This Week in Reconstruction, November 1-6, 1866
A new fight is brewing in Richmond and across the nation. A constitutional amendment has been proposed that, in part, states anyone who attempted to rebel from the Union or gave aid to those rebelling is disqualified from holding or running for public office. Any Southerner who actively or even passively supported the Confederacy was placed under a disability that prevented them for holding office, causing outrage among once powerful white men across the South. The fight over disabilities is just beginning, but all indications suggest it will be a fierce fight. Northern newspapers are using their newspapers to try and convince Southerners to accept the amendment. The Dispatch swiftly responds by telling other newspapers not to waste their time, Southerners will not be coerced into supporting this amendment. Responding to one Radical newspaper's article suggesting Virginia should ratify the amendment so they can vote in the next presidential election, the Dispatch says there is no reason to vote if the best Southern men cannot be elected. White citizens across Richmond are willing to ignore their most sacred duty as a citizen, voting, in order to make a point. Tensions are high because no one knows where this fight will end. Who will lead the south? Who will represent the south? Will the votes of Southern men be counted? The Dispatch suggests that if satisfactory answers to these three questions aren't found, another Civil War could be on the horizon.