Presentation on theme: "Reconstruction Objectives: Define problems facing Americans in the period following the Civil War. Explore the restructuring of the federal government."— Presentation transcript:
Reconstruction Objectives: Define problems facing Americans in the period following the Civil War. Explore the restructuring of the federal government. Describe the issues facing minority groups during the late 1800s.
Major Questions Following the War 1) What was the relationship between the former Confederate states and the federal Union? What should be demanded of those states before they were regarded as reconstructed? 2) Who was responsible for the Confederate rebellion? Who, if anyone, should be punished for it? 3) What should be the position of the newly-freed slaves? What responsibility did the government have to extend basic rights to them? Which rights? 4) How should the Southern economy be converted from one based on slave labor to one based on free labor?
Radical Republicans Reconstruction : The time period of 1865 to 1877 in which the United States came together and rebuilt the union. During this time Republicans held the majority of power as they were more prominent in the North and most of the Democrats had left their offices when their states succeeded from the Union. The Radical Republicans took a hard line against the Confederacy early during the Lincoln Administration and opposed Lincoln's "too easy" terms for reuniting the United States following the end of the Civil War. The Radical Republicans demanded a more aggressive prosecution of the war, the faster end to slavery and defeat of the Confederacy. Among the most prominent (Radical) Republican leaders were Senators Charles Sumner of Massachusetts and Benjamin F. Wade of Ohio, and Representatives Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania and George W. Julian of Indiana.
Thaddeus Stevens Born in 1792. Alcoholic father abandoned his mother and their 4 sons. Grew up in poverty. Attended Dartmouth College and then practiced law in York, PA. He was called the “Great Commoner” because of his ardent support of minority groups (immigrants, slaves, poor farmers, and orphaned children). (U.S. Congressional Archive)
Lincoln’s 10% Plan In an effort to reunite the union quickly Lincoln proposed that if ten percent of a state’s population swore an oath of loyalty, then the state could be readmitted. Additionally, that new state government would have to end the practice of slavery and take part in the national government. Amnesty was granted to Confederate supporters that took the oath; but not to Confederate leaders. Amnesty - the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals
Wade-Davis Bill Congress thought that Lincoln’s plan was not strong enough to discourage future rifts between the two governments, so they went to work on their own plan. Senator Wade (OH) and Representative Davis (MD) came up with a proposal to eliminate the practice of slavery while “forcing” the southern states to comply with a certain set of demands before they could be readmitted into the union. Requirements: 1. One-half of a state's white male citizens to swear loyalty to the Constitution 2. Anyone who had volunteered to fight for the Confederacy could not vote for delegates to the new state constitutional convention. Lincoln Refused to sign the Wade-Davis Bill because he thought that it was too harsh and that compliance would be hard to enforce.
Freedman’s Bureau In order to help former slaves throughout the South in their transition to freedom, Congress established a new federal agency, the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Commonly known as the Freedmen's Bureau. Designed as a relief agency for needy refugees, it provided food, clothing, and fuel for both blacks and whites. Its primary services, were for blacks; it established schools, supervised labor relations, and worked to protect blacks from intimidation and violence.
Lincoln Assassinated John Wilkes Booth's plot was to kidnap Lincoln and take him south, to hold him hostage and force his government to resume its earlier policy of exchanging prisoners. On April 11, 1865, Booth attended a speech outside the White House in which Lincoln gave support for the idea of voting rights for blacks. Booth changed to a plan for assassination. He decided that if he could simultaneously kill the President, Vice- President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William Seward, he could throw the government into chaos for enough time that the Confederacy could mount a resurgence.
Lincoln Assassinated Took place on Friday, April 14, 1865. President Abraham Lincoln was shot while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford's Theatre with his wife and two guests. After walking into the theatre, Booth went to the President’s box and shot him in the back of the head. One of Lincoln’s guests attempted to prevent the assassin from leaving, but was unsuccessful. Lincoln died the following day April 15, 1865 in the home of William Petersen, at 7:22 am. Though Booth succeeded in killing Lincoln, the larger plot failed. Seward would recover from his wounds, and Johnson's potential assassin simply left Washington when he learned Johnson was not home.
Johnson’s Plan for Reconstruction Vice President Johnson took over the Presidency as soon as news of Lincoln’s assassination reached the White House. As a Democrat from Tennessee, Johnson made it clear that he did not share the Republican commitment to remaking the South. Blaming a small number of wealthy aristocrats for the Confederate rebellion, Johnson pursued a policy of leniency toward former rebels and one of neglect toward former slaves. (Matthew Brady - 1865)
Johnson’s Plan for Reconstruction He offered amnesty to all who would take the oath of allegiance, except for those with a post-war wealth valued at more than $20,000, who had to apply to him personally for pardon, which he almost always gave. In conjunction with these pardons, he ordered that abandoned plantations be returned to their former owners. For each state he appointed a provisional governor who was required to call a constitutional convention that would draft a new constitution outlawing slavery and disavowing secession. Johnson raised some eyebrows when he enacted this plan without the approval of Congress.
Black Codes Following their return to the union, the new southern state governments passed a series of laws which sharply restricted the rights of the newly freed slaves. The codes varied from state to state but typically included: Vagrancy Laws - blacks viewed as unemployed could be hired out as forced labor Apprenticing Laws - children without proper care, as defined by the courts, could be bound out to white employers Severe limitations were also placed on black occupations and property holding. Many in the North felt that Johnson’s apathy toward the plight of the freedmen nullified the Union victory in the war and that it disgraced those who had died as a result.
14 th Amendment The 14th Amendment was passed in June 1866 and ratified in 1868. It added into the Constitution the definition of U.S. citizenship that was enacted in the Civil Rights Bill: 1. Stopped states from abridging “the privileges or immunities of citizens” or depriving “any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law”. 2. Gave all citizens equal protection under the law.
Divided Government President Johnson was criticized over his veto of a bill to extend the life of the Freedman’s Bureau. His reputation was even further injured (in the eyes of Republicans) when he vetoed the Civil Rights Bill, which would have extended citizenship to blacks by defining all persons born in the United States as citizens. It became apparent to those in Congress that they would need to further amend the Constitution if they were going to give rights to people of African descent.
Radical Reconstruction The Reconstruction Act was passed in March 1867 over President Johnson's veto. It provided for the organization new governments in all former Confederate states (except Tennessee because it had already ratified the 14th Amendment was considered already reconstructed). The ten remaining states were divided into five military districts, each headed by a military commander. Each state under his command had to write a new constitution that provided for voting rights for all adult males, regardless of race. Only when the state had ratified its new constitution and the 14th Amendment would the process of political reorganization be complete.
Advancement Following Reconstruction With their new found political freedom, blacks were now free to vote and to pursue positions within the government. 16 African Americans served as State Representatives and two others served within the U.S. Senate between 1872 and 1901. The strict nature of radical reconstruction actually lead to the implementation of several systems that were beneficial to all southerners (public schools, public housing, state sponsored medical insurance plans and fairer voting practices for all citizens).
The New Republican Party Following the war the old leaders in the South were displaced leaving room for three groups to take hold in politics. 1. Scalawags – southern whites who had opposed secession 2. Freedmen – former slaves who were well connected and educated at some level 3. Carