North Carolina and Republican Divisions During Reconstruction
After the Civil War, during Reconstruction, Republicans were divided on what to do with North Carolina, particularly when it came to the issue of suffrage. Some Republicans believed the party should uphold the ideals of the Union and give all African Americans the chance to vote. More conservative Republicans were more interested in measures that would expand the power of the party. They were fearful of alienating poor whites in North Carolina, a group they believed had the potential to vote Republican. The issues of enfranchisement and disfranchisement split the Republican Party between those who believed the party should protect the ideals of the Union, no matter the consequences, and those who believed in treading carefully to expand the power of the party nationally.