Planters' land broken up after the American Civil War

But even then why give the land to the Blacks? It would make better economic sense to auction off the plantations as going concerns - and there would have been many Northern "carpetbaggers" able to pay good money for them - which most of the Freedmen couldn't.

The biggest winners in the South OTL post war were second and third sons of northern industrialists who came down and gobbled up a great deal of land with a little money enough to deal with the typical bad years that hit.

They did not continue to support the bigger government policies of their northern parents because feudal farmers learn to hate rather quickly a far-off capital (even their own state government, but certainly Washington as well) trying to order their affairs as the farmer had to be constantly light on their feet depending on the soil, the weather, etc.

The farmer didn't ever fully know the year before a season if they would have a bounty or nothing when harvest finally came. The industrialist knew about how many widgets they would make from one year to the next. The rise in big government policies in the North was because the industrialist could work with government to expand their production in a mutualistic relationship and have a good idea on how much expanded production they would have.

If with magic all the farms in the South were given to freedmen along with a load of money to get them through their first few years their loyalty to northern industrialists and their policies wouldn't last very long because big government policies virtually always were bad for farming back then. That reality continued into the 20th century with the Soviet Union and China being later cautionary tales on how well a far off capital can regulate feudal farms.
 
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Enough to triple the amount of support it got when the president was killed? I doubt it. Johnson wasn't well liked.
It's not about him as a person, it's about the assault on the institutions of government by a hated enemy.
You are likely to get a situation similar to what happened in Zimbabwe with its policy regarding the breakup of white owned commercial farms to give land to "war veterans" ( many seemed to be simply supporters of the ruling party rather than actual veterans ). A total disaster with the economy of the area all but collapsing, as lack of skills/capital/scale bit hard.
Lack of skill, I don't think, shouldn't be a massive issue considering these are all people who have done literally nothing other than work the land. These aren't veterans with no experience. And considering how well the US policy of given out parcels of land in the West to any Joe Schmo who asked for it, I don't see why giving this land to ex-slaves who had done nothing but worked it would be especially prone to failure.
 
And considering how well the US policy of given out parcels of land in the West to any Joe Schmo who asked for it, I don't see why giving this land to ex-slaves who had done nothing but worked it would be especially prone to failure.

Iirc Joe Schmo had to provide his own animals and equipment, which he couldn't do if penniless. Even so, wasn't it railroads and the like who got most of the land out west?
 
It's not about him as a person, it's about the assault on the institutions of government by a hated enemy.

Lack of skill, I don't think, shouldn't be a massive issue considering these are all people who have done literally nothing other than work the land. These aren't veterans with no experience. And considering how well the US policy of given out parcels of land in the West to any Joe Schmo who asked for it, I don't see why giving this land to ex-slaves who had done nothing but worked it would be especially prone to failure.

Yes, land reforms is usual a success if you give the land to the people already working on it. Giving the land to small farmers would also have the benefit of diversifying the southern agricultural sector and in case of Europe small farmers in general lead to a shift to more high value labor intensive (but ones needing less land) goods. While the shift away from large cotton farms to smaller farms with more diverse crops, will likely affect cotton production negative it would spread the wealth and result in increase consumption and a more complex economy.
 
Iirc Joe Schmo had to provide his own animals and equipment, which he couldn't do if penniless. Even so, wasn't it railroads and the like who got most of the land out west?
I don't know about "most," but they got huge tracts of land, yes...which they mostly sold on to Joe Schmoes, because giving railroads land in the expectation that they would profit by building rails to the land and then sell it off was a subsidy model that made sense to people at the time.
 
Iirc Joe Schmo had to provide his own animals and equipment, which he couldn't do if penniless. Even so, wasn't it railroads and the like who got most of the land out west?
Certainly not in the beginning. The US gave away enormous tracts of land to its citizens, for free. And it was one of the most wildly succesful policies the United States pursued, and was probably the thing more than anything (perhaps save race, but it's open for debate) ended up setting the politics of the US apart from the rest of the world.

As to animals and equipment, that would admittedly have to be provided in some function by the government. But again, I don't think this is a particuarly big issue - all of these estates would have the requisite tool and animals to work them, which could also be expropriated by the federal government and given (or sold with low interest loans) to the people who have been raising them and using them for their entire lives.
 
As to animals and equipment, that would admittedly have to be provided in some function by the government. But again, I don't think this is a particuarly big issue - all of these estates would have the requisite tool and animals to work them, which could also be expropriated by the federal government and given (or sold with low interest loans) to the people who have been raising them and using them for their entire lives.

But why do that when there were people around who could pay w/o needing the loans? What's in it for the government, or for the North in general?

It's one thing to give away land that is totally undeveloped, and have the recipients develop it at their own expense, but quite another to give away land that is already developed, and valuable as it stands. That makes no sense. In to the highest bidder.deed, iirc quite a few plantations "were" forfeited, for tax defaults and the like, in the aftermath of the war. They were of course put up for auction
 
But even then why give the land to the Blacks? It would make better economic sense to auction off the plantations as going concerns - and there would have been many Northern "carpetbaggers" able to pay good money for them - which most of the Freedmen couldn't.
Radicalization against Southern culture stronger than the bonds of class. And if that sounds difficult, yes it does and it is.
 
