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Reconstruction ( ): Successes and Failures

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1 Reconstruction (1865 -- 1877): Successes and Failures
(Unit III, Segment 3 of 3)

2 Essential Question: What were the various plans to reconstruct the Union at the end of the Civil War? Warm-Up Question: What problems exist now that the Civil War is over?

3 Reconstruction (1865 to 1877) Reconstruction is the era after the Civil War when the U.S. gov’t: Brought the seceded Southern states back into the Union Ended slavery & tried to protect newly emancipated slaves Rebuilt the nation after more than four years of fighting

4 Reconstruction occurred in 2 phases:
Presidential Reconstruction ( ) was lenient in order to allow Southern states to quickly rejoin the Union; It was initiated by President Lincoln but carried out by President Andrew Johnson

5 Reconstruction occurred in 2 phases:
Congressional Reconstruction ( ) was directed by Radical Republicans in Congress who wanted a stricter plan that protected the rights of former slaves & kept Confederate leaders from regaining power in the South

6 Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan
In his 2nd inaugural address, Lincoln promised a Reconstruction Plan for the Union with “malice towards none & charity for all” Before the Civil War came to an end (& before his death), Lincoln proposed his Ten-Percent Plan This plan was very lenient & allowed former Confederate states could re-enter the Union when: 10% of its population swore an oath of loyalty to the USA States ratified the 13th Amendment ending slavery

7 When Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 VP Andrew Johnson tried
to continue Lincoln’s policies: His Presidential Reconstruction plan was lenient towards Southerners States could come back into the USA once they ratified the 13th Amendment

8 Presidential Reconstruction
Johnson’s Reconstruction plan hoped to quickly re-unify the nation But, this plan did not require strict regulations to protect former slaves Southern states passed black codes to keep African-Americans from gaining land, jobs, voting rights, & protection under the law Johnson pardoned 13,000 ex-Confederates

9 Presidential Reconstruction
Led by Thaddeus Stevens, many “radical” Republicans in Congress opposed Johnson’s plan & pushed for laws to protect African-Americans:

10 The Freedman’s Bureau The Freedman’s Bureau was established in 1865 to offer assistance to former slaves & protect their new citizenship: Provided emergency food, housing, medical supplies Created new schools

11 A Freedman’s Bureau School

12 Historically Black Colleges in the South
The emphasis on education led to the creation of African American universities, such as Morehouse College in Atlanta

13 The Role of Freedman’s Bureau Agents
Many former abolitionists moved South to help freedmen, called “carpetbaggers” by Southern Democrats

14 The 14th Amendment Congress feared Johnson would allow violations of civil rights so it drafted the 14th Amendment: Clarified the idea of citizenship to include former slaves All citizens were entitled to equal protection under the law & cannot be deprived of life, liberty, property without due process of law

15 Presidential Reconstruction
President Johnson opposed these new protections because he felt it would slow reconstruction: Johnson vetoed the Freedman’s Bureau bill & encouraged Southern states to not support the 14th Amendment This backfired when Republicans increased their control of Congress in the 1866 elections

16 With a dominance in Congress, moderate & “radical” Republicans took control & began “Congressional Reconstruction” in 1867: Did not recognize the state gov’ts approved under Johnson’s Plan Made Reconstruction more strict

17 Congressional Reconstruction
The Reconstruction Act of 1867 required that any Confederate state that wanted to re-enter the Union had to: Ratify the 14th Amendment Allow African-American men the right to vote in their states Keep Confederate leaders from returning to power

18 Created 5 military districts to protect former slaves & to enforce reconstruction
The success of Reconstruction

19 Johnson’s Impeachment (1868)
President Johnson obstructed Congressional Reconstruction: He fired military generals appointed by Congress to oversee Southern military zones He violated a new law called the Tenure of Office Act when he tried to fire his Secretary of War who supported Congress’ plan

20 Radical Republicans used this as an opportunity to impeach the president
To impeach is to formally charge an elected official of wrongdoing The House of Representatives voted to impeach Johnson

21 After an 11 week trial, the Senate fell 1 vote short of removing the president from office
But…Johnson did promise to enforce Reconstruction for the remainder of his term…& he did! Johnson argued that removal could only occur due to “high crimes & misdemeanors” but no “crime” had been committed 11 week trial.

