited and punishable. The negro was not permitted to wear arms. In short, the old black code was reestablished for the freed negroes, though after it has been made somewhat more stringent. But the acme of class legislation was reached in the following provision: "that any freedman, free negro, or mulatto committing riots, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief, malicious mischief, and cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, or exercizing the functions of a minister of the gospel without a license from some regularly organized church, or selling spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor," should be fined or imprisoned, and upon failure to pay the fine in five days' time after conviction, should be publicly hired out to the person who would pay the fine, and costs for the shortest term of labor from the convict..
Thus, each and every action of the "free" negro when unpleasant to the local authorities, could easily be termed a crime, and could serve as a ready excuse for arresting him and selling him into temporary slavery, as is admitted even by such a sympathizer with the South as Professor Burgess.
This well defined policy of the State of Mississippi, which other southern states seemed only too anxious to follow, could not but call forth severe criticism in the North. It would be difficult to state exactly how much of this protest was called forth by purely altruistic considerations; and how much by
selfish calculations; but there is no doubt that the North was sincere in its criticism since it had no reason to desire the reestablishment of slavery which had cost so much to the country. The tendencies of the State of Mississippi and the report of General Schurtz, who had investigated the condition of affairs in that state and several other southern states, largely influenced the congress in its decision to break away from the pacifying policy of President Johnson, and to begin the new era of reconstruction.
Without going into the details of the political events, which followed in rapid succession, it may be useful to men. tion the main features of the congressional plan which was carried through. The southern delegates to the House and the Senate were refused admission. The radicals insisted that the granting of self-government to the rebel states would leave. the rights of the negroes unprotected. Three roads to reconstruction were left open to the country. The North could continue the military occupation of the South and the government of the conquered states from Washington, or the internal government could be so centralized that local discrimination against the negro would be impossible, and their rights would be thus protected, or finally the negroes could. be given the means for self-protection; namely, the right of participation in the state government. In the final plans, the military occupation was looked upon only as a temporary measure, any extensive changes in the methods of self-government, in the nature of centralization, were not thought of, and therefore the third plan was accepted, granting the negroes the right to vote. The thirteenth, foruteenth and fifteenth amendments to the constitution were passed in 1866. These amendments naturally called forth the violent opposition of the South and only passed because their acceptance was made a condition to the readmission of the southern delegates to the House and the Senate.
The thirteenth amendment formally prohibited slavery within the entire territory of the United States. Even this amendment was violently fought against by the south, and this only strenghtened the decision of the North not to let the South have its own way. The fourteenth amendment deprived those who had participated in the rebellion of the right to vote before 1870, and established the rule, which has caused. so much discussion recently, that the representation of a state in the congress should be decreased whenever the voting right was taken away from a considerable part of the population; the measure could have been easily excused in view of the fact that the emancipation further increased the represen.
tation of the South in the national legislature. The original constitution, while providing for representation in the lower house proportionately to population, was forced to introduce a compromise by which only three fifths of the slave population of the southern states was counted, and even that gave the white a representation which was considerably out of proportion to its numbers; were the negroes to remain without any influence on the elections though free, this would further increase the overrepresentation of the white men of the South, and to grant such a privilege to the vanquished would have been magnanimity, bordering on insanity.
The fourteenth amendment touched only upon the position of the South in national politics, but for the protection of the negroes and their rights in the South, the fifteenth amendment was passed in the same way, prohibiting discrimination at the polls on account of race, or color, or previous condition of servitude. This was the first measure that granted all the negroes throughout the country the right to vote; though the negroes of the South had already participated in the elections of 1866 and 1868, in virtue of various military regulations, yet the southerners had confidently hoped to be able to put a stop to that after they had reurned to power. This hope of the white man of the South seemed at that time to have been destroyed by the fifteenth amendment. In addition, this amendment had for the first time granted the right of vote to the negroes of the entire North.
