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Reconstruction (1865-1877) The effort to rebuild the southern states and restore the Union was known as Reconstruction, a period that lasted from 1865.

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Presentation on theme: "Reconstruction (1865-1877) The effort to rebuild the southern states and restore the Union was known as Reconstruction, a period that lasted from 1865."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reconstruction ( ) The effort to rebuild the southern states and restore the Union was known as Reconstruction, a period that lasted from 1865 to 1877. Reconstruction required the rebuilding of the nation's economy as well as its government. With so much at stake, rival political factions—with competing plans for the future—waged bitter battles in Washington.

2 Plans for Reconstruction
Several different plans for Reconstruction emerged during and after the war. Much debate about differing plans centered on who would control Reconstruction—the President or Congress.

3 Lincoln’s Plan President Lincoln had begun planning for the restoration of the South long before the end of the war. His plan of Reconstruction was based on the idea that the southern states had never left the Union. It featured the following elements:

4 Lincoln’s Plan Pardons to southerners who swore oaths of loyalty to the United States Recognition of new southern state governments when 10 percent of those who had voted in the 1860 election took these oaths and when the states adopted new constitutions abolishing slavery. Lincoln was open to suggestions from Congress for changes in his plan, but his assassination in April 1865 meant he would never carry out his program.

5 Reconstruction Plans Lincoln’s plan Johnson’s plan
Chapter 12, Section 1 Lincoln’s plan Johnson’s plan Each state could create a new constitution without Lincoln’s 10 percent allegiance requirement. States had to void secession, abolish slavery, and repudiate the Confederate debt. Although it officially denied pardons to all Confederate leaders, Johnson often issued pardons to those who asked him personally. Denied pardons to officers and anyone who had killed African American war prisoners. Permitted each state to create a new constitution after 10 percent of voters took an oath of allegiance. Offered pardons to Southerners who swore allegiance. States could then hold elections and rejoin the Union.

6 Johnson’s Plan Vice President Andrew Johnson became President after Lincoln's death. He intended to follow the broad outlines of Lincoln's s plan. Johnson recognized four southern state governments and prepared to readmit the others.

7 Johnson’s Plan A group called the Radical Republicans felt that the Civil War had been fought over the moral issue of slavery. The Radicals insisted that the main goal of Reconstruction should be a restructuring of society to guarantee black people true equality. The Radical Republicans controlled Congress, and they wanted harsher terms for Reconstruction.

8 Johnson’s Plan Johnson's failure to consider congressional views on Reconstruction and his efforts to block radical plans finally led Republicans in Congress to attempt to impeach him.

9 Johnson’s Plan In 1868, the House charged the President with "high crimes and misdemeanors"—specifically, for violating the Tenure of Office Act. The Senate fell one vote short of the two-thirds vote required by the Constitution to remove a President from office. Although Johnson was acquitted, his political power was gone.

10 Tenure of Office Act The Tenure of Office Act permitted the President to suspend an officer while the Senate was not in session--at that time, Congress sat during a relatively small portion of the year. If, when the Senate reconvened, it declined to ratify the removal, the President would be required to reinstate the official.

11 Tenure of Office Act In August 1867, President Andrew Johnson suspended Secretary of War Edwin Stanton pending the next session of the Senate. However, when the Senate convened on January 3, 1868, it refused to ratify the removal by a vote of Notwithstanding the vote, President Johnson attempted to appoint a new Secretary of War.

12 Radical Reconstruction
Now the Republican-controlled Congress dictated the terms of Reconstruction. The chief features of this so-called Radical Reconstruction included: The division of the South into five military districts controlled by the U.S. Army, while new state constitutions and governments were being set up. The requirement of the new state governments to grant African American males the right to vote.

13 Radical Reconstruction
The requirement of southern states to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment (African-Americans are citizens. In addition to addressing several fundamental civil rights issues, the amendment prohibited many former Confederate government officials from holding office.

14 State Governments Immediately after the Civil War ended, white southerners who had served in leadership positions before and during the Civil War tried to reassert their control of state and local governments. They were especially concerned with limiting the freedom and movement of the former slaves.

15 State Governments When the radical plan of Reconstruction took effect, most of the former Confederate leaders—largely Democrats—were barred from holding office and voting. Republicans headed the new state governments that emerged and they were overwhelmingly supported by African Americans, who had recently won the right to vote. In many cases, African Americans themselves won election to office.

16 State Governments Many white southerners deeply resented the federal government's imposition of Radical Reconstruction. They also resented the new Reconstruction governments and the role of African Americans in them. They branded the few white southerners active in those governments as scalawags and the Republican northerners who came South to take part in Reconstruction as carpetbaggers.

17 State Governments White southerners sometimes used terror and violence in efforts to keep African Americans from taking part in government.

