By Robert Goldman
"A loose poll and a good count number" examines the efforts through the dep. 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 lower than the lately ratified 15th modification. The Enforcement Acts set forth various federally enforceable crimes aimed toward battling white southerners' makes an attempt to disclaim or limit black suffrage. There are numerous points of this paintings that distinguish it from different, past works during this zone. opposite to older interpretative reports, Goldman's basic thesis is that, the federal government's makes an attempt to guard black vote casting rights within the South didn't stop with the splendid Court's adverse 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. quite, federal enforcement efforts after 1877 mirrored the ongoing dedication of Republican social gathering leaders, for either humanitarian and partisan purposes, to what got here to be known as "the loose poll and a good count." one other targeted element of this ebook is its specialise in the function of the federal division of Justice and its officers within the South within the persisted enforcement attempt. Created as a cabinet-level government division in 1870, the Justice division proved ill-equipped to reply to the frequent criminal and extra-legal resistance to black suffrage by means of white southern Democrats within the years in the course of and after Reconstruction. the dept confronted a number of inner difficulties equivalent to inadequate assets, negative communications, and native group of workers frequently appointed extra for his or her political acceptability than their prosecutorial or criminal talents. by means of the early Nineties, whilst the election legislation have been eventually repealed via Congress, enforcement efforts have been sporadic at most sensible and principally unsuccessful. the top of federal involvement, coupled with the wave of southern country structure revisions, led to the disfranchisement of the majority of African-American electorate within the South through the start of the 20th Century. it's going to no longer be until eventually the Sixties and the "Second Reconstruction" that the government, and the Justice division, may once more try to make sure the "free poll and a good count".
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Additional info for A free ballot and a fair count: the Department of Justice and the enforcement of voting rights in the South, 1877-1893
31 This aspectof the Court’s decision was directly challenged in a dissenting opinion by Justice Ward Hunt. Hunt accurately pointed out that the purpose of the entire Enforcement Act being considered was to protect blacks against violations of their right to vote,and that thispurpose was clearly set forth in the first two sections of the act, sections the Court chose to ignore. Hunt further noted that while sections 3 and 4 did not mention race, the crimes listed referred directly back to similar crimes listed in the firsttwo sections, which were in fact based on discrimination on accountof race.
For discussion on the background and passage of the Fifteenth Amendment, see William Gillette, The Right to Vote: Politics and the Passage ofthe Fifteenth Amendment(Baltimore, 1969),and chap. 1below. 4. S. v. S. S. v. S. 542 (1876). Loren Miller,The Petitioners (New York, 1966), 158. 5. For acomplete discussion of these cases, see chap. 5 below. 6. Stanley Hirshson, Farewell to the Bloody Shirt: NorthernRepzrblicans and theNegro, 2877-2893 (Chicago,1968); and Vincent P. DeSantis, Republicans Face theSouthernQuestion:The New Departure Years, 1877-1897 (Baltimore, 1959).
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.
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