Scalawag Research Paper

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History of the Two-Faced Representatives: Scalawags During The Reconstruction Era When you hear the word Scalawag, the first thing that comes to mind, at least for me, is a pirate. A pirate is envisioned as someone who swipes the loot with an eye patch, wooden leg thumping towards the plank and horrible teeth with an overall tawdry way of life. In all actuality, a scalawag has many definitions and its origins to this day are still unknown. In the online Cambridge dictionary, the definition of Scalawag is “someone who causes trouble in a playful way, or a charming person who is slightly dishonest. (1)” For the purpose of this essay, the definition of Scalawag is people from southern United States “predominantly poor and ignorant whites,…show more content…
Unlike the carpetbagger, he is native, which is so much the worse. Once he was respected in his circle; his head was level, and he could look his neighbor in the face. Now, possessed of the itch of office and the salt rheum of Radicalism, he is a mangy dog, slinking through the alleys, haunting the Governor’s office, defiling with tobacco juice the steps of the Capitol, stretching his lazy carcass in the sun on the square, or the benches of the Mayor’s court.” This was titled “A Prospective Scene in the City of Oaks, 4th of March 1869” illustrating through words what a Scalawag was. (10) It wasn’t just the Ku Klux Clan that had issues with Scalawags but a majority of the Southern Democrats. Scalawag was a symbolic word that could influence political behavior of its viewers. A scalawag was priceless to the white South’s Counter Reconstruction effort. To the protestors of the scalawags, their actions, such as intimidation, death, damage to property and fraud, were justified for their long term goals of taking back control of the South. So giving the Southerners the title Scalawag, it gave them a chance to look down upon the known scalawags and protest against their desires to sit in a Republicans chair just to also further their own agenda – keep the south how it was pre-civil…show more content…
Cambridge Dictionaries Online. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013. s.v. "scalawag." http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/american-english/scalawag?q=scalawag (accessed April 9, 2013). 2. Boyer, Paul. In the enduring Vision: A history of the American People... Boston: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. 3. Guisepi, R. A. . International World History Project, "The Reconstruction Period, an Overview." Last modified January 2007. Accessed April 17, 2013. http://history-world.org/reconstruction_period.htm. 4. Allard, Phil. Issues & COntroversies in American History, "Civil War: Reconstruction Moderate v. 'Radical' Plans for Reintegrating the South." Last modified February 21, 2006. Accessed April 9, 2013. http://www.philwrites.com/H_reconstruction.htm. 5. University of Minnesota, "All Amendments to the United States Constitution." Last modified 2009. Accessed April 10, 2013. http://www1.umn.edu/humanrts/education/all_amendments_usconst.htm. 6. Civil War Trust, " James Longstreet Lieutenant General January 8, 1821 – January 2, 1904 ." Last modified 2013. Accessed April 11, 2013.
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