Reconstruction (1865-1876)

January 5, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: History, US History, The Civil War And Reconstruction (1850-1880), Civil War
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Important Terms • Reconstruction – a period of rebuilding of relations between North/South, lasting from 1865-1877 • Freedman – freed Southern blacks • Carpetbaggers – Northern blacks who migrated to the South • Scalawags – white Southerners who supported Reconstruction

Key Questions 1. How do we bring the South back into the Union?

2. How do we rebuild the South after its destruction during the war?

4. What branch of government should control the process of Reconstruction?

3. How do we integrate and protect newlyemancipated black freedmen?

Why was Reconstruction Needed? • South was in financial and military ruin – – – – –

600,000 soldiers dead Atlanta and Richmond in ruins Southern inflation at 9,000% Rail infrastructure in South destroyed What to do with Confederate Leadership?

• A new society not based on slavery was needed • Strong negative feelings by both sides still existed - “The Blame Game”

A Difference of Opinion Different political parties disagreed as to how to deal with the South * Radical

Republicans (Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner) – wanted to punish South (Wade-Davis Bill) * Lincoln (Moderate) – wanted speedy elections with generous terms (“10% Plan”) – determined to find a course that united the South w/o alienating it * Southern Democrats – wanted a return to ‘the old days and the old ways’

President Lincoln’s “10% Plan”  Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (December 8, 1863)

 Replace majority rule with “loyal rule” in the South.  Didn’t consult Congress – wanted to run Reconstruction himself.  Pardon to all but the highest ranking military and civilian Confederate officers.

 When 10% of the voting population in the 1860 election had taken an oath of loyalty and established a government, it would be recognized.

Effects of Lincoln’s “10% Plan” 1864  “Lincoln Governments” formed in LA, TN, AR *

Formed prior to end of War

Created bitter opposition by Radical Republicans Led to Wade-Davis Bill of 1864

Wade-Davis Bill (1864)  Required 50% of the number of 1860 voters to take an “iron clad” oath of allegiance (swearing they had never voluntarily aided the rebellion ). Senator Benjamin Wade (R-OH)

 Enacted specific safeguards of freedmen’s liberties.

President Lincoln

Pocket Veto

Congressman Henry W. Davis (R-MD)

Wade-Davis Bill

Assassination Lincoln’s assassination casts doubt on Reconstruction and gives the Radicals a chance to punish the South A political tug-of-war ensued with new president Andrew Johnson * Who

would run Reconstruction now? * How should Democracy run in the South? * Citizenship of Confederate men? * Citizenship of Freedmen?

President Andrew Johnson  Jacksonian Democrat.  Anti-Aristocrat.  White Supremacist.

 Grew up poor/saw black population as $ threat to poor whites. “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am president, it shall be a government for white men.”

President Johnson’s Plan (10%+)  Johnson’s plan was too conciliatory  Pardoned too many Southern leaders w/o punishing them  Tried hurriedly to bring former Confederate states back into the Union – allowed Southern states to hold elections in 1865  Vetoed several key civil rights bills

 “The President himself is his own worst counsellor, as he is his own worst defender." – Charles Sumner 1. Former Civil War officers leading Confederates. EFFECTS?

2. Pardoned planter aristocrats brought them back to political power to control state organizations. 3. Republicans were outraged that planter elite were back in power in the South!

Growing Northern Alarm!  Many Southern state constitutions fell short of minimum requirements.

 Johnson granted 13,500 special pardons and returned their land.  Revival of southern defiance.


“Black Codes”  Purpose: *


Guarantee stable labor supply now that blacks were emancipated. Restore pre-emancipation system of race relations.

 Southern policies forced many blacks to become share-croppers [tenant farmers]. * System of intimidation arose – limited possession of weapons, threatened to take black kids away from poor families

Slavery is Dead?

13th Amendment  Ratified in December, 1865.  Neither slavery nor involuntary

servitude, except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

 Congress shall have power to enforce

this article by appropriate legislation.

Congress Breaks with the President  Congress bars Southern Congressional delegates in 1865 after Johnson allows them to vote.  Joint Committee on Reconstruction created.  February, 1866  President vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill.

 March, 1866  Johnson vetoed the 1866 Civil Rights Act.  Congress passed both bills over Johnson’s vetoes  1st in

U. S. history!!

1866 Congressional Election  A referendum on Radical Reconstruction.  Johnson made an ill-conceived propaganda tour around the country to push his plan.  Republicans won a 3-1 majority in both houses and began to override many of Johnson’s policies.

Johnson’s “Swing around the Circle”

Radical Plan for Readmission  Congress removed civilian governments in the South in 1867 and put the former Confederacy under the rule of the Army.  The Army conducted new elections in which the freed slaves could vote, while those who held leading positions under the Confederacy were temporarily denied the vote and could not run for office.

 Required new state constitutions, including black suffrage and ratification of the 13th and 14th Amendments.  New laws aimed at curbing Johnson’s power.

Reconstruction Acts of 1867  Command of the Army Act *

The President must issue all Reconstruction orders through the commander of the military.

