Monday, March 7, 2011

Lets Check in out West...

Now where are we?

We had a Civil War, a president assassinated, and 3 Amendments added to the Constitution.

Now I suggest we head out West.

Remember all those Native Americans we moved off their land? Yah, well we decided that the land we put them on had some sort of use to us.

Out on the Plains we had Sioux, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Comanche Indian Tribes.

They spent their lives peacefully following the buffalo ( was the American Bison, there really are no Buffalo in the United States...but that's ok, we can call them Buffalo.)

In 1800 there were around 60 million buffalo on the plains, by 1894 only 25 remained.

This was basically because white people sort of suck. We figured if we destroy the buffalo, the Plains Indians would have no food, no food = no Indians, no Indians = more land.

Railroads even offered special buffalo hunts. This is when a passenger could shoot buffalo from a moving train. No, seriously.

So, we had people shooting buffalo from trains. So did someone go out and pick up the dead buffalo? No...they just stayed there..rotting in the sun. This was pretty gross.

This was a big slap in the face to the Indians, because when they shot a buffalo, they used every single part of it, while the white people just let it fester and rot. Sad face.

Tensions between settlers and the Plains Indians sometimes grew violent, like the case of the Sand Creek Massacre.

Some Cheyenne's had raided some ranches in Colorado.

The U.S. Army said if the Cheyenne returned to their Reservation at Sand Creek, all would be forgiving. This however, would not be true.

When the Cheyenne returned, their Chief, Black Kettle, raised an American flag and a white flag as a sign of peace.

This is how the Army decided to react...

And so, 700 troops opened fire and killed 150 people, mostly women, children, and the elderly.

After they burnt down the Reservation, it was time to pack up and go home.

Of course there would be more things to come...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

End of Reconstruction

These laws that were made to keep African Americans in a form of slavery were called Black Codes.

Some of these included signing a work contract for one year. If they quit during this year they would receive no money.

They were no allowed to rent property, in some states they were not allowed to own guns, in the states that did allow guns they were often taxed.

They could aslo be arrested for joblessness, basically, things still really sucked.

The time of Reconstruction also launched the formation of the Ku Klux Klan. This was a "social" organization

They wore white sheets and harassed African Americans.

They terrorized them by burning their homes and even murdering them.

They are and are still idiots.

People in the North were not happy about what was going on in the "dirty south", as Ludacris would later call it.

In come the Radical Republicans, they went with 'radical' because the word gnarly didn't flow as well, anyway, what they wanted was equality.

Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, it said if white people can do it, so can black people.

President Johnson vetoed this Bill.

Johnson was a vetoing machine, Congress did not like this, so they took it upon themselves to pass the 14th Amendment. This gave citizenship to anyone born or naturalized in the United States.

Johnson and Congress continued to butt heads.

Because of all the vetoes and the firing of some people, President Johnson was impeached for abuse of power.

He was tried, but conviction never came, only 1 vote separated his fate.

Also during this time, the 15th Amendment was also passed. This gave black men the right to vote. Women? No, are you serious? Women voting? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...

Speaking of funny things, how about the words carpetbaggers and scalawags, those words came center stage during this time period, and trust me, you did not want to be called one.

Scalawags were usually Southernets who were not farmers nor slave owners. However, the war did leave them in financial ruin.

They became Republicans in hopes laws would be passed to forgive debts.

Carpetbaggers were Northerners who moved South for political gain. These people weren't seen favorably because they were looked at as selfish and just wanted to get ahead for themselves.

Later on Hillary Clinton was referred to as a carpetbagger after moving from Arkansas to New York to run for Senator.

But perhaps the most famous carpetbagger of all was Mary Poppins. She wasn't a Carpetbagger in a political sense, but in the sense that she carried a carpet bag...and inside that carpetbag she carried the world, and she did it in the most delightful way!

Reconstruction eventually came to an end, the South still held a lot of anger towards the African Americans, things improved a Hiram Rhodes Revels becoming the first African American to serve in the Senate AND he was from Mississippi, thats impressive.

While there were some improvements, conditions for African Americans remained pretty hard.