Even such a level headed man as Carl Schurtz came out unequivocally in favor of granting the franchise to the negroes. "As the most difficult of the pending questions are ultimately connected with the status of the negro in southern society, it is obvious that a correct solution can be more easily obtained if he has a voice in the matter," wrote Carl Schurtz in his report. "The rights of a man of some political power are far less exposed to violation. A voter is a man of influence, such an individual is an object of interest to the political partes that desire to have the benifit o fhis ballot. It is true, that bringing face to face at the ballot-box of the white and the black races may here and there lead to an outbreak of feeling, and the first trials ought certainly to be made while the national power is still there to prevent or repress disturbances, but the practice once successfully inaugurated under the protection of this power, it would probably be more apt than anything else to obliterate old antagonisms, especially if the colored people divide their votes between the different political parties."
Nor did Schurtz think that the ignorance of the negroes
was a serious argument against granting them that franchise. The granting of the franchise, could not be postponed until the accomplishment of the education of the negro, because, he argued, the franchise was very necessary to accomplish the education of the black race. Just as lightly did he meet the plea, that the negro would become a blind tool in the hands of politicians, as for instance his masters..
"The beneficial effect of an extension of suffrage does not always depend upon the intelligence with which the newly admitted voters exercise their rights, but sometimes by the circumstances in which they are placed," says the old radical of 1848, "and when they vote for their own liberty and rights, they vote for the rights of free labor, for the prosperity of the country, for the general interests of mankind." Further, Schurtz insisted that the South could not be expected to . grant the right to vote to the negroes without the interference of the North, that the white South is very much opposed to such a measure, and that this must therefore be made a condition of the return of the southern states into the union.
One need not doubt, however, that side by side with such idealistic constructions, the more vulgar motives of party advantage were exercising their powerful interests. The calculation was brutally plain and simple. Grateful for their emancipation, the negroes will necessarily join the republican party in a body. Even as honest a man as Charles Sumner was swayed by such an argument, though for purely public consideration. But many politicians of a much lower plane saw in this plan the possibility of gaining purely personal advantages. Only by a combination of all these considerations can the granting of the franchise to the freed slaves be explained. As at the same time the vote was taken away, for a time, from all the white southerners who had been active participants in the historical struggle, this granting of the franchise to the negroes was equivalent to the deliverance of the political future of the South into the hands of the slaves of yesterday. I. M., ROBBINS.
(To be Continued).
Does Socialism Change?
HE LINE OF LEAST RESISTANCE is not always the true line of progress, intellectually or otherwise. But it attracts many travellers.
This may account largely for the phenomena written so large in the current history of American Socialism, viz: the fact that its national conventions, the correspondence of its national committee, and the propaganda matter in print and speeches have reflected so much the early classics of socialist thought, to the almost entire exclusion of later utterances even of such men as Engels and Liebknecht. It has been left to Putnams and Harpers to bring out books such as Ensor's "Modern Socialism" or Jaures' "Studies in Socialism"-books which reflect in a more balanced way the thought of the modern socialist world as distinguished from the earlier socialist origins.
In view of this fact it is to the credit of the Chas. H. Kerr Publishing Company that they are putting out a transla. ion of Kampffmeyer's "Changes in the Theory and Tactics of the German Social-Democracy."
Inasmuch as the writer of this article felt the value of Kampffmeyer's work to be such as to warrant its translation, those who are not familiar with the little brochure may be glad of a few words of introduction from one who has studied it closely.
If Germany were not a modern nation, throbbing with all the influences of a twentieth century capitalism, Kampffmeyer's little book would have only an academic value. But coming, as it does, from one of the most virile of the great national movements now based upon the tenets of socialism, it has immense value for all students of that movement.
In seven short chapters, occupying only about one hundred pages in the German, Kampffmeyer treats successively of "The Unfolding of Socialism in the Social-Democratic Theory, The Capitalistic State and the Parliamentary Activity of the Social-Democracy, State Social Reform and the SocialDemocracy, Militarism and the Social-Democracy, Municipal Social Reform and the Social Democracy, Trades Unions and the Social-Democracy," and "Co-operatives and the SocialDemocracy."
Thus the author covers most of the important fields of socialist thought, except that dealing with the agrarian ques