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Reconstruction 1863-1877. Reconstruction involved: 1. The terms / conditions by which the defeated states would be restored to the Union (who should decide.

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Presentation on theme: "Reconstruction 1863-1877. Reconstruction involved: 1. The terms / conditions by which the defeated states would be restored to the Union (who should decide."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reconstruction

2 Reconstruction involved: 1. The terms / conditions by which the defeated states would be restored to the Union (who should decide on these – President? Congress?) and 2. Determining the status - political, social, economic - of the 4 million liberated slaves / Freedmen

3 Lincoln’s Reconstruction Plan / Presidential Reconstruction Believed that he, not Congress, should control Reconstruction Believed that the South had not legally withdrawn from the union (it had not been allowed to do so), so Reconstruction should be swift and with little, if any, punishment

4 He was by nature forgiving, compassionate, generous – he preferred forgiveness and leniency towards the South, rather than promote continued bitterness Began his Reconstruction plan before the war ended, in Dec. 1863, when he issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction All Southerners, except high ranking Confederate officials, could obtain a full pardon and restoration of all their rights after taking an oath that pledged future loyalty to the Union and acknowledged the end of slavery (Emancipation Proclamation).

5 High ranking Confederate leaders, military and civilian, had to apply for a “Special Amnesty”, but he indicated that he would easily grant these pardons When 10% of the voters in a given state had taken this oath, these citizens could vote in elections to form a new state government, and elect a constitutional convention to write a new state constitution which recognized Emancipation These newly Reconstructed states would then be eligible to be fully admitted to the Union and to send representatives to Congress

6 This became known as Lincoln's 10% Plan. His plan did not include general imprisonment (Davis and high ranking leaders were imprisoned but released before their 2 year sentences), land confiscation or distribution, and also did not include mention of race relations / the status of freedmen after Emancipation. He felt these questions could be deferred until later. The status of the freedmen did not concern him at this time – his main objective was restoring the union as soon as possible

7 Restoring the union was his main concern in fighting the war – and it remained his main concern now (rapid / swift reconstruction) By December 1864, Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Virginia, had complied with his plan and he declared them to be Reconstructed and back in the Union the process of restoring the South to the Union, with maximum speed and with a minimum of federal intervention, had begun

8 Republican Reconstruction Plan Many Republicans felt his plan was too lenient / too forgiving Most felt that the South had indeed left the union; they should come back in as “conquered provinces” –they had forfeited all their rights; the terms of return should be stricter, on such terms as Congress, not Lincoln should decree Republicans were split between –Moderates who wanted a swift return of the South – but under Congress’s terms and more punishment, some protection for Freedmen by the States (majority)… –Radicals who wanted a slower return, more punishment, more protection for Freedmen, more use of Federal Power to protect Freedmen in the future (minority)

9 Republicans in Congress put forward an alternative plan to Lincoln’s - outlined in the Wade-Davis Bill:  in each of the conquered states, 50 +% would have to take the oath of allegiance before readmission  then elections could be held for conventions to write constitutions that would accept the end of slavery, the disenfranchising of Confederate civil and military leaders (for a longer period than Lincoln planned), and repudiating debts accumulated by the states during the war.

10 Congress Passed the Bill in July But Lincoln disposed of it with a pocket veto - neither approved or disapproved, letting it expire with the end of the session. His actions enraged Congress who then refused to seat the representatives from the four Reconstructed states Stalemate between Lincoln and Congress….then Lincoln was assassinated (some Radicals were not too upset by his death)

11 Before his death his views were evolving – he talked about compromise with the Radicals on the terms of admission of the Southern states He also indicated that he realized that re-colonization was unrealistic, and favored citizenship / vote for intelligent / educated freedmen, those who fought for the Union and those who owned property He supported the Radicals when they proposed the first of the Civil War Amendments, the 13 th Amendment, abolishing slavery

12 Andrew Johnson Gave the impression to the Republicans that he favored their Reconstruction Plan – they felt that he would be spiteful towards the Southern planters whom he professed to hate, and also that he would want to be tough in Reconstructing the South But he soon disappointed them - began to implement a plan almost identical to Lincoln’s: 10% of the voters…..but in addition with acceptance of the new 13 th Amendment, and repudiation of war debts….then they could re-join the Union