The US can barely do "federal government programs designed to help people of color" now - much less in the 1860s, a much more racist era.

"Will the US government of the post-ACW period knife people of color, despite previous treaties/promises, and take their land if it means more $$$ for whites?" we know the answer to that one.
 
I can imagine a timeline where the US government decides it's time for a Black homeland post-1865 but that will be something done to freedpeople rather than for freedpeople.
 
The US can barely do "federal government programs designed to help people of color" now - much less in the 1860s, a much more racist era.

"Will the US government of the post-ACW period knife people of color, despite previous treaties/promises, and take their land if it means more $$$ for whites?" we know the answer to that one.
Because the actual conditions of the post-ACW period are actualy better for such a reform than the conditions are today. The most affected stakeholders, the Southern planter class, is an enemy of the state that has been excised for the time being from normal market affairs. What's more, that class is actively resisting and waging a guerilla campaign against their re-integration. Land reform with an emphasis on freedman offers the opportunity to reform the political economy of the South in such a manner that the power of the Southern planter class can be permanently broken.

Today, the prime reason that meaningful racial remunerations can't be achieved is because there is no other to expropriate from. Any redistribtion to aid black people would be (either in reality or in perception) a re-distribution at the expense all white people.

At the end of the ACW, there was not only a hatred for the south, there was also a very real and widespread (if paternalistic) sympathy for black people. If the populist pro-Union sentiment in the North can be channeled effectively, land reform in the South is absolutely tenable.
 
I can imagine a timeline where the US government decides it's time for a Black homeland post-1865 but that will be something done to freedpeople rather than for freedpeople.

And you can bet your life it would be done at the expense on Native Americans, Mexicans or similar, *not* of Anglos - even Rebel ones.
 
Assassinations at the very top of the government are traumatic, but a “normal risk,” just like dying in office. The more dead in line, the more exponentially traumatic it is to the nation.

If George VI had been killed in the Blitz, it would have been traumatic but matter of fact. If George, Elizabeth, and Margaret were killed, the line of succession was clear, but the national trauma of the blitz (and fury) would have been an order of magnitude worse.

Even in monarchies with a defunct dynasty, there’s usually one or two candidates known to be in the position or who become foreseeable.

If you get a situation in 1865 where the Postmaster General or Secretary of the Navy is the President and of course there’s no VP, and it’s the Confederacy or Confederate sympathizers’ fault, it’s now an existential crisis that threatens the very future of the country.

Lincoln+Johnson also unifies the war and unionist democrats against the South in a punitive sense as well.

That already happened when the president got killed. If that didn't do it another body isn't going to matter.
 
Assassinations at the very top of the government are traumatic, but a “normal risk,” just like dying in office. The more dead in line, the more exponentially traumatic it is to the nation.

If George VI had been killed in the Blitz, it would have been traumatic but matter of fact. If George, Elizabeth, and Margaret were killed, the line of succession was clear, but the national trauma of the blitz (and fury) would have been an order of magnitude worse.

Even in monarchies with a defunct dynasty, there’s usually one or two candidates known to be in the position or who become foreseeable.

If you get a situation in 1865 where the Postmaster General or Secretary of the Navy is the President and of course there’s no VP, and it’s the Confederacy or Confederate sympathizers’ fault, it’s now an existential crisis that threatens the very future of the country.

Lincoln+Johnson also unifies the war and unionist democrats against the South in a punitive sense as well.
100% agree.

Though we should note that I don't think the Postmaster General or the Secretary of the Navy would become President. At this point, the line of succession only went to the President Pro Tempore and then the Speaker of the House and there was nothing laid out. So it would pass to Solomon Foot or, if the plot is expanded to kill him to, to Schuyler Colfax. And if he's killed too, you have a genuine constitutional crisis, albeit one the House and Senate could probably resolve.
 
The US can barely do "federal government programs designed to help people of color" now - much less in the 1860s, a much more racist era.

"Will the US government of the post-ACW period knife people of color, despite previous treaties/promises, and take their land if it means more $$$ for whites?" we know the answer to that one.

The point would be to destroy the planter class as a political factor.
 
The point would be to destroy the planter class as a political factor.
The natural counter to this would be that that same end is achieved by breaking up plantations and auctioning it on the market. But that misses 1) Some percentage of planter land would end up being re-purposed by planters, and 2) Selling to well-to-do carpetbaggers doesn't create anywhere near as politically and ideologically loyal bulwark as selling to freedmen.
 
I would imagine there’d be more interest in confiscation plus forced exile and citizenship stripping for the planter class and other southern elites. Treason charges would likely also be applied more broadly than in OTL.

I could also see the re-enfranchisement clause of the 14th amendment requiring 2/3 of non rebel states to concur not just those in the country.

The consequences would be ugly and brutal.
 
I don't think OTL's Reconstruction was as good as it could plausibly get given the realities of contemporary racism but I think it was plausibly above the 50% line.
 
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