This Week in Reconstruction, September 1-7, 1866

The hallmark of American politics is taking place in Philadelphia. Politicians wait their turn for a coveted chance to be the reason people change their mind. The political season has officially kicked off because the Radical Convention has begun. Though hundreds of miles away, this convention is on the minds of Richmonders and the pages of the Dispatch alike. The editors of the Dispatch are not shy in expressing their outrage at the proposals coming out of the convention. The Radicals, in planning their official platform, are supporting ideas that the white Southern elite are already rallying against. Division, and the anger it causes, is drowning the city. There is no clear culprit for that division. But the Dispatch is eager to blame the Radicals for inflaming tensions with the South. Going as far as to label the convention of "Mean Whites", in reference to the Radicals affinity to blame nearly all issues on Southerners, the Dispatch tries to blame the Radicals for increasing tensions. The Radicals, in turn, blame the Southerners. No matter who takes the blame, one thing is clear, this is only the start of what promises to be a volatile and contentious election season.

Contributed By

Nat Berry