13 Expanded the numbers who had to apply for Special Pardons, but granted these liberally - he enjoyed seeing them come and beg for his favor (up to 20,000 – wants white Aristocracy back in control in South – Johnson issues a decree restoring all land / “abandoned land” / confiscated property from Freedmen to Planters) All 11 Southern States became Reconstructed under his plan – but again the Radicals, whose numbers were increasing with each election, refused to admit their representatives to Congress (refused to include them in roll call, so technically they were not there / recognized)

14 “Yet the man who had raised himself from the tailor’s bench to the president’s chair was a misfit. A southerner who did not understand the North, a Tennessean who had earned the distrust of the South, a Democrat who had never been accepted by the Republicans, a president who had never been elected to the office, he was not at home in a Republican White House. Hotheaded, contentious, and stubborn, he was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. A Reconstruction policy devised by angels might well have failed in his tactless hands.” (text)

15 They opposed his Plan for the same reasons they opposed Lincoln’s but, in addition, they were furious that the South had sent to Congress so many former Confederate leaders These included 6 Confederate cabinet officers, 4 Confederate generals, 5 Confederate colonels, and many members of the Confederate congress, inc. vice President of the Confederacy, Alexander Stephens (who had won the war, they asked?) Republicans were concerned also that the South would have more power in Congress – former slaves would now be counted equally (five fifths, not three fifths) when determining representation – giving it 12 more seats in Congress / 12 more electoral votes - Democrats could dismantle Republican policies (Bank, Tariffs….)

16 They were just as angry with the defiance shown in the South by the enacting of the Black Codes (Read Louisiana Black Code). Contradicted 13 th Amendment / Emancipation achieved by bloody Civil War, might be maintained if Democrats regained power These Codes restored slavery in everything but name, limiting the freedom of the former slaves; regulating their lives - movement, employment, living areas, arms, assembly.. The Black Codes sought: –to ensure a stable and subservient labor force to resurrect the crushed Cotton Kingdom –to restore as nearly as possible the pre-emancipation system of race relations

17 Radical Republicans, whose numbers were increasing with each election, refused to admit Southern representatives to Congress elected under Johnson’s Plan They were determined that Congress would take over Reconstruction, removing it from the jurisdiction of the Johnson administration. The Radicals were growing in numbers had also become more Radical in their views about citizenship and legal equality for Freedmen, esp. Sumner and Stevens – Stevens, upset about the growth of Sharecropping advocated a radical program of drastic Economic reform (land grants) and protection of political rights for freedmen

18 Republican Reconstruction Plan 1. Set up a Joint Committee on Reconstruction to investigate conditions in the South and make recommendations Decided that before Southern states were restored, there must be assurances that the former Confederates had accepted their defeat and that emancipated blacks and loyal whites would be protected, and that the Black Codes were repealed. The Committee reported that these conditions were not being met. It reported that the South continued to be hostile, defiant and resisted change…..racism was still very strong

19 2. Introduced a bill to extend the Freedman's Bureau in 1866 an agency set up by Congress in 1865 (expired in 1872) under Oliver Howard to provide immediate relief to the Freedmen and to white refugees: food, clothing, medicine, later schools, and to some, “40 acres and a mule”: a kind of “primitive welfare agency” – achieved its greatest success in education, teaching an estimated 200,000 freedmen to read regarded by southern whites as a meddlesome federal interloper that threatened to upset white racial dominance To the outrage of the Republicans, Johnson vetoed the bill – at this stage could not get a two thirds vote of both houses to over-ride the veto

20 3. Introduced and passed a Civil Rights Bill in March 1866 (to counter the Black Codes). Aim of the Bill was to counter the Black Codes. It defined all persons born in the US (except Native Americans) as citizens, and specified the rights of citizens to equality before the law. Johnson vetoed the Bill but this time Republicans, were able to override the veto (increased numbers) From here on Congress assumed the dominant role in running the government and Reconstruction