18 New Constitutional Amendments
During the Reconstruction period, the states ratified three amendments to the Constitution: Thirteenth Amendment (1865)—abolished slavery in the United States.

19 New Constitutional Amendments
Fourteenth Amendment (1868)—(1) declared that all native-born or naturalized people, including African Americans, were citizens; (2) forbade states to make laws that "abridge the privileges ... of citizens" or that "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law" or that "deny to any person ... the equal protection of the laws";

20 New Constitutional Amendments
(3) limited the rights of former Confederate officers and government officials; and (4) promised to pay Civil War debts owed by the federal government, but declared Confederate debts to be void Fifteenth Amendment (Right to vote for African-Americans) (1870)—declared that states could not keep citizens from voting because of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude" (slavery)


22 Ku Klux Klan The Klan sought to eliminate the Republican Party in the South by intimidating voters. They wanted to keep African Americans as submissive laborers. They planted burning crosses on the lawns of their victims and tortured, kidnapped, or murdered them. Prosperous African Americans, carpetbaggers, and scalawags became their victims.

23 Farming in the South A family farmed a portion of a planter’s land.
As payment, the family was promised a share of the crop at harvest time. After the harvest, some planters evicted the sharecroppers without pay or charged the sharecroppers for housing and other expenses, so that the sharecroppers were in debt at the end of the year. Many sharecropping families were in debt to the planters and trapped on the plantation.

24 Sharecropping and the Cycle of Debt
1. Poor whites and freedmen have no jobs, no homes, and no money to buy land. 5. Sharecropper cannot leave the farm as long as he is in debt to the landlord. 2. Poor whites and freedmen sign contracts to work a landlord’s acreage in exchange for a part of the crop. 4. At harvest time, the sharecropper owes more to the landlord than his share of the crop is worth. 3. Landlord keeps track of the money that sharecroppers owe him for housing and food.

25 Farming in the South Tenant farmers did not own the land they farmed.
The tenant farmer paid to rent the land and chose which crops to plant and how much to work. Tenant farming created a class of wealthy merchants who sold supplies on credit. Sharecropping and tenant farming encouraged planters to grow cash crops, such as cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane. The South had to import much of its food.

26 President Grant The first presidential election after the end of the Civil War took place in 1868. Union war hero General Ulysses S. Grant ran as a Republican and won. Grant's strengths, however, were those of a military leader, not those of a politician or government leader. Scandals and corruption damaged Grant's administration, as business owners in the booming postwar economy offered bribes to politicians who would do favors for them.

27 President Grant Among the most notorious scandals were:
Credit Mobilier Scandal: Railroad officials impoverished the railroad, then bribed members of Congress to block any investigation. "Salary Grab ": Congress voted itself a 50 percent pay raise and added two years of "back pay." Public outcry forced repeal of this act. "Whiskey Ring ": Whiskey distillers paid graft to federal tax collectors rather than pay tax on their liquor.

28 President Grant Political corruption was also common at state and local levels. Perhaps the most notorious figure was William "Boss" Tweed, who ran the Tammany Hall political machine in New York City in the 1860s and 1870s. The artist Thomas Nast attacked Tweed's behavior in a series of stinging cartoons that helped turn public opinion against Tweed.

29 Tammany Hall Ring by Thomas Nast

30 End of Reconstruction Corruption in the Grant administration weakened the political strength of the Republican party. In addition, by the early 1870s, all but a handful of former Confederates could vote again. Most of these white southern males now voted Democratic in reaction to Radical Republican Reconstruction. For most of the next century, the Democratic party would dominate voting in the South, giving rise to the term solid South.

31 End of Reconstruction While nearly dying out in the South, the Republican party remained strong in the North and Midwest. It focused on issues of interest to businessmen and farmers, such as keeping the money supply tight and tariffs on imports high.

32 Why did Reconstruction end?
There were four main factors that contributed to the end of Reconstruction. Corruption: Reconstruction legislatures and Grant’s administration came to symbolize corruption, greed, and poor government. The economy: Reconstruction legislatures taxed and spent heavily, putting the southern states deeper into debt.

33 Why did Reconstruction end?
Violence: As federal troops withdrew from the South, some white Democrats used violence and intimidation to prevent freedmen from voting. This tactic allowed white Southerners to regain control of the state governments. The Democrats’ return to power: The pardoned ex-Confederates combined with other white Southerners to form a new bloc of Democratic voters known as the Solid South. They blocked Reconstruction policies.

