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RECONSTRUCTION CHAPTER 5. ISSUES OF RECONSTRUCTION Reconstruction – the time period where the federal government struggled with how to return the eleven.

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Presentation on theme: "RECONSTRUCTION CHAPTER 5. ISSUES OF RECONSTRUCTION Reconstruction – the time period where the federal government struggled with how to return the eleven."— Presentation transcript:

1 RECONSTRUCTION CHAPTER 5

2 ISSUES OF RECONSTRUCTION Reconstruction – the time period where the federal government struggled with how to return the eleven southern states to the Union, rebuild the South’s economy, and promote the rights of former slaves.

3 ISSUES OF RECONSTRUCTION How will Southern states rejoin the Union? Constitution provided no guidance to answer this question. Some argues the states should be allowed to rejoin the Union quickly with few conditions. Many wanted stipulations such as the South swearing loyalty to the federal government and adopting state constitutions that guaranteed freedmen’s rights. How will the Southern economy be built? Some people proposed that government seized land should be given to the nearly 3 million newly freed slaves Southern landowners objected to this idea – even some newly free slaves objected to this idea

4 ISSUES OF RECONSTRUCTION What rights will African Americans have? The Thirteenth Amendment freed African Americans from slavery, but it did not grant them the privileges of full citizenship. Former slaves hoped they would gain voting rights, access to education, benefits that most northern African Americans did not have. Most Republican leaders favored African American rights, however, many white southerners opposed the idea. They feared it would undermine their own power and status in society.

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6 LINCOLN SETS A MODERATE COURSE Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan Created in 1863 before the war’s end the ten percent plan offered leniency to the South. Terms stated that 10 percent of a state’s voters needed to take an oath of loyalty to the Union, once this was done the state could set up a new government. If the state’s constitution abolished slavery and provided education for African Americans, the state would regain representation in Congress. Lincoln was willing to grant pardons to former Confederates and he considered compensating them for lost property. Lincoln did not require a guarantee of social or political equality for African Americans, as he recognized pro-Union governments in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Tennessee even though they denied African Americans the right to vote.

7 RADICALS OPPOSE THE 10 PERCENT PLAN Members of Lincoln’s own party opposed the 10 percent plan. Leaders such as Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner too control of the newly formed “Radical Republicans.” Radical Republicans insisted that the Confederates had committed crimes – by enslaving African Americans and by entangling the nation into war The Radical Republicans advocated full citizenship, including the right to vote for African Americans. They favored punishment and harsh terms for the South, and they supported Sherman’s plan to confiscate Confederates’ land and give farms to freedmen.

8 RADICALS OPPOSE THE 10 PERCENT PLAN Radical Republicans and Congress pass the Wade- Davis Bill which required that a majority of a state’s prewar voters swear loyalty to the Union before the process of restoration could begin. The bill also demanded guarantees of African American equality. President Lincoln vetoed the plan because he thought it was too harsh to the South.

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10 GOVERNMENT AIDS FREEDMEN One Radical Republican plan did receive support by Lincoln. This was the Freedman’s Bureau which was created a few weeks before Lincoln’s death. The Freedmen's Bureau sought to provide food, clothing, healthcare, and education for both black and white refugees in the South. The Bureau also helped reunite separated families, negotiated fair labor contracts between former slaves and white landowners, and even represented African Americans in the court of law. The Freedman’s Bureau continued its efforts until 1872.

11 JOHNSON’S RECONSTRUCTION PLAN Like Lincoln, President Johnson wanted to restore the political status of the southern states as quickly as possible. He offered pardons and the restoration of land to almost any Confederate who swore allegiance to the Union and the Constitution. His main requirement was that a state needed to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment and draft a constitution that abolished slavery – Johnson however resented wealthy planters which had to personally write him to appeal for a pardon.

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13 JOHNSON’S RECONSTRUCTION PLAN Johnson did not seek to elevate the status of African Americans. He expected the United States to have a “government for white men.” He did not want African Americans to have a vote. Johnson supported states’ rights, which would allow the laws and customs of the state to outweigh federal regulations. States would then be able to limit the freedoms of former slaves. By December, 1865 most Confederate states had met Johnson’s requirements for readmission – Radical and moderate Republicans were concerned about the lack of African American suffrage, but hoped that black political rights would soon follow.

14 SOUTHERNERS AIM TO RESTORE OLD WAYS Radical and Moderate Republican hopes were soon dashed. States met at their conventions to restore their prewar world. Many states specifically limited the vote to white men – some states sent their Confederate officials to the US Congress – all of the states instituted black codes (laws that sought to limit the rights of African Americans and keep them as landless workers) Black codes required African Americans to work only certain professions like servants or farm laborers – some states prohibited African Americans from owning land and all states set up vagrancy laws (laws that an African American can be sent to jail for not having a job) Even though the South was under Union military rule, white southerners openly used intimidation and violence to enforce the black codes.

15 CONGRESS FIGHTS BACK Both Radical and Moderate Republicans were infuriated by the South’s disregard for the spirit of Reconstruction – Many in the North denied the Southern representatives their seats in Congress Johnson vetoed bills that would encourage African American rights Allowing of the Freedman’s Bureau to continue its work and provide its’ authority to punish state officials who failed to extend rights to African Americans Civil Rights Act of 1866 – sought to overturn black codes and allow the federal government to ensure civil rights and supersede any state that limited them. Johnson accused Congress of trying “to Africanize the southern half of the country.

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17 CONGRESSIONAL RECONSTRUCTION As violence in the South increased, moderate and Radical Republicans blamed Johnson for his lenient policies – Congress did something unprecedented – for the first time ever Congress with a 2/3 vote passed major legislation over a President’s veto. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 became law!

18 RADICAL RECONSTRUCTION BEGINS Feeling their strength in Congress, Radical and moderate Republicans spent nearly a year designing a sweeping Reconstruction program. Congress passed the 14 th Amendment which stated that any state that refused to allow African Americans to vote would risk losing the number of seats in the House of Representatives that were represented by their African American population. Congress passes the Military Reconstruction Act of 1867 which divided the 10 southern states that had yet to be readmitted into the Union into 5 military districts governed by former Union generals. The act stated how long each state had to create their new government and receive congressional recognition. In each state voters were required to elect delegates to write a new state constitution which guaranteed suffrage for African American men. Once the state ratified the 14 th Amendment they could be readmitted.

19 CONGRESS IMPEACHES THE PRESIDENT The power struggle between Congress and the President reached its crisis in To limit the President’s power Congress pass the Tenure of Office Act which stated the President needed approval from the Senate first before removing certain officials from office. When Johnson tried to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, the last Radical Republican in his cabinet, Stanton barricaded himself in his office for two months. Angrily, the House of Representatives voted to impeach Johnson for trying to fire Stanton. The trial lasted through the spring of In the end, the Radical Republicans failed by only 1 vote to impeach Johnson – several moderate Republicans backed away from conviction as they thought using an impeachment to get rid of a President who disagreed with Congress would upset the balance of power in government. During his impeachment trial, Johnson promised to enforce the Reconstruction Acts – a promise which he kept.

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21 15 TH AMENDMENT In 1868, the Republican candidate, former Union general Ulysses S. Grant was elected President. In 1869, Congress passed the 15 th Amendment forbidding any state from denying suffrage on the grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Unlike previous measures, this guarantee applied to the northern states as well as southern states Both the 14 th an 15 amendments, however, contained loopholes that left room for evasion. States could still impose voting restrictions based on literacy or property qualifications, which in effect would exclude most African Americans – soon the South will do just that

22 RECONSTRUCTION IN THE SOUTH By 1870, all of the former Confederate states had met the requirements under Radical Reconstruction and rejoined the Union – Republicans dominated the newly established governments Almost 1,500 African American men helped usher the Republican party in the South serving as school superintendents, police sheriffs, mayors, and other public service jobs

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24 YOU SCALAWAG! NO, YOU’RE A CARPETBAGGER! Not only were black southerners attracted to the Southern Republican party but others were as well. Scalawag: White men who had been locked out of pre-Civil War politics by their wealthier neighbors – welcomed in by the Republican Party Carpetbagger: Northerners who moved south in hopes of improving their economic or political situations – in some cases these northerners moved South to help make a better life for freedmen – name comes from the carpet-clothed suitcase often carried by northerners.

