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This Day in Georgia History

January 12, 1872

Radical Reconstruction Ended

Radical Reconstruction came to an end in Georgia. Although an act of Congress of July 15, 1870 had removed federal troops from the state and allowed Georgia resumption of its representation in Congress, Republican Rufus Bullock continued as governor. In the December 1870 elections, Democrats won large majorities in each house of the General Assembly. Fearing impeachment when the new legislators met on Nov. 1, 1871, Bullock resigned and fled the state. In the Dec. 6, 1871 election to fill the governor’s office, Democrat James Milton Smith was unopposed. On Jan. 12, 1872, Smith was inaugurated as governor – which to many symbolized the end of Reconstruction and the “redemption” of the Democratic Party in Georgia.