Freed Slaves Voting: The Good And The Bad Essay, Research Paper
Many freed slaves were denied the right to vote through many of the following techniques: literacy tests that were impossible for freed slaves to pass, grandfather clauses which were futile to freed slaves, poll taxes, and Jim Crow laws. If these were all erased and freed slaves were able to vote freely, the attitude and political power of the South would of been greatly altered. Would it of been altered for the good or for the bad? The main aspect that would of changed would be greatly increased hatred towards freed slaves by Southern whites. If a freed slave held a political office, whites would be furious that a black was making decisions for them. Many Southern whites believed in the goal of white supremacy. They believed that the literacy tests were justified in reducing the freed slave’s voting ability because of white supremacy. However, if the voting restraints are removed and freed slaves can vote, hatred will increase, along with terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Freed slaves everywhere will be terrified, maybe even terrified enough not to vote.
Another aspect that would of differed would be an increase of political power for the South. The freed slave would be counted as a full person, not three-fifths, and this gave the South more votes in Congress and the presidential elections. Sooner or later the freed slaves that could vote would eventually join the solidly Democratic South bandwagon and vote Democratic, thus enhancing the South’s political power. Many of the freed slaves would vote Democratic due to their great loyalty to “ole Massa.” In conclusion, two main aspects would of changed if freed slaves had been allowed to vote freely and hold elected positions in the South. First, hatred from the Southern whites against freed slaves would increase because if the freed slaves could vote freely, white supremacy would be jeopardized. Second, the South would of increased in power politically because many great slave- master relationships would be continued as the freed slaves voted Democratic, as their masters did. History would of been altered greatly as the Presidents might just well of been different. Then where would we be today?