25 REPUBLICAN PARTY SUCCESSES AND FAILURES The Republican Party did not support women’s suffrage arguing that they could not rally national support behind African American suffrage if they tried to include women too. The Reconstruction South did offer women more occupational advantages with jobs at medical facilities, orphanages, and other relief agencies. The South’s school system was expensive since many southerners supported segregation or separation of the races Some Southerners supported integration – combining the school – this suggestion was unpopular

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27 REPUBLICAN PARTY SUCCESSES AND FAILURES Illiteracy in the South remained high The quality of medical care, housing and economic production was lagging far behind that of the North, and in some cases the West. Legal protection for African Americans was limited and racial violence remained a problem well into the twentieth century. Political offices were becoming a route to wealth and power rather than positions of honor Corruption was present in government Mismanagement of finances – Railroad loans Many said that Southern African American politicians were dishonest or incompetent

28 FREED PEOPLE BUILD NEW COMMUNITIES Many freedman deliberately moved away from the plantation For the first time many African American men and women could legalize and share their marriages, create homes for their families, and make choices about where they could reside Many African Americans headed for Southern cities where they could develop churches, schools, and other social institutions. Skilled men might find work as carpenters, blacksmiths and cooks – women took in laundry or did child care or domestic work Most often black workers had to settle for what they had under slavery: substandard housing and poor food in return for hard labor The majority of African American families remained in rural areas and would work in lumbering, railroad building, or farming land for landowners

29 SCHOOLS AND CHURCHES Freed people realized the importance of education – learning to read and write – making sure they could vote against people who may cheat them Freedmen’s Bureau school filled up quick – by 1866 there were as many as 150,000 African American students – adults and children – acquiring basic literacy 3 years later the enrollment was about 300,000 Mostly the schools taught the basics of reading, writing, and math but some also taught health and nutrition and how to look for a job African American churches were built all throughout the South – provided an arena for organizing, and for public speaking – a considerable amount of African American politicians began their careers as ministers

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31 REMAKING THE SOUTHERN ECONOMY Many of the South’s problems resulted from uneven distribution of land – in 1860, the wealthiest 5% of white southerners owned almost half of the regions land – By 1880, about 7% of the South’s land was owned by African Americans Sharecropping – embraced most of the South’s black and white poor, a landowner dictated the crop and provided the sharecropper with a place to live, as well as seeds and tools, in return for a “share” of the harvested crop. Share-tenecy – much like sharecropping except the farmworker chose what crop he would plant and bought his own supplies; he then gave a share of the crop to the landowner. Tenant farming – the tenant paid cash rent to a landowner and then was free to choose and manage his own crop – and free to choose where he would live.

32 VIOLENCE UNDERMINES REFORM EFFORTS Already resentful of the Republican takeover of local politics and of occupation of federal troops, white southerners from all economic classes were united in their insistence that African Americans not have full citizenship. The Ku Klux Klan, formed in Tennessee in 1866, roamed the countryside, especially at night, burning homes, schools, and churches, and beating, maiming, or killing African Americans and their white allies – they discouraged African Americans from voting

33 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RESPONDS TO VIOLENCE Racial violence grew even more widespread in the North as it did in the South, after the 15 th Amendment was passed. Republican legislators were murdered, riots broke out, and the Klan carried on their terror in the South The US Congress takes action by passing the Enforcement Acts (also known as the Ku Klux Klan Acts) in 1870 and The acts made it a federal offense to interfere with a person’s right to vote. Congress used the Acts to indict hundreds of Klansmen in the South and the violence did decrease – though it would flare up again in the coming decades.

