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The first victims (yellow line) were Republican carpetbaggers; once they were driven out the Democrats turned on Blacks (blue line).
Source: Historical Statistics of the U.S., and is based on the 1952 Negro year Book.

Lynching refers to the assumption of extrajudicial authority, usually by Democrats, and the fatal execution of minorities or political opponents by mob rule.

Lynching attacks on African Americans, especially in the South, increased dramatically in the aftermath of Reconstruction, after the Republicans abolished slavery and extended Freedmen the right to vote. The peak of lynchings occurred in 1892, after white Southern Democrats regained control of state legislatures.

A cartoon threatening that the that Democrat donkey and KKK will lynch scalawags (left) and carpetbaggers (right) on March 4, 1869, the day President Grant takes office. Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Independent Monitor, September 1, 1868. A full-scale scholarly history analyzes the cartoonː Guy W. Hubbs, Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman (2015).[1]

At the turn of the 20th century, southern states passed new constitutions or Jim Crow laws which effectively disenfranchised most blacks and established segregation of public facilities by race/ Nearly 3,500 Blacks and 1,300 whites were lynched between 1882 and 1968.[2]

Former Supreme Court Justice James F. Byrnes, appointed by Franklin Roosevelt and later Secretary of State under President Harry Truman said, "rape is responsible, directly and indirectly, for most of the lynching in America."[3] Franklin Roosevelt appointed Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Hugo Black to the Supreme Court.

The first federal anti-lynching legislation was introduced by Republicans in 1905 and overcame Democrat filibusters in 1922. It was signed into law by Republican President Warren Harding in 1922. Democrat filibusters against strengthening the law continued however, and President Franklin Roosevelt always opposed Republican civil rights bills and anti-lynching legislation throughput the New Deal.

See also


  1. Hubbs, Guy W. (May 15, 2015). "Searching for Freedom after the Civil War: Klansman, Carpetbagger, Scalawag, and Freedman". University Alabama Press.
  2. Lynchings: By State and Race, 1882–1968. Statistics provided by the Archives at Tuskegee Institute. University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. [1]