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Politics was men’s business

She had heard Ashley say that the South was being treated as a conquered province and that vindictiveness was the dominant policy of the conquerors. But that was the kind of statement which meant less than nothing at all to Scarlett. Politics was men’s business. She had heard Will say it looked to him like the North just wasn’t aiming to let the South get on its feet again. Well, thought Scarlett, men always had to have something foolish to worry about you find . As far as she was concerned, the Yankees hadn’t whipped her once and they wouldn’t do it this time. The thing to do was to work like the devil and stop worrying about the Yankee government. After all, the war was over.

“Oh, Will, and I thought our troubles were all over when the war ended!”
“No’m.” Will raised his lantern-jawed, country-looking face and gave her a long steady look. “Our troubles are just gettin’ started.”
“How much extra taxes do they want us to pay?”
“Three hundred dollars.”
She was struck dumb for a moment you find . Three hundred dollars! It might just as well be three million dollars.
“Why,” she floundered, “why—why, then we’ve got to raise three hundred, somehow.”
“Yes’m—add a rainbow and a moon or two.”
“Oh, but Will! They couldn’t sell out Tara. Why—”
His mild pale eyes showed more hate and bitterness than she thought possible.
“Oh, couldn’t they? Well, they could and they will and they’ll like doin’ it! Miss Scarlett, the country’s gone plumb to hell, if you’ll pardon me. Those Carpetbaggers and Scalawags can vote and most of us Democrats can’t. Can’t no Democrat in this state vote if he was on the tax books for more than two thousand dollars in ‘sixty-five. That lets out folks like your pa and Mr. Tarleton and the McRaes and the Fontaine boys you find . Can’t nobody vote who was a colonel and over in the war and, Miss Scarlett, I bet this state’s got more colonels than any state in the Confederacy. And can’t nobody vote who held office under the Confederate government and that lets out everybody from the notaries to the judges, and the woods are full of folks like that. Fact is, the way the Yankees have framed up that amnesty oath, can’t nobody who was somebody before the war vote at all. Not the smart folks nor the quality folks nor the rich folks.

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