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35 PRESIDENCY OF ULYSSES GRANT Ulysses was a popular war hero but a disappointing President. He allied with the Radical Republicans and promised to take a strong stand against southern resistance to Reconstruction. Grant’s ability to lead was marred by scandal Grant gave high level advisory jobs to untrustworthy friends who used their power to put money in their own pockets The public’s discontent was worsened by economic turmoil and uncertainty – bank failures, job losses, and an uncertain economy were among the concerns

36 WHY RECONSTRUCTION ENDS The Radical Republicans power had declined since they failed to impeach President Andrew Johnson Gradually and quietly, beginning in 1871, troops were being withdrawn from the South due to high costs of military operations and other pressing concerns in the North such as the economy and reforming politics. The death of Radical Republican leader Charles Sumner also contributed to the fade of the Radical Republicans as strong leaders were not capable of carrying on the message The Supreme Court chipped away at African American freedoms in their interpretations of the 13th, 14th, and 15 th Amendments The Redeemers in the South (Democrats) regain control in Congress

37 THE COMPROMISE OF 1877 With the Radical Republican’s loss of power, the stage was set to end northern domination of the South. Republican Rutherford Hayes was running for President against Democrat Samuel Tilden Tilden received 51% of the popular vote and carried all the Southern states – the Republicans claim the votes were miscounted – in a recount the Republicans found enough mistakes to swing the election to Hayes by one electoral vote When Southern Democrats protested the results, Congress created a special commission to make a decision – The decision became known as the Compromise of 1877 in which Hayes was elected President, all remaining federal troops were withdrawn from the South, a southerner was appointed to a powerful cabinet position, and southern states were guaranteed money to build railroads and improve their ports Federal Reconstruction officially was over

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39 THE EFFECTS OF RECONSTRUCTION The introduction of tax-supported school systems in the South and an infusion of money to modernize railroads and ports The Southern economy expanded from one crop – cotton – to a range of agricultural and industrial products There was a transition to a wage economy from a barter and credit system Reconstruction failed to heal the bitterness between the North and the South or to provide lasting protection for freed people – It did, however, raise African Americans’ expectations of their full citizenship, and it placed before Americans the meaning and value of the right to vote.

40 EFFECTS ON AFRICAN AMERICANS By 1877, a few southern African Americans owned their own farms – that number would gradually grow through the next decades Reconstruction gave African Americans the right to voluntarily work the jobs they wanted to work Families were reunited through the Freedmen’s Bureau The 13 th, 14 th, and 15 th Amendments provided hope for inclusion in society – it would take later generations to use those amendments to gain racial equality

41 EFFECTS ON THE WOMENS SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT One of the ironies of Reconstruction is that it gave the vote to black American men, while fragmenting the women’s movement that had often been supportive of black freedom The women’s movement made small progress in Wyoming territory but will have to work for decades in order to obtain the right to vote in the states

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43 EFFECTS ON STATE AND NATIONAL POLITICS African Americans came to embrace the Republican party, whereas white southerners tended to shun it The Democratic Party came to dominate the white South Following Reconstruction, the national Republicans became the party of big business – a reputation that continues to the present The national Democratic Party, which identified with industrial laborers, differed from the southern Democrats and had to maintain a delicate balance with the southern faction on this issue as well as on the question of race.

44 EFFECTS ON STATE AND FEDERAL LEVEL The power between the federal government and the individual states During Reconstruction, the federal government asserted its authority not only over southern states but over state laws in other regions as well In the end, American voters and their representatives in government opted for a balance of power, at the expense of protecting freed people in the South. With the demise of the Radical Republicans, most congressmen concluded that it was better to let the South attend its own affairs than to leave a whole region under the control of federal military power and federal political control. That choice would have far-reaching social, political, and economic implications.


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