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The Doom of ReconstructionThe Liberal Republicans in the Civil War Era$
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Andrew L. Slap

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227099

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227099.001.0001

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Rehearsal in Missouri for the Liberal republican Movement,1865–1870

Rehearsal in Missouri for the Liberal republican Movement,1865–1870

(p.xxvi) (p.1) 1 Rehearsal in Missouri for the Liberal republican Movement,1865–1870
The Doom of Reconstruction

Andrew L. Slap

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses events in Missouri politics between 1865 and 1870 that can be seen as a dress rehearsal for the national liberal republican movement and provide insights into its composition and ideology. When, during the 1870 elections, Senator Carl Schurz of Missouri led a group of “Liberal Republicans” against the state Republican Party in support of amnesty for former Confederates, reform of civil service, and free trade, he put in motion a process that would lead to the formation of a national liberal republican movement that shared these goals. Schurz's Missouri Liberals, like the national liberal republicans, used classical republican arguments—that corruption, centralized power, and dependent citizens were a threat to liberty—to support their claim that the Republicans were endangering America's future. Both groups relied on German Americans for support, and both hoped to gain control of the Republican Party through the use of Democratic votes.

Keywords:   Carl Schurz, Liberal Republicans, Missouri, German Americans, liberal republican movement

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