The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 249
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on its feet. While this cotton was being looted by Federal Treas-
ury agents, the national government levied a special cotton tax
on Southern cotton, which netted $68,ooo,ooo, or more than
enough to pay for reconstruction. The Radical state govern-
ments, coming into power in 1867-1868, continued this plunder-
ing of the South. Despite the fact that the South was in a state
of ruin, which, in large areas, was comparable to that of Central
and Eastern Europe after World War II, the Radical state gov-
ernments levied land taxes 400 to 1400 per cent higher than the
rates of the ante-bellum period when the South was prosperous.
After exhausting current assets by expropriation and taxes, the
Radicals mortgaged the future of the Southern States by floating
an estimated $200,000,000 of state and local bonds. The Radicals
spent a portion of the money, thus wrung from the desolated
states by taxes and bonds, for certain governmental services. Un-
der normal circumstances this practice would have been com-
mendable, but under the existing conditions it was tyrannical
and cruel. Most of the funds so raised, however, were dishonestly
and heartlessly squandered or taken outright as loot by the local
In dealing with the former slaves, the Radicals at Washing-
ton and in the South did all in their power to arouse the Negroes'
suspicion and resentment against the Southern whites; and by
giving the former slaves the ballot and disfranchising great masses
of the Southern whites, or throwing out their ballots after the
elections, the Radicals did all that was possible to arouse the
antagonism and anger of the whites against the Negroes. Small
favors and large promises were given the colored folk, which
raised false hopes and created a distorted sense of values. Yet, as
Professor Coulter points out, nothing substantial was done for
the black people either in the North or the South. With hundreds
of millions of acres of Federal lands in the South and the many
millions more in that region which had been sold for taxes, the
Radicals did not grant the Negroes land-the one thing that they
desired above all others. The author considers the "forty acres
and a mule" slogan nothing but a cruel hoax played on an
ignorant and trusting race by those who cared nothing for the
Negroes other than to win their political support. Actually, it
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101121/m1/258/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.