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Reconstruction (1865-1876)


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Title: Reconstruction (1865-1876)

Reconstruction (1865-1876)
RESTRUCTURING Southern society
Key Questions
1. How do we bring the South back into the Union?
4. What branch of government should control the
process of Reconstruction?
2. How do we rebuild the South after
its destruction during the war?
3. How do we integrate and protect
newly- emancipated black freedmen?
Wartime Reconstruction
  • With malice toward none, with charity for all,
    with firmness in the right as God gives us to see
    the right, let us strive on to finish the work we
    are in, to bind up the nations wounds, to care
    for him who shall have borne the battle and for
    his widow and orphan, to do all which may achieve
    and cherish a just and lasting peace among
    ourselves and with all nations.
  • Abraham Lincoln,
  • Second Inaugural, March 4, 1865

President Lincolns Plan
  • 10 Plan
  • Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
    (December 8, 1863)
  • Replace majority rule with loyal rule in the
  • He didnt consult Congress regarding
  • Pardon to all but the highest ranking military
    and civilian Confederate officers.
  • When 10 of a states voting population in the
    1860 election had taken an oath of loyalty,
    pledged to abide by emancipation and established
    a government, it would be recognized.

President Lincolns Plan
  • 1864 ? Lincoln Governments formed in TN, LA, AR
  • loyal assemblies
  • They were weak and dependent on the Northern army
    for their survival.

Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
  • Congress feared restoration of planter
    aristocracy potential re-enslavement
  • Required 50 of the number of 1860 voters to take
    an iron clad oath of allegiance (swearing they
    had never voluntarily aided the rebellion ).
  • Required a state constitutional convention before
    the election of state officials and stronger
    safeguards of freedmens liberties.

Senator Benjamin Wade (R-OH)
Congressman Henry W. Davis (R-MD)
Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
  • State Suicide Theory MA Senator Charles Sumner
  • Seceded states had committed suicide were no
    more than territories with conditions of
    readmission to be determined soley by Congress
  • Conquered Provinces Position PA Congressman
    Thaddeus Stevens Radicals

Pocket Veto
President Lincoln
Wade-Davis Bill
Capture of Jefferson Davis
Jeff Davis Under Arrest
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
  • CONGRESS shall have power to enforce this article
    by appropriate legislation.

Freedmens Bureau (1865)
  • Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned
  • Many former northern abolitionists risked their
    lives to help southern freedmen.
  • Primitive welfare agency food, clothes,
    medical care
  • Called carpetbaggers by white southern
  • Scalawags?

Freedmens Bureau Seen Through Southern Eyes
Plenty to eat and nothing to do.
Freedmens Bureau School
Primary success is in education
Presidential Reconstruction Andrew Johnson
  • A southerner who didnt
  • understand the North,
  • A Tennessean who had earned the
  • distrust of the S,
  • A D who had never been accepted
  • by the Rs,
  • A P who had never been elected to
  • office
  • The wrong man in the wrong place
  • at the wrong time.
  • Jacksonian Democrat.
  • Anti-Aristocrat.
  • White Supremacist.
  • Agreed with Lincoln that states had never legally
    left the Union.

Damn the negroes! I am fighting these
traitorous aristocrats, their masters!
President Johnsons Plan (10)
  • Offered amnesty upon simple oath to all except
    Confederate civil and military officers and
    those with property over 20,000 (but they could
    apply for pardon)
  • In new constitutions, they must REPEAL ordinances
    of secession, REPUDIATE war debts, RATIFY 13TH
    Amendment in order to be READMITTED.
  • Named provisional governors in Confederate states
    and called them to oversee elections for
    constitutional conventions.

1. Disenfranchised certain leading Confederates.
2. Pardoned planter aristocrats, brought them
back to political power to control state
3. Republicans were outraged that planter elite
were back in power in the New South!
Growing Northern Alarm!
  • Many Southern state constitutions fell short of
    minimum requirements.
  • Johnson granted 13,500 special pardons.
  • Revival of southern defiance in the Post-war

Slavery is Dead?
Black Codes in the Post-War South
  • Purpose
  • Guarantee stable labor supply now that blacks
    were emancipated.
  • Restore pre-emancipation system of race
  • Examples?
  • Forced many blacks to become sharecroppers
    tenant farmers.

Congress Breaks with the President
  • Congress bars newly-elected Southern
    Congressional delegates.
  • Fear the power of a restored South.
  • February, 1866 ? President vetoed bill to extend
    the life of the Freedmens Bureau.
  • Congress passes Civil Rights bill in March, 1866
    to grant citizenship to blacks outlaw Black
    Codes ? Johnson vetoed it.
  • Congress passed both bills over Johnsons vetoes
    ? 1st time in U. S. history!! - will continue
    to override his vetoes

