Readjustments

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Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Readjustments'

Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Readjustments'


The Readjuster Party was a political coalition formed in Virginia in the late 1870s during the turbulent period following the American Civil War. Readjusters aspired "to break the power of wealth and established privilege" and to promote public education, a program which attracted biracial support. The party was led by Harrison H. Riddleberger of Woodstock, an attorney, and William Mahone, a former Confederate general who was president of several railroads. Mahone was a controlling force in Virginia politics from around 1870 until 1883, when his party, the "Readjusters", lost control to the "Conservative Democrats".

In the 1870s, the politics of Virginia was divided over the issue of the state's pre-war debt. The debt primarily stemmed from infrastructure improvements overseen by the Virginia Board of Public Works, largely in canals, roads, and railroads. Prior to 1861, the State had purchased a total of $48,000,000 worth of stock in turnpike, toll bridge, canal, and water and rail transportation enterprises. Many of these improvements were heavily damaged or destroyed during the Civil War by Union forces. Much of those remaining were located in the portion of the state which became West Virginia and much of the debt was held by "northerners", making the issue of debt repayment complex. Those who supported a a readjustment of the debt, were known as "Readjusters", whereas those in favour of funding the entire debt (plus interest), became known as "Funders".

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