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Reconstruction in Texas

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1 Reconstruction in Texas
What critical event occurred on April 14, 1865 that changed the course on American history?

2 5 days after Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox, a southerner, John Wilkes Booth, shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln

3 Lincoln had wanted southern states to be quickly readmitted into the Union and had a simple plan for accomplishing that objective.

4 Constitutional Changes after the Civil War
13th Amendment-abolished slavery

5 Constitutional Changes after the Civil War
14th Amendment - extended citizenship rights to former slaves and established due process under the law

6 Constitutional Changes after the Civil War
15th Amendment-extended voting rights to all males, including former slaves, of voting age

DATE EVENT(s) 1865: Civil War Ends Freedman's Bureau is established. Lincoln is assassinated. Thirteenth Amendment is ratified. June 19, 1865 was the official date for Emancipation of the slaves in Texas


9 Former slaves were freed but had no education, no jobs, no money, no houses, and most had no job skills except farming. The Emancipation order suggested that the Freedmen stay where they were and work for wages. There were several problems with this solution, not the least of which was that many of the former “masters” also had no money because they had converted their wealth to Confederate dollars which were no longer good currency. They had land, but no way to farm the land and no way to pay taxes or wages. As a result of Emancipation there were now over 186,000 former slaves who were free but with no place to go.


11 Before the Civil War Southern Society was organized in a pyramid
Slave Owners 20% of pop. Other white Southerners 80% of the white pop. Slaves

12 1865 – 1867 Time period for Conservative Reconstruction when the Lincoln/Johnson plan was put into place to rebuild the government and readmit former Confederate states to the Union as quickly and easily as possible. The Radical Republicans opposed this plan and although many states were readmitted to the Union when the Radicals took over beginning in 1867, they began the period known as Radical Reconstruction, a plan designed to “punish” the South.

13 1866: Civil Rights Act is passed over Johnson's veto. 1867: First Reconstruction Act. Radical Reconstruction began in Texas with the division of the South into five Military Districts. Texas was in the 5th Military District. Martial law was declared. U.S. soldiers were moved into the South to “keep order” and all civil rights were temporarily suspended. This angered many former Confederates and created lots of hatred.


15 1868: Fourteenth Amendment is ratified. Ku Klux Klan begins.

16 An election was held based on the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments. It was Democrats vs. Republicans. The Democrats represented the “Old South” and the Republicans represented the Radical Republicans who were running the government. Because of the Ironclad Oath anyone who had fought for or in any way supported the Confederacy could not vote. In Texas there were 92,000 white males of voting age and most were excluded from voting. Newly freed slaves and Northerners who had come to the South dominated the voting. This angered the Democrats.

17 To take the Ironclad Oath, a person had to swear he had never borne arms against the Union or supported the Confederacy — that is, he had "never voluntarily borne arms against the United States," had "voluntarily" given "no aid, countenance, counsel or encouragement" to persons in rebellion and had exercised or attempted to exercise the functions of no office under the Confederacy. Its unpopularity among ex-Confederates led them to nickname the oath "The Damnesty Oath."

1870 15th Amendment is ratified 1868 – 1874 Radical Republicans controlled state government They wrote a Constitution, ratified the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments and passed the School Act. Some Freedmen were elected to public offices, but most of the government and the voting was still dominated by Whites, now from the North. The social pyramid had not changed much (except for the names of the groups).

19 1874 The “Old South” Democrats got control of state government through elections (sometimes using the Ku Klux Klan to scare away Black voters). The U.S. government lost interest in enforcing the Reconstruction Acts (Radical Reconstruction). The Democrats wrote the Texas Constitution of 1876 (which we still use today) and made sure that the power of the state government was limited.

20 1876 Texas writes a new Constitution and is readmitted with full rights as a state in the United States 1881: Tuskeegee Institute is founded to educate freedmen : Blacks are effectively deprived of the vote in the South

21 Plessy vs. Ferguson legalizes segregation throughout the U.S.
1896: Plessy vs. Ferguson legalizes segregation throughout the U.S. 1874 – 1979 Democrats controlled state government No Republican governor for 105 years! Richard Coke Dolph Briscoe

22 Reconstruction in Texas – How did they react?
Complete the How Did They React? Activity. As you review each points of the two Reconstruction plans, decide how the identified groups would react to this provision and indicate with a happy face or sad face


24 Complete the Free At Last Group Simulation

Review the vocabulary for homework for a possible quiz

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