Post-Civil War (aka the War of Northern Aggression) Reconstruction
Forty Acres and a Mule: The Ruined Hope of Reconstruction
"In Louisiana, at the state convention in New Orleans in 1866, a white mob attacked Republicans and their black supporters. Thirty-four blacks and three white Republicans were killed before federal troops restored order.
I bet that got your attention. But wait, there's more.
"Radical Reconstruction attempted to protect black suffrage in the South with the deployment of thirty-eight thousand federal troops. They oversaw the 1868 presidential election, which brought the Civil War hero Ulysses S. Grant, a moderate, to the White House. Five hundred thousand blacks voted, presumably for the Republican Party. Grant won by only three hundred thousand."
There's also this interesting bit about the "free" North and a bit about the Klan.
"In the North, a majority of states still did not allow blacks the vote and showed no inclination to change. The solution from Congress was the Fifteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1870.
"By 1871 incidents of Klan violence had become so common that congressional hearings on the problem were convened. In the U.S. Senate it was reported that fifty thousand murders had been committed in the South since the war. 'This was a war of terror,' says Blight. 'The Ku Klux Klan . . . is an original American terrorist organization.' Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act in 1871, suspending habeas corpus in nine counties in South Carolina and leading to the arrest of hundreds on charges of conspiracy to deny rights to blacks. The trials wiped out the Klan in South Carolina and helped Grant's popularity in the North."
And in the end Reconstruction in the South met it's end at the hands of wheeling and dealing politicians looking to promote their candidate rather than looking to do what was right.
"In 1877, the Presidential election was so close it went to the House of Representatives for a decision. Reconstruction became a bargaining chip: in exchange for the Democrats' agreement to accept Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House, the Reconstruction Act of 1867 would be rescinded and federal troops withdrawn from the South. The deal was struck. Without the military to enforce racial equality, the era of Reconstruction was over."
Hmmm, this article makes one thing clear to me, those who don't know their own history are doomed to make themselves look silly by making statements that contradict established historical facts. I've always been puzzled by the claims made by Democrats that Republicans don't care about black people. Neither party has a spotless record when it comes to race relations but given what I know about American history I think I'll throw my lot in with the Republicans.
Clarification: I am not saying that because 19th century Republicans supported Reconstruction I support Republicans now. My point is that the fact that 19th century Republicans were largely responsible for Reconstruction (which was over all a positive thing for Blacks) make a lot of the claims made by Democrats about Republicans and race suspect.