Debate of Oct. 10, 1895.Question: "Resolved, That the Southern States should take steps to disfranchise the negroes through the State Constitutions.
Brief for the Affirmative.H. L. BELISLE and H. A. BIGELOW.
Best general references: North Am. Review, CXXXII, 239-48 (Feburary 1881); CLIII, 641 et seq. (December 1891); CLIV, 401 et seq. (April 1892); Arena II, 385-98 (September 1890).
I. The present system of state control of elections is dangerous to the unity of the section.- (a) Under this system the negro must necessarily continue to be defrauded of the rights of citizenship: Outlook, Aug. 10, 1895; Arena, II, 561 (November 1890).- (b) Open defiance of the Constitution breeds a disregard for authority and a revolutionary spirit: North Am. Review CXXXII, 247 (February, 1881).- (c) This question should be removed from the constantly increasing number of questions which tend to divide the country on sectional lines.
II. National control of elections is impolitic.- (a) It would tend to stir up the South: North Am. Review CLIII, 653-54 (December 1891).- (b) Corruption and fraud are the inevitable results of such control: Senate Reports 46 Cong. 3 Sess., Report of Com. on Election Frauds.- (c) Power would be centralized under Federal authority and used for the perpetuation of partisan rule: Sen. Rep. 46 Cong. 3 Sess., Rep. of Com. on Election Frauds.
III. No substantial injustice is done to the negro by this policy.- (a) He takes practically no interest in politics: North Am. Review CLIII, 649 (December, 1891).- (b) The best thought among the negroes today seeks social and economic progress rather than political privileges: Outlook, Sept. 18. 1895; North Am. Review CLIII, 650 (December 1891.
IV. A policy of disfranchisement is forced on the South as a means of selfdefense: Public Opinion, Jan. 3, 1895.- (a) The negro's attempts at governing have always been failures: Forum, V, 383, May 1888; Nat. Quarterly Rev. XIV, 359; De Bow's Mag. XVIII, 710-11; Arena II, 670-71 (December 1890); North Am. Rev. CLIII, 649 (December 1891); CLIV, 405 (April 1892).- (b) He is today equally ignorant and unprogressive: Public Opin. Jan. 3, 1895; Feb. 21, 1895; Arena II, 670-71 (December 1890).
Brief for the Negative.J. T. COOPER and F. H. SMITH, JR.
Best general references: G. W. Cable, The Negro Question, The Silent South; A. W. Tourgee, An Appeal to Caesar; L. H. Blair, Prosperity of the South dependent on the Elevation of the Negro; J. T. Pomeroy, Constitutional Law, p. 213; North Am. Review, Vol. 153, pp. 641-660 (Dec. 1891); Contemporary Review, LXV., pp. 818-827 (June, 1894); Political Sci. Quarterly, IX. 671-701 (Dec., 1894); Popular Sci. Monthly, XXVIII. 24-37 (Nov., 1895); Nation. Vol. 53, pp. 208-209 (Sept. 17, 1891); Forum, Vol. 1, 562-571 (Aug., 1886).
I. The disfranchisement of the negro would be an injustice.- (a) It is a discrimination on account of color.- (b) It is unjust to discriminate between an ignorant negro and an ignorant white man.- (c) It springs from prejudice: The Negro question, 3; The Silent South, 1.- (d) It would cause taxation without representation.- (e) It would make the government of some of the Southern States an obligarchy.
II. The negro has not proven himself unworthy of the franchise-(a) He has improved steadily though slowly: Pop. Sci. Monthly, XXVIII; Contemporary Rev. LXV, 820.- (b) He has furnished the industrial bone and sinew of the South: Nation, Vol. 53, p. 208.- (c) He has shown extraordinary abilities: Boston Advertiser, Oct. 4, 1895.- (d) He has always been loyal to the government.
III. The disfranchisement of the negro would have a disastrous effect: No. Am. Rev., Vol. 153, pp. 653, 654.- (a) On the character of the negro.- (1) He would lose his incentive to good citizenship.- (2) He would lose the educating influence of the ballot.- (b) On the peace of the south.- (1) It would increase race prejudice.- (2) It would make the negro rebellious.- (3) All attempts to juggle the law in the end have a bad effect upon the community.- (c) The prosperity of the South.
IV. The disfranchisement of the negro would be unconstitutional: Fifteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, U. S. vs. Rees '92, U. S. Reports, 214; Ex Parte vs. Yarborough, 110 U. S. Reports, 651.
V. The remedy for the negro question in the Southern States today is not disfranchisement but broader and better education: Prosperity of South Dependent on the elevation of the negro, Ch. 2; An Appeal to Caesar, p. 267; No. Am. Rev., Vol. 153, p. 641; Pop. Sci. Monthly, XXVIII, 25, 26, 37; Nation, Vol. 54, p. 208, (Mar. 17, 1892).- (a) The negro as yet has not been properly educated: Public Opinion, XVIII, 6, (Jan. 10, 1895).- (b) Intelligence is the greatest foe of prejudice: An Appeal to Caesar, p. 269.