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Economic Development in Texas During Reconstruction, 1865-1875

Description: The study challenges many traditional stereotypes of Texas during Reconstruction. Contrary to what Democrats charged, the Davis government did not levy exorbitant taxes. Radical taxes seemed high in comparison to antebellum taxes, because antebellum governments had financed operations with indemnity bonds, but they were not high in comparison to taxes in other states. Radical taxes constituted only 1.77 percent of the assessed value of property in Texas, which was lower than the average for the United States and about the same for other states undergoing Reconstruction. In Texas most of the tax increases during Reconstruction were made necessary by the Civil War and the increase in population. The tax increases paid for state and local governments, frontier and local protection, public buildings, internal improvements, and public schools. Edmund J. Davis, Radical governor, contributed significantly to Texas government when he attempted to focus attention on reforming the tax system,limiting state expenses to state income, limiting state aid for railroad companies, and protecting the public from railroad company abuses.
Date: August 1980
Creator: Adams, Larry Earl
Partner: UNT Libraries