21 4. The 14th Amendment, embodying the principles of the Civil Rights Act into the Constitution (to make it almost impossible for Democrats to overthrow it in the future), was proposed and passed. Conferred Civil Rights to Freedmen, including citizenship but excluding the franchise (to the disappointment of the more Radical Republicans – moderates hesitates on this issue, conceded later) Left it to the States to decide on Voting Rights To encourage the States to enfranchise Freedmen, it reduced state representation in Congress and the Electoral College if the vote was not granted

22 disqualified from federal and state office, former Confederates who as federal officeholders had once sworn to support the constitution of the USA guaranteed the federal debt while repudiating all Confederate debts The 14 th Amendment would now have to be accepted by Southern states before Reconstruction

23 Johnson encouraged the South to reject the Radicals Plan (all did except for Tennessee) He also tried to jeopardize the Radicals influence in Congress by campaigning for Conservative candidates in the 1866 Congressional elections; but he did the own cause more harm than good by the intemperate, brawling, drunken speeches he made on his tour (a “swing around the circle” as it was called) from Washington to Chicago and back. (he was a successful vote-getter - for the opposition)

24 In the Federal elections of ), an overwhelming majority of Radical Republicans were returned to both houses (had a two thirds of seats in both houses. They confidently looked forward to the struggle with Johnson that would take place when Congress re- assembled in December 1866 and to the final victory over the President 5. Congress passed the Wade Davis Bill. 50% + of voters in each state would have to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Union and accepting the 13 and 14 th Amendments before readmission to the Union

25 President Johnson showed his hostility by threatening to fire his Sec. of War, Edwin Stanton, who supported Radical Reconstruction In response Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act: the President could not dismiss members of his Cabinet without Congressional / Senate approval

26 Congress also passed the Command of the Army Act to prevent Johnson moving troops from the South: he could not issue orders directly to the army: he had to do so through Gen. Grant (who could not be dismissed under the Act) who was supportive of the Radicals Johnson defied the Tenure of Office Act by suspending and then dismissing Stanton. The House then voted to impeach him But the Senate was one vote short of the necessary two- thirds majority (35-19) so Johnson survived, but was much diminished and afterwards was no longer a factor: his open opposition to Radical Reconstruction ended

27 The Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase (right), had, in a decision, Ex Parte Milligan, declared Military Tribunals unconstitutional in places where Civilian Courts existed In response the Radicals proposed legislation that would require: Two thirds decision by Supreme Ct in future Reduce justices to three To deny Ct. jurisdiction in the South Discussed abolishing the Court

28 This was enough to intimidate the Supreme Court into staying out of Reconstruction issues and so the Radicals didn’t have to pursue the Bill The Supreme Court and Pres. Johnson had been silenced / marginalized, making it easier for the Radicals to pursue their plan

29 6. The (Military) Reconstruction Act of Because of Race Riots in many Southern cities, military districts were set up and conditions laid down for readmission of the seceding states: The South was divided into 5 Military Districts, each with a military commander, with military tribunals serving as courts, supported by federal troops – to prepare the South for readmission (“military Reconstruction”) A registration of voters was to be compiled, which was to include all black adult males and those white males who were not disqualified by participation in the rebellion.

30 If 50% + of the voters in each state agreed to take an oath of loyalty to the Union and accept the 13 th and 14 th Amendments, then, a Constitutions could be written and new state legislatures elected, as well as Representative to the Federal Government (Wade Davis Bill) By 1868, seven more (added to Tennessee) of the former Confederate states (Arkansas, N. Carolina, S. Carolina, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida) had complied with the process of restoration (“prodded by federal bayonets”) and were readmitted to the Union

31 7. 15 th Amendment  By 1869 Congress had added an additional requirement for readmission – ratification of the 15 th Amendment, which gave the vote to all citizens (the states and Fed Govt. could not deny the vote to any citizen on account of "race, color, or previous condition of servitude”)  VA and Texas complied in 1869, and were admitted, and Mississippi did so in 1870 – the Union was now complete / re-united again


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