34 Successes and Failures of Reconstruction
Union is restored. Many white southerners remain bitter toward the federal government and the Republican Party. The South’s economy grows and new wealth is created in the North. The South is slow to industrialize. Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments guarantee African Americans the rights of citizenship, equal protection under the law, and suffrage. After federal troops are withdrawn, southern state governments and terrorist organizations effectively deny African Americans the right to vote. Freedmen’s Bureau and other organizations help many black families obtain housing, jobs, and schooling. Many black and white southerners remain caught in a cycle of poverty. Southern states adopt a system of mandatory education. Racist attitudes toward African Americans continue, in both the South and the North.

35 Election of 1876 The emergence of the solid South gave the Democrats greater power in politics at the national level. In 1876, Democrats nominated Samuel Tilden, the governor of New York, to run for President against Republican Rutherford B. Hayes, the governor of Ohio. . Tilden clearly won the popular vote, but the electoral vote was contested. Four states sent in disputed election returns. Which votes were counted would determine the outcome of the election.

36 Election of 1876 A special electoral commission was named to count the votes. The Republican majority on the commission gave all the electoral votes in question to Hayes, thus guaranteeing his victory. In the Compromise of 1877, Democrats agreed to go along with the commission's decision in return for promises by Hayes to: Withdraw remaining federal troops from the South, thus ending Reconstruction Name a southerner to his cabinet

37 Election of 1876 Support federal spending on internal improvements in the South. The Compromise of 1877 effectively weakened the North's political victory in the Civil War, restoring to power many of the southern families who, 16 years before, had formed the Confederacy and led it into war.

38 White Control of the South
The withdrawal of federal troops enabled white southerners to eliminate any political advances African Americans had made during Reconstruction. Various methods were used to curb the rights of African Americans, and by 1900, their civil rights had been sharply limited.

39 Black Codes These measures, passed in most southern states immediately after the Civil War, were based on old slave codes and aimed at keeping blacks in conditions close to slavery. The black codes produced an angry reaction in the North that helped passage of the Radical Reconstruction program. These codes gave slave-owners absolute power over the African slaves.

40 Secret Societies White southerners originally formed groups like the Ku Klux Klan to try to frighten African Americans and their supporters out of taking part in Reconstruction governments. The lawlessness and brutality demonstrated by these groups led the federal government to use the army against the societies.

41 Secret Societies With the end of Reconstruction and the growth of white political power, the Klan and other similar groups played a less active role in the South. Such organizations, however, remain in existence to this day.

42 Poll Tax Southern states imposed a tax on every voter.
Those who were too poor to pay poll taxes—including many African Americans—could not vote.

43 Literacy Tests Some states required citizens to demonstrate that they could read and write before they voted. Often literacy tests involved interpreting a difficult part of the Constitution. Few African Americans could pass these tests because they had received little schooling.

44 Literacy Tests While the Freedmen's Bureau, created by Congress in 1865 to aid former slaves, established many schools for young African Americans, the bureau lasted only a few years. Thereafter, state laws forced African American children to attend separate schools that were poorly equipped and funded.

45 Grandfather Clauses Poll taxes and literacy tests might have also kept poor and uneducated whites from voting. To prevent this, southern states added grandfather clauses to their constitutions. These clauses allowed the son or grandson of a man eligible to vote in 1866 or 1867 to vote himself even if he could neither pay the tax nor pass the test. Since few African Americans could vote in 1867, the clause benefited whites almost exclusively.

46 Jim Crow Laws Southern states also passed laws establishing social segregation, or the separation of people on the basis of race. Such Jim Crow laws forbade African Americans from sharing facilities with whites, such as railroad cars or water fountains.


48 The Supreme Court’s Response
The Supreme Court did not interfere with efforts to restore white control in the South. In the 1883 Civil Rights Cases, the Court ruled that the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery but did not prohibit discrimination and that the Fourteenth Amendment prohibited discrimination by government but not by individuals.

49 The Supreme Court’s Response
Later, in the landmark case of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), the Court ruled that segregation was legal as long as African Americans had access to "equal but separate" facilities. The Court's ruling in the Plessy case set a precedent that justified segregation in all public facilities—schools, hospitals, passenger terminals, and more—until the 1950s.

50 The Supreme Court’s Response
It was not until the pivotal case of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) that the Supreme Court reversed the finding in Plessy v. Ferguson. The Brown decision stated that educational facilities separated solely on the basis of race were by their nature unequal.

51 African Americans Debate Their Future
Two prominent leaders offered contrasting, strategies to improve the lives of African Americans. Booker T. Washington argued that African Americans should temporarily put aside their desire for political equality and instead focus on building economic security by gaining useful vocational skills.

52 African Americans Debate Their Future
W.E.B. Du Bois called for the brightest African Americans to gain an advanced liberal arts education (rather than a vocational education) and then demand social and political equality. However, widespread discrimination against African Americans made either strategy difficult to follow.

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