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Reconstruction: A Failed Revolution

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1 Reconstruction: A Failed Revolution
Thesis Statement During Reconstruction, the federal government missed a unique opportunity to radically restructure southern society along more egalitarian lines. While conditions for African- Americans began to improve during Reconstruction, many of their gains were quickly erased during the “Jim Crow” period that followed.

2 Presidential Reconstruction
Johnson No loyalty oath required Opposed helping former slaves Lincoln 10% Plan… 90% could refuse loyalty oath Both Wanted to go easy on the South… heal the wounds of the war as fast as possible. Supported the 13th Amendment… Ended slavery everywhere Liberally issued pardons to former Confederates Believed Southern states had NOT actually left the Union… therefore Reconstruction was primarily a military endeavor, and should be under the control of the executive branch.

3 Radical Reconstruction
Harsh, punishing philosophy toward the South Wanted more help for former slaves 50% Loyalty Oath Wanted to strictly exclude former Confederates from political office Military Reconstruction Act of 1867 (5 Military Districts) Believed that southern states had committed “state suicide” and had to re-apply for statehood (therefore Reconstruction should be in the hands of the legislative branch). Thaddeus Stevens Charles Sumner

4 Help for Freedmen Freedmen’s Bureau... Help w/ schools, labor contracts, etc. Civil Rights Act of 1866… Granted African-Americans citizenship & all rights of citizens 14th Amendment... Citizenship for African-Americans, “Equal Treatment under the Law 15th Amendment: Right to vote can't be denied by race Klan Acts (Force Acts) of 1870 & 1871… Gave military authority to target the KKK… forced it to be more secretive BUT… No land redistribution

5 Republican Governments in the South
Freedmen: Freed slaves “Carpetbaggers:” Northern migrants who moved South to help freedmen, or exploit economic & political opportunities “Scalawags:” White southern Republicans How well did they do?... Probably no better or worse than Democratic governments. Racist Political Cartoon Depicted Republican Governments in the South

6 Sharecropping Sharecropping: Landowner provided land, seeds, tools, and lent $ for expenses in exchange for a portion of the crop Tenant Farming: Renting land Debt Peonage: Both systems usually trapped poor farmers (white & black)

7 Race & Sharecropping

8 Percentage of Sharecropped Farms

9 Slavery vs. Sharecropping

10 A Steel Manufacturer in Birmingham, Alabama
The “New South” Some industrialization begins to take place in southern cities like Birmingham, AL Much of the economic growth was financed by investors & entrepreneurs from the North (a.k.a. “carpetbaggers”) A Steel Manufacturer in Birmingham, Alabama

11 Social Change in the South

12 Freedom Schools Thousands of African-Americans (young and old) flocked to schools created by the Freedmen’s Bureau and by Republican state governments.


14 Illiteracy by Race

15 The Ku Klux Klan Founded in Tennessee in 1866
Terrorized southern blacks, and whites who sympathized with them Largely (but temporarily) eradicated after the anti- Klan Acts of 1870 & 1871 It re-emerges after the Union army pulls out in 1877

16 Lynching

17 The Jim Crow Laws Jim Crow Laws: Segregated Blacks & Whites in Public Places Plessey v. Ferguson (1896)... “Separate but Equal” does not violate the 14th Amendment

18 Voting Restrictions Redeemers & the “Solid South”… Wanted to replace Republican state governments w/ Democrat-controlled white supremacist govs.

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