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Johnson, a former Tennessee Senator and slave owner, followed a lenient policy toward ex-Confederates.
Lincoln's last speeches show that he was leaning toward supporting the enfranchisement of all freedmen, whereas Johnson was opposed to this.
One such politician murdered by the Klan on the eve of the 1868 presidential election was Republican Congressman James M. Widespread violence in the south led to federal intervention by President Ulysses S. Nevertheless, white Democrats, calling themselves "Redeemers", regained control of the south state by state, sometimes using fraud and violence to control state elections.
A deep national economic depression following the Panic of 1873 led to major Democratic gains in the North, the collapse of many railroad schemes in the South, and a growing sense of frustration in the North.
This was followed by a period which white Southerners labeled "Redemption", during which white-dominated state legislatures enacted Jim Crow laws and, beginning in 1890, disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites through a combination of constitutional amendments and electoral laws.
The white Democratic Southerners' memory of Reconstruction played a major role in imposing the system of white supremacy and second-class citizenship for blacks, known as the age of Jim Crow.
Johnson's interpretations of Lincoln's policies prevailed until the Congressional elections of 1866.
Those elections followed outbreaks of violence against blacks in the former rebel states, including the Memphis riots of 1866 and the New Orleans riot that same year.
Reconstruction was a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States, and in economic history.The Democrats, who strongly opposed Reconstruction, regained control of the House of Representatives in 1874.In 1877, as part of a Congressional bargain to elect Republican Rutherford B.During 1867-69 the Klan murdered Republicans and outspoken freedmen in the south, including Arkansas Congressman James M. Grant used the Enforcement Acts to effectively combat the Ku Klux Klan, which was essentially wiped out (although a new incarnation of the Klan eventually would again come to national prominence in the 1920s), but was unable to resolve the escalating tensions inside the Republican party between the northerners on the one hand, and those Republicans originally hailing from the South on the other (this latter group would be labelled "Scalawags" by those opposing Reconstruction).Meanwhile, "Redeemers", self-styled Conservatives (in close cooperation with a faction of the Democratic Party) strongly opposed reconstruction.