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The Appeal of Racial Neutrality in the Civil War–Era North: German Americans and the Democratic New Departure

The Appeal of Racial Neutrality in the Civil War–Era North: German Americans and the Democratic... alison c lark efford The Appeal of Racial Neutrality in the Civil War–Era North German Americans and the Democratic New Departure On June 9, 1869, a weekly newspaper catering to Wisconsin’s German- speaking Catholics published a blueprint for reforming the Democratic Party. Under the simple heading “Our Platform,” the Milwaukee Seebote outlined sixteen policy demands. The fi rst was “Universal suff rage for all citizens of the United States.” Peter V. Deuster, the editor of the Seebote, had broached the issue a week earlier: “The Democracy must unreservedly accept Negro suff rage—indeed, universal suff rage in the broadest sense of the word—if it wants to win over the masses.” This conclusion and the subsequent manifesto appeared a full month before any Anglo-American Democrat made such an emphatic pronouncement and a scant year after Deuster’s opponents in the Republican Party had deemed manhood suf- frage too politically hazardous to include on their own national plat- form. After the 1868 elections, in which Republicans had retained their majorities in the House and Senate and won the presidency, Congress had passed a constitutional amendment intended to enfranchise black men. Yet the Fifteenth Amendment was still awaiting ratifi cation when Deuster published the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of the Civil War Era University of North Carolina Press

The Appeal of Racial Neutrality in the Civil War–Era North: German Americans and the Democratic New Departure

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright @ The University of North Carolina Press
ISSN
2159-9807

Abstract

alison c lark efford The Appeal of Racial Neutrality in the Civil War–Era North German Americans and the Democratic New Departure On June 9, 1869, a weekly newspaper catering to Wisconsin’s German- speaking Catholics published a blueprint for reforming the Democratic Party. Under the simple heading “Our Platform,” the Milwaukee Seebote outlined sixteen policy demands. The fi rst was “Universal suff rage for all citizens of the United States.” Peter V. Deuster, the editor of the Seebote, had broached the issue a week earlier: “The Democracy must unreservedly accept Negro suff rage—indeed, universal suff rage in the broadest sense of the word—if it wants to win over the masses.” This conclusion and the subsequent manifesto appeared a full month before any Anglo-American Democrat made such an emphatic pronouncement and a scant year after Deuster’s opponents in the Republican Party had deemed manhood suf- frage too politically hazardous to include on their own national plat- form. After the 1868 elections, in which Republicans had retained their majorities in the House and Senate and won the presidency, Congress had passed a constitutional amendment intended to enfranchise black men. Yet the Fifteenth Amendment was still awaiting ratifi cation when Deuster published the

Journal

The Journal of the Civil War EraUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Feb 5, 2015

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