Dead Dog of the White House
Johnson the Martyr / Samson
If my blood is to be shed because I vindicate the
Union and the preservation of this government in
its original purity and character, let it be
shed let an altar to the Union be erected, and
then, if it is necessary, take me and lay me upon
it, and the blood that now warms and animates my
existence shall be poured out as a fit libation
to the Union.
(February 1866)
Radical (Congressional) Reconstruction
Charles Sumner R (MA) Senate
Thaddeus Stevens R (PA) House
Radicals and Southern Land
  • They are reacting to the white supremacy of the S
    but to have a desire to punish South wrest
    control from former wealthy landowner leaders.
  • Desire to confiscate Southern land and
    redistribute to slaves
  • 40 acres a mule
  • Some southern land had been redistributed by
    Stanton Sherman
  • 40 acres in SC GA to 40,000 freedmen later
    rescinded by Johnson

14th Amendment
  • Ratified in July, 1868. blacks are citizens and
    entitled to equal protection under the law
  • Provides a constitutional guarantee of the rights
    of citizenship security of freed people.
  • Insures against neo-Confederate political power
  • Enshrines the national debt while repudiating
    that of the Confederacy.
  • Why better than the Civil Rights Bill?

The Balance of Power in Congress
State White Citizens Freedmen
SC 291,000 411,000
MS 353,000 436,000
LA 357,000 350,000
GA 591,000 465,000
AL 596,000 437,000
VA 719,000 533,000
NC 631,000 331,000
The 1866 Congressional Elections
  • A referendum on Radical Reconstruction.
  • Johnson made an ill-conceived propaganda tour
    around the country to push his plan.
  • Republicans won a 3-1 veto-proof majority in
    both houses and gained control of every
    northern state.

Radical Plan for Readmission
  • Radicals seek full complete rights for blacks
    with federal govt in control
  • Moderates (majority in Congress) just trying to
    keep states from infringing basic rights of
  • Required new state constitutions which included
    black suffrage and ratification of the 13th and
    14th Amendments.
  • By 1870 15th Amendment ratified.
  • Why necessary in light of 14th Am.?
  • In March, 1867, Congress authorized the military
    to enroll eligible black voters.

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.
  • Each has military governor
  • 20,000 troops
  • TN was first Southern state back in 1866 thus
    escaped military reconstruction

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 Senates
    consent, if the position originally required
    Senate approval.
  • Designed to protect radical members of Lincolns
  • Was this law constitutional?

Edwin Stanton, Sec. of War
Limitations of Radical Reconstruction
  • No land or education was guaranteed to freedmen
  • Belief that creating an electorate would be
    enough to protect freedmens rights.
  • Questionable legality of military rule
  • Ex parte Milligan Supreme Court had ruled that
    military tribunals could not try civilians even
    during wartime if civil courts were open.
  • So peacetime military rule would be in direct
    contrast to Constitution.

Black Reconstruction
  • Only one state legislature (SC) elected a
    majority of blacks in its lower house
  • No state senates had black majorities
  • No black governors elected
  • Most black officials that were elected were
    capable, educated, free-born
  • 2 U.S. Senators elected from MS
  • 14 black Congressmen elected

Southern Resentment Resistance
  • Scalawags and Carpetbaggers
  • Accusations of corruption
  • Ku Klux Klan, TN, 1866
  • Terrorists that targeted blacks, carpetbaggers,
    teachers in black schools, Radical Republicans
  • Main goal is disenfranchisement of blacks
  • How else were blacks disenfranchised?
  • Congress passes Force Acts of 1870 1871

President Johnsons Impeachment
  • Johnson removed Stanton in February, 1868.
  • Johnson dismissed and replaced generals in the
    field who were more sympathetic to Radical
  • 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 2/3 vote).

The Grant Administration (1868-1876)
The 1868 Republican Ticket
The 1868 Democratic Ticket
Waving the Bloody Shirt!
Vote as you Shot!
1868 Presidential Election
Grants popular vote low-won due to black vote. 3
Southern state votes not even counted MS, TX, VA
President Ulysses S. Grant
Grant Administration Scandals
  • Grant presided over an era of unprecedented
    growth and corruption.
  • Known as Era of ?
  • Credit Mobilier Scandal.
  • Whiskey Ring.
  • The Indian Ring.

The Tweed Ring in NYC
William Marcy Tweed (notorious head of Tammany
Halls political machine) Thomas Nast ?
crusading cartoonist/reporter
Who Stole the Peoples Money?
The Election of 1872
  • Rumors of corruption during Grants first term
    discredit Republicans.
  • Horace Greeley runs as a Democrat/Liberal Republic
    an candidate.
  • Greeley attacked as a fool and a crank.
  • Greeley died on November 29, 1872

1872 Presidential Election
Popular Vote for President 1872
The Panic of 1873
  • It raises the money question.
  • debtors seek inflationary monetary policy
    by continuing circulation of greenbacks.
  • creditors, intellectuals support hard money.
  • 1875 ? Specie Redemption Act.
  • 1876 ? Greenback Party formed makes gains in
    congressional races ? The Crime of

The Abandonment of Reconstruction
Reasons Northern Support for Reconstruction
  • Grantism corruption.
  • Panic of 1873 6-year depression.
  • Concern over westward expansion and Indian wars.
  • Key monetary issues
  • should the government retire 432m worth of
    greenbacks issued during the Civil War?
  • should war bonds be paid back in specie
    or greenbacks?

And They Say He Wants a Third Term
1876 Presidential Tickets
1876 Presidential Election
The Political Crisis of 1877
  • Electoral commission of 15 to deal with disputed
    votes from FL, LA, SC
  • From Senate, House Supreme Court
  • Voted on party lines.
  • 8 Republicans 7 Democrats
  • Corrupt Bargain Part II?????

Republican Hayes Prevails
Sammy TildenBoo-Hoo! Ruthy Hayess got my
Presidency, and he wont give it to me!
A Political Crisis The Compromise of 1877
  • Hayes, R gets the P
  • Troops to be withdrawn from S
  • Southerner will become Postmaster General
  • Republicans promise federal for internal
    improvements in S

Black "Adjustment" in the South
Tenancy the Crop Lien System
Furnishing Merchant Tenant Farmer Landowner
Loan tools and seed up to 60 interest to tenant farmer to plant spring crop. Farmer also secures food, clothing, and other necessities on credit from merchant until the harvest. Merchant holds lien mortgage on part of tenants future crops as repayment of debt. Plants crop, harvests in autumn. Turns over up to ½ of crop to land owner as payment of rent. Tenant gives remainder of crop to merchant in payment of debt. Rents land to tenant in exchange for ¼ to ½ of tenant farmers future crop.
Establishment of Historically Black Colleges in
the South
Black White Political Participation
Black Senate House Delegates
Colored Rule in the South?
Blacks in Southern Politics
  • Core voters were black veterans.
  • Blacks were politically unprepared.
  • Blacks could register and vote in states since
  • The 15th Amendment guaranteed federal

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.
  • Womens rights groups were furious that they were
    not granted the vote!

The Invisible Empire of the South
Strange Fruit
Southern trees bearing strange fruit, Blood on
the leaves and blood at the roots Black bodies
swinging in the Southern breeze Strange fruit
hanging from the poplar trees. Pastoral scene
of the gallant South Them big bulging eyes and
the twisted mouth. Scent of magnolia clean and
fresh And the sudden smell of burning
flesh! Here is a fruit for the crows to
pluck, For the rain to gather, for the wind to
suck, For the sun to rot, for the leaves to
drop Here is a strange and bitter crop.
The Failure of Federal Enforcement
  • Force Acts of 1870 1871 to stop the lynchings
    - also known as the KKK Act.
  • The Lost Cause.
  • The rise of the Bourbons.
  • Conservative, pro-business Democrats
  • Redeemers (prewar Democrats and Union Whigs)
  • Wanted to oust freedmen, carpetbaggers

  • Lynching
  • Ida B. Wells

The Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Crime for any individual to deny full equal use
    of public conveyances and public places. (Last
    attempt of Radicals)
  • Prohibited discrimination in jury selection.
  • Shortcoming ? lacked a strong
    enforcement mechanism.
  • No new civil rights act was attempted for 90
  • Pronounced unconstitutional in Civil Rights Cases
    of 1883
  • 14th Am. prohibits only government violations of
    civil rights, not denial of same by individuals.

  • After abandonment of Republican Reconstruction,
    blacks were left friendless in South
  • White Ds resume power (the Redeemers)
  • The term redemption as used during
    Reconstruction referred to the return of the
    South to white rule in the post-Reconstruction
    period. Southern Democrats took the name
    Redeemers and promised to replace Reconstruction
    governments with home rule.

  • Political Subjugation
  • Legal codes of segregation appear Jim Crow laws
  • Also disenfranchisement through
    voter-registration laws, literacy tests, poll
    taxes, grandfather clauses, etc.
  • Souths segregation validated by Plessy v.
    Ferguson, 1896
  • Separate but equal doctrine separate, but
    equal, schools/facilities are constitutional
  • Economic Subjugation
  • Blacks forced into sharecropping/tenant farming
  • Record s of blacks lynched to ensure Souths
    new political economic order

Jim Crow - not actually a person, but the
subject of a song performed by Thomas Dartmouth
Daddy Rice. Rice was a white man who performed
in blackface. Rice denigrated Blacks through his
music, his stereotypical behavior, and his rude
jokes. Jump Jim Crow was a bona fide hit
among Caucasian Americans in the early 19th
century. The lyrics express several racist
sentiments. First, Jim Crow is satisfied with his
lot as a slave. He is sexually promiscuous. He is
also ignorant, and the song is usually sung in
supposed slave dialect. Jim Crow laws refer
to the segregation laws in the South from
Reconstruction to the 1960s.
More Stereotyping
  • Birth of a Nation
  • Brute
  • Mammy
  • Tom

  • Traditional view has been a failure
  • The Tragic Era
  • The Blackout of Honest Government
  • Justify these 3 reasons given by historians for
    the failure of Reconstruction to help freedmen
    find their place in American life
  • Confused priorities
  • Opposition from Southern whites
  • Federal govts unwillingness to go the distance
    to accomplish its goals

Reconstruction a Success?
  • Black Reconstruction is how revisionist
    historians view the era
  • A more positive characterization?
  • What evidence is there that goals of education,
    economic development establishing a sense of
    community were achieved?
  • How did Black Reconstruction pave the way for the
    Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s?