 Tenure of Office Act *

The President could not remove any officials [esp. Cabinet members] without the Senate’s consent, if the position originally required Senate approval.

 Designed to protect radical

members of Lincoln’s government.

 A question of the

constitutionality of this law.

Edwin Stanton

President Johnson’s Impeachment  Johnson removed Stanton in February, 1868.  Johnson replaced generals in the field who were more sympathetic to Radical Reconstruction.  The House impeached him on February 24 before even drawing up the charges by a vote of 126 – 47!

The Senate Trial

 11 week trial.  Johnson acquitted 35 to 19 (one short of required 2/3s vote).

Reconstruction Acts of 1867  Military Reconstruction Act *


Restart Reconstruction in the 10 Southern states that refused to ratify the 14th Amendment. Divide the 10 “unreconstructed states” into 5 military districts.

th 14


 Ratified in July, 1868. *



Overruled Dred Scott and provided a broad definition of citizenship to protect blacks. Prohibited states & local governments from depriving people of their rights w/o taking certain steps. Required each state to provide “Equal Protection” to all people w/in their jurisdiction.

 Southern states would be punished for denying the right to vote to black citizens!

A Change in the Balance of Southern Power State

White Citizens























The 1868 Republican Ticket

The 1868 Democratic Ticket

Waving the Bloody Shirt!

Republican “Southern Strategy”

1868 Presidential Election

Grant Administration Scandals  Grant presided over an era of unprecedented growth and corruption.

 Inability to foster accountability *

* *

Credit Mobilier Scandal. Whiskey Ring.

The “Indian Ring.”

15th Amendment  Ratified in 1870.  The right of citizens of the United States

to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

 The Congress shall have power to enforce

this article by appropriate legislation.

 Women’s rights groups were furious that they were not granted the vote!

Rise of White Supremacy Throughout the South, secret societies form *White Liners, Knights of White Camellia, KKK *Sadistically tortured and murdered blacks *KKK saw itself as THE LAW and had a Christian duty to destroy black authority

Grant declares Martial Law in South Carolina (1871) and arrested/tried suspected KKK leaders

Growing Democratic victories results in Grant losing most of his support

The “Invisible Empire of the South”

The Election of 1872  Rumors of corruption during Grant’s first term discredit Republicans.  Horace Greeley runs as a Democrat/Liberal Republican candidate.  Greeley attacked as a fool and a crank.  Greeley died on November 29, 1872 First Time a Candidate Dies during the election! During the Campaign!

1872 Presidential Election

The Panic of 1873  Stock market collapse in Vienna, then in America with Jay Cooke & Co. leads to 1,000,000 unemployed – recession lasts 6 years  Northern whites lose interest in Reconstruction  1876  Greenback Party formed & makes gains in congressional races 

The “Crime of ’73’!

The Civil Rights Act of 1875  Crime for any individual to deny full & equal use of public conveyances and public places.  Prohibited discrimination in jury selection.  Weakness  lacked a strong enforcement mechanism.  No new civil rights act was attempted for 90 years!

“The Lost Cause” Southerners see recent setbacks by Republicans as chance to return to “The Old South” * Dedicated

locations of CW battles and remembering the best of southern ideals (religious virtues, nobility, loyalty men) * White Northerners fall in love with Southern “Cause” as way to forget Panic of 1873 * Southern elections are violent and dissuade blacks from voting w/no reaction from N.

Confederate Reunion Parade (1907)

The Coushatta Massacre Six black officeholders murdered near Coushatta, near New Orleans (1874) * Grant

overreacts by occupying New Orleans * Very unpopular with White Northerners * Leads to Democrats overtaking Congress in 1876 election * As other acts of violence occur (Miss.), Grant refuses to assist blacks

Grant leaves office without clear path or support for Reconstruction

Supreme Court Reversals To make matters worse, the Court began to undo some of the changes made by Congress * 1876:

Ruled that the federal government could not punish people who violated civil rights of blacks * 1876: Ruled that blacks could not vote, and gave right to determine who could vote to the states

South uses these rulings to institute poll taxes and literacy tests to restrict voting. Violence against blacks increased The Court weakened Reconstruction & blocked efforts for blacks to gain full equality

1876 Presidential Tickets

1876 Presidential Election

The Political Crisis of 1877

 “Corrupt Bargain” Part II?

The Political Crisis of 1877 Highly contested election with no clear winner – divided the country * In

secret meetings, Southern Democrats agreed to allow Rutherford B. Hayes to become president if Republicans agreed to end Reconstruction * Hayes unable to enforce 13th - 15th b/c Democrats blocked military spending throughout 1877/78 * RESULTS: Blacks move West; White Southerners enforce Black Codes

A Political Crisis: The “Compromise” of 1877

Hayes Prevails

Results of Reconstruction Most historians agree as to its failure * Failure

of gov’t to enforce protections for blacks, rise of white supremacy, and allowing Radicals to run Reconstruction * Blacks do not see significant legislation again until 1965 Civil Rights Act * “The slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” (W.E.B. DuBois)

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