22 The Senate trial of Johnson’s impeachment was the hottest ticket in town

23 In 1868, Civil War hero Ulysses Grant won the presidency & worked with Congress to reconstruct the South: By 1868, most Confederate states had been re-admitted to the Union under Congressional Reconstruction

24 Because of Congressional Reconstruction, African-American men in the South could VOTE(!) for the first time

25 Re-Admission of the South

26 In 1870, the 15th Amendment gave black men the right to vote
Prohibited any state from denying men the right to vote due to race But…the amendment said nothing about literacy tests, poll taxes, & property qualifications

27 The Successes of Reconstruction
Through Reconstruction, the national gov’t achieved Lincoln’s original goal: “Preserve the Union” By 1870, all 11 Confederate states had been re-admitted into the United States The states‘rights & nullification arguments came to an end

28 America at the Start of the Civil War (1861)
America at the End of Reconstruction (1877)

29 Successes of Reconstruction
Reconstruction led to the end of slavery & protections for all citizens, including African-Americans: 13th Amendment ended slavery 14th Amendment guaranteed all citizens, regardless of race, equal protection under the law 15th Amendment gave voting rights to African-American men

30 Successes of Reconstruction
Reconstruction was the “golden age” of voting for African-Americans: With the right to vote, military districts, & federal troops in the South to protect voters, African-Americans were empowered The first African American politicians were elected to state & national offices Republicans took control of state governments in the South

31 The First African-American Congressmen

32 Successes of Reconstruction
Reconstruction stressed education: Before the Civil War, it was illegal to teach slaves to read & write The Freedman’s Bureau created schools for African-Americans The end of slavery allowed African-American families to be reunited, marriages to be legally recognized, & African-American workers to make their own money

33 Failures of Reconstruction
After the Civil War, slavery was replaced by sharecropping: White land owners would “rent” parcels of their fields to African- Americans in exchange for ½ to ¼ of the cotton that they produced But, former slaves had no money for tools or seeds so they gained loans from the land owner in exchange for more of their cotton Sharecropping is also known as “tenant farming”


35 Sharecropping By the end of 1865, most freedmen had returned to work on the same plantations on which they were previously enslaved

36 Sharecropping remained in place from the 1860s to the 1940s when the Great Depression & World War 2 brought an end to the system Sharecropping family in 1937

37 Failures of Reconstruction
Southern whites resisted attempts at reconstruction by: Passing discriminatory laws called black codes Using violence & intimidation to keep African-Americans inferior to whites The inability of the federal gov’t to sustain Reconstruction Supporting the return of the Democratic Party to state gov’ts

38 Failures of Reconstruction
…Passing discriminatory laws called black codes: These laws restricted African-Americans from serving on juries, testifying against whites in court, marrying whites, or owning land Black codes kept African-Americans from being able to have true freedom

39 Failures of Reconstruction
…Using violence & intimidation to keep African-Americans inferior to whites: Groups like the Ku Klux Klan attacked African-Americans who tried to vote or spoke out against black codes; carpetbaggers, & scalawags (whites who voted Republican) Lynching became common

40 The “Invisible Empire” of the South

41 Failures of Reconstruction
…The inability of the federal gov’t to sustain Reconstruction Corruption and scandals during Grant’s presidency & economic recession in 1873 distracted northerners from Reconstruction The Supreme Court ruled against civil rights laws designed to protect African-Americans

42 Failures of Reconstruction
…Supporting the return of the Democratic Party to state gov’ts: The KKK & black codes became successful in limiting African-American voting Federal troops & military districts had difficulty protecting African-Americans One-by-one, Southern state gov’ts shifted from Republican control to the Democratic Party These “Redeemer Democrats” hoped to restore the “Old South”

43 The Rise of “Redeemer Democrats” in the South
By 1876, only SC, FL, & LA were controlled by Republicans

44 In 1877, Reconstruction ended:
The Democratic Party returned to power in all 11 Southern states The only thing protecting African-Americans were federal troops; but by 1875, Grant had stopped sending reinforcements

45 The “Compromise of 1877”: In the 1876 election, neither Democrat Tilden nor Republican Hayes won a majority of electoral vote Democrats in Congress agreed to vote for Hayes if the remaining federal troops were withdrawn from the South

46 1876 Presidential Election
President Hayes removed federal troops & ended military zones Reconstruction officially ended in 1877

47 Jim Crow Era (1877 to 1954) With Reconstruction over, the Jim Crow era began ( ) Jim Crow laws, such as literacy tests (reading requirements) & poll taxes (fees to vote) kept African-Americans from voting Grandfather clauses allowed poor whites to avoid these laws & vote In Plessy v Ferguson (1896), the Supreme Court said segregation was OK (“separate but equal”)

48 “Jim Crow” South from 1877 to 1954


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