Sometimes I wonder if people who are in politics now know their history. The leadership of the Republican party was missing from the commemorations in Selma, Alabama yesterday. Do they know that in the wake of Reconstruction one hundred and fifty years ago that it was their party who led the fight for voting rights for the recently freed enslaved citizens?
In 1871 the year that The Representative’s Revolt takes place, it’s the beginning of the end of Reconstruction. That’s because the Democrats (yes, them) started to reassert their political authority by questioning and overturning the elections of Republicans to various state offices. They were able to overturn enough elections to ease their way back into political control, starting to end the gains the formerly enslaved saw at the start of Reconstruction. As you might guess from the title, our historical hottie hero, Republican Virgil, weathers this political storm, but what about after that?
1871 was also the year that represented the first formations of the Ku Klux Klan. The Ku Klux Klan, through the use of vigilante violence, helped to bring about the end of Reconstruction. They saw to it that violence against those who sought to make change increased manifold. Between Atlanta and Milford, Virgil certainly has enough enemies in place to do him some harm, but who will try it? All will be revealed later in the spring…..
Ultimately, Reconstruction officially ended in 1877 with a political deal to settle the presidential election between Harrison and Tilden. However it was in 1871 that Republicans found their political dream for voting rights for all come to an end. It took nearly another hundred years for those rights to be restored. Still, I have to wonder, with their absence from the proceedings yesterday, did the leadership of the GOP remember their history at all?