Presentation on theme: "Reconstruction and Reform Reconstruction was the complex period of readjustment following the Civil War. Definition- the federal government plan to rebuild."— Presentation transcript:
Reconstruction and Reform Reconstruction was the complex period of readjustment following the Civil War. Definition- the federal government plan to rebuild the South after the Civil War. Reconstruction touched all Americans – blacks, whites, northerners and southerners and residents of urban and rural society Reconstruction not only reunited the nation, but also redefined the status of the ex- slaves. Freedmen!
Emancipation and future of Freedmen Despite the newly freedmen’s emancipation the future of the South’s freedmen remained unsettled. Their political, social and economic status remained hazy. Though legally free they faced an uncertain future. As Reconstruction unfolded, blacks had many questions. How would the two races adjust to the new orders of the South? Would the ex-slaves obtain full legal rights? To what degree would blacks participate in politics? How would the former slaves earn a living? How would they interact with their former masters?
Andrew Johnson Andrew Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights law of 1866. Congress passed the Civil Rights law over the president’s veto. It was the first time in American History that an important piece of legislation was passed over a president’s veto. Andrew Johnson was Democrat and did not believe in equality. Johnson also thought it was up to the states, not the central government, to protect individual rights. President Johnson urged the southern states to protect the freedmen an freedwomen’s rights but he didn’t do anything to see that they were protected.
Andrew Johnson vs the Radical Republicans Radical Republican’s – the freedmen received little support from Andrew Johnson- a former slave holder and Democrat. As president he sympathized more with whites than with blacks. So the Radical Republicans, outraged by the unwillingness of white southerners to treat the freedmen fairly or accept Union control they went to work to defeat Johnson’s program Andrew Johnson- led the country during Reconstruction’s first phase. He was determined to reunite the country quickly and imposed mild terms on the defeated southern states. Reconstruction not only reunited the nation, but also redefined the status of the ex-slaves. Freedmen! Black Codes- laws that sought to keep blacks in a status as similar to slavery as possible
Congressional Reconstruction Congressional Reconstruction – Unlike Johnson, the radicals expected white southerners to accept responsibility for causing the war and to treat their former slaves fairly. Radicals led moves in U.S congress to amend the Constitution not only to outlaw slavery but also to define Blacks as citizens and to grant them the vote. Congress decided to send soldiers south to guarantee freedom to the former slaves. The soldiers stayed for about 10 years Many Northerners went South. They went to teach, to help aid with programs, to help the state governments get going again
KKK – Ku Klux Klan Lynching – means to execute without due process of the law, especially by hanging aka murder by a mob. The old guard in the South began to take power again. And they didn’t worry about sharing it. They didn’t worry about justice for all. They passed laws that made voters pay a poll tax. A poll tax is a tax you pay just because you’re a person. Most blacks couldn’t afford to pay the tax and if you didn’t pay the tax you weren’t allowed to vote. Soon many blacks were not much better off than they had been when they were slaves. It was clear Reconstruction was failing. All of this still wasn’t enough for some white racists. So they joined terrorist organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and lynched and intimidated blacks who wanted to vote.
Why were these actions tolerated ? The good people, who wouldn’t do those things didn’t shout out. They didn’t stop the bad actors. Most Northerners who had tried to help in the South got discouraged and left. Some of them were lynched. The Southern whites who tired to be fair were ridiculed- or lynched. Slowly a policy of separation of races was instituted- it was called segregation. Blacks were not allowed to sit in the same seats that whites used, eat in the same restaurants, they had to sit in the back of public streetcars and could not go to school with whites. State and local laws were passed that made all those unfair things possible. The Supreme Court didn’t seem to care- sometimes it sided with the racists.
Industry and New Ideas in the South Industry and new ideas abounded in the North and West. But until fairness began to return (After World War II) immigrants and most big industries stayed away from much of the South. Southern industry consisted of foundries, carpentry shops, and small manufacturing plants. Tobacco and cotton were still the major crops. Wages were low. The South became the poorest section of the nation. Southern students ranked at the bottom of the national charts.