I come across the term “Radical Republicans” quite a bit in almost any history discussion leading up to and including reconstruction. Were these men Communists? From what I understand one of the more prominent of the Radical Republicans was Charles Sumner. He supposedly joined the First International along with Horace Greeley. Greeley’s paper, the New York Tribune was supposedly THE Republican paper of the day, and they hired for a time both Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. I’ve never seen any description of these Radical Republicans beyond that term. Any thoughts? Thx.
There were men in the Republican party labeled “Red Republicans,” and most of these men were disenchanted German revolutionaries who arrived in the U.S. following the failed Revolutions of 1848 (Hecker, Villard, Nast, etc). The Radical Republicans were typically those who favored abolition and reform (temperance, women’s suffrage, etc) though not always.