CHAPTER XXXI. RECONSTRUCTION
CARPETBAG RULE. - President Grant began his administration in troubled times. The Reconstruction Act had secured the negro the right to vote. Many Southern states were thereby given over to negro rule. Seeing this, a swarm of Northern politicians called "carpetbaggers" went south, made themselves political leaders of the ignorant freedmen, and plundered and misgoverned the states. In this they were aided by a few Southerners who supported the negro cause and were called "scalawags." But most of the Southern whites were determined to stop the misgovernment; and, banded together in secret societies, called by such names as Knights of the White Camelia, and the Ku-Klux-Klan, they terrorized the negroes and kept them from voting. 
FORCE ACT. - Such intimidation was in violation of the Fifteenth Amendment. Congress therefore enacted the "Ku-Klux Act," or Force Act (1871), which prescribed fine and imprisonment for any one convicted of hindering or attempting to hinder a negro from voting, or his vote when cast from being counted.
RISE OF THE LIBERAL REPUBLICANS. - The troubles which followed the enforcement of this act led many to think that the government had gone too far, and a more liberal treatment of the South was demanded. Many complained that the civil service of the government was used to reward party workers, and that fitness for office was not duly considered. There was opposition to the high tariff. These and other causes now split the Republican party in the West and led to the formation of the Liberal Republican party.
, me and these other gents 'ave come to nurse you a bit." ]
FOREIGN RELATIONS. - Our foreign relations since the close of the Civil War present many matters of importance. In 1867 Alaska  was purchased from Russia for $7,200,000. At the opening of the war France sent troops to Mexico, overthrew the government, and set up an empire with Maximilian, Archduke of Austria, as emperor. This was a violation of the Monroe Doctrine (p. 282). When the war was over, therefore, troops were sent to the Rio Grande, and a demand was made on France to recall her troops. The French army was withdrawn, and Maximilian was captured by the Mexicans and shot. These things happened while Johnson was President.
SANTO DOMINGO. - In 1869 Grant negotiated a treaty for the annexation of the negro republic of Santo Domingo, and urged the Senate to ratify it. When the Senate failed to do so, he made a second appeal, with a like result.
ALABAMA CLAIMS. - In 1871 the treaty of Washington was signed, by which several outstanding subjects of dispute with Great Britain were submitted to arbitration. (1) Chief of these were the Alabama claims for damage to the property of our citizens by the Confederate cruisers built or purchased in Great Britain.  The five  arbitrators met at Geneva in 1872 and awarded us $15,500,000 in gold as indemnity. (2) A dispute over the northeastern fisheries  was referred to a commission which met at Halifax and awarded Great Britain $5,500,000. (3) The same treaty provided that a dispute over a part of the northwest boundary should be submitted to the emperor of Germany as arbitrator. He decided in favor of our claim, thus confirming our possession of the small San Juan group of islands, in the channel between Vancouver and the mainland.
CUBA. - In 1868 the people of Cuba rebelled against Spain, proclaimed a republic, and began a war which lasted nearly ten years. American ships were seized, our citizens arrested; American property in Cuba was destroyed or confiscated; and our ports were used to fit out filibusters to aid the Cubans. Because of these things and the sympathy felt in our country for the Cubans, Grant made offers of mediation, which Spain declined. As the war continued, the question of giving the Cubans rights of belligerents, and recognizing their independence, was urged on Congress.
While these issues were undecided, a vessel called the Virginius, flying our flag, was seized by Spain as a filibuster, and fifty-three of her passengers and crew were put to death (1873). War seemed likely to follow; but Spain released the ship and survivors, and later paid $80,000 to the families of the murdered men.
1. The end of the Civil War brought up several issues for settlement.
2. Out of the negro problem came the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution.
3. Out of the issue of readmitting the Confederate states into the Union grew a serious quarrel with President Johnson.
4. Congress passed the Reconstruction Act over Johnson's veto (1867), and by 1868 seven states were back in the Union.
5. Johnson's intemperate speeches and his violation of an act of Congress led to his impeachment and trial. He was not convicted.
6. Johnson was succeeded by Grant, in whose administration the remaining Southern states were readmitted to the Union; but the condition of the South, under carpetbag government, became worse than ever, and led to the passage of the Force Act.
7. Our foreign relations after the end of the war are memorable for the purchase of Alaska, the withdrawal of the French from Mexico, the treaty with Great Britain for the settlement of several old issues, the attempt of Grant to purchase Santo Domingo, and the Virginius affair with Spain.