Following the War Between the States, the freedmen were exploited by the infamous Union League to help ensure the election of Northern radical Republicans who exploited and bankrupted the exhausted South. The emergence of the Ku Klan Klan was a predictable result.
Bernhard Thuersam, www.Circa1865.com
War of Conquest, Not Emancipation
“Reconstruction” is a curious name to apply to the period following the war. Indeed, the war had left widespread destruction, but the government in Washington had no policy of reconstruction. The South was left to its own economic devices, which largely amounted to being exploited by Northern interests who took advantage of cheap land, cheap labor, and readily available natural resources. This exploitation and neglect created an economic morass, the results of which endure into the twenty-first century.
Not surprisingly, governments based on the leadership of carpetbaggers, scalawags, and freedmen, groups that represented a minority of the population, met widespread and violent opposition. This attempt to create a government based on racial equality was made even more ludicrous when many of [the] Northern States rejected the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, creating a situation where the States that said they had worked to free the slaves failed to grant equality to people of color.
(Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Escort and Staff, Michael R. Bradley, Pelican Publishing Company,