-- What living conditions did surviving Louisianans and former slaves face after the Civil War? What issues had to be resolved regarding Southern states once the Civil War ended? Section 1: After the War
Issues to be Resolved: The issues that had to be resolved were: How should the southern states be readmitted to the Union? What, if any, political and civil rights should be granted to former slaves? Should the former Confederates be punished for the rebellion?
What words do I need to know? -- freedmen -- reconstruction -- Black Code -- Freedman’s Bureau Section 1: After the War
Union General Banks burned much of central Louisiana Livestock populations decimated Parish records lost or destroyed Transportation infrastructure (roads,bridges, levees, and railroads) badly damaged levees Postwar Conditions
Devastated economy worsened disorder and poverty for former slaves Devastated economy Freed slaves lacked land and resources to rebuild a prosperous new life War-torn South struggled to survive Freedmen
All Northerners didn’t agree on how to rebuild the South Lincoln’s “10 Percent Plan” allowed states to rejoin union after 10 percent of 1860 voters signed loyalty oath10 Percent Plan Louisiana’s 1864 Constitution ended slavery, but forbid freedmen from voting Lincoln’s assassination brought harsher reconstruction conditions to Louisiana Presidential Reconstruction
President Andrew Johnson readmitted Southern states that approved the 13 th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution President Andrew Johnson Republican “Radicals” wanted to give the land owned by Confederate officers to the freed slaves Johnson pardoned former Confederate officers, allowing them to keep their land Congress nearly voted Johnson out of office Johnson and Reconstruction
Many former Confederates elected to the Louisiana legislature The legislators’ doorkeeper, an armless Confederate veteran, manned the door in a Confederate uniform Confederate uniform Louisianan Republicans were mostly Northerners, former slaves, and free people of color Governor James M. Wells was a Unionist, who had supported the Union during the war Louisiana’s Postwar Government
Former slaves sought security, education, and united families Many freedmen left plantations and sought work in the state’s towns Black codes limited the freedmen’s movements, actions, and conduct Black codes Freedmen were made to sign one-year labor contracts or face arrest or public work Black Code
Established in 1865 by federal governmentfederal government Provided food, clothing, and basic shelter to needy Southerners and former slaves Agents around the state handled work contracts between freedmen and planters Riots in New Orleans in 1866 ended a planned Constitutional Convention, which might have assured the freedmen the right to vote Riots in New Orleans in 1866 Freedmen’s Bureau Click here to return to Main Menu.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION -- How did military enforcement and policies change the course of Reconstruction? Section 2: Military Reconstruction
What words do I need to know? -- carpetbagger -- scalawag -- Knights of the White Camellia -- fraud Section 2: Military Reconstruction
Reconstruction Act of 1867 placed the Southern states under strict military control States were pressured to approve the 14 th Amendment, guaranteeing voting rights to all males14 th Amendment Former Confederates could no longer hold office The state remained under military control for 10 years Radical Reconstruction
Henry Clay Warmouth, a former Union officer, was elected Republican governor in 1868 He was known as the “Louisiana’s Carpetbagger Governor” Carpetbaggers described newcomers who moved South with few belongings to make their fortunes Carpetbaggers Scalawags were local white Unionists who joined the controlling Republicans Carpetbaggers
Self-described “Conservatives,” mostly former Confederates, sought to regain pre-war political powerpre-war political power These “Redeemers” resented military control and black elected officials The Knights of the White Camilla, a masked group, intimidated voters to keep freedmen from voting Governor Warmouth appointed a board to throw out votes found to be fraudulent (unfair) The Redeemers
Governor Warmouth was charged with election corruption William P. Kellogg declared Louisiana’s governor by the federal government P.B.S. Pinchbeck became acting governor in December 1872, during impeachment hearings against Governor Warmouth P.B.S. Pinchbeck Pinchbeck was first African American governor of any state The 1872 Election Click here to return to Main Menu.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION -- How did the Reconstruction years end in Louisiana? Section 3: The Last Years of Reconstruction
What terms do I need to know? -- anarchy -- The White League -- Colfax Riot Section 3: The Last Years of Reconstruction
Louisiana came close to anarchy (lawless absence of government) during Reconstruction’s final years The Colfax Riot of 1873, in Grant Parish, resulted in more than 50 black deathsGrant Parish The black Republican candidate fought the white Democrat for control of the Sheriff’s office The 1873 Unification Movement, designed to help blacks and whites share political offices, failed to bring both sides together Violence in Louisiana
White Louisianans began policies to reclaim control of the state government The White League (1874) intended to restore political power to white Democrats, with or without violence Bulldozing (violence and threats to drive Republicans from office) was a tactic used New Orleans’ “Battle of Liberty Place” in 1874 pitted 4,000 Metropolitan police against 8,000 White League membersBattle of Liberty Place Federal troops arrived to restore order The White League
The Republican leadership in Washington, DC agreed to end military Reconstruction Federal troops removed from Louisiana and rest of South by 1877 Republican Rutherford B. Hayes elected President in 1876Rutherford B. Hayes National Republicans would no longer keep Louisiana Republicans in power The 1876 Elections Click here to return to Main Menu.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION -- How did Louisianans survive during Reconstruction? Section 4: Rebuilding Louisiana
What words do I need to know? -- sharecropping -- credit -- economic plan Section 4: Rebuilding Reconstruction
Banks reluctant to rebuild the plantation system because planters had no slaves Slaves had been used as collateral (something of value pledged as security for a loan) Sharecropping developed: laborers lived on planters’ land in return for a share of the profit when the crop was sold Sharecropping Crop Lien System: Merchants sold on credit in return for payment at the year’s end Sharecroppers remained in debt year-round Labor in Louisiana
Trade centers in parts of Louisiana began to expand Traveling circuses and riverboat shows filled the waterwayscircuses Riverboat races provided riverfront dwellers entertainment Riverboat races Baseball travel teams became popular Baseball travel teams Volunteer fire departments held socials and parades African-American churches became community center for many former slaves Rebuilding Lives Click here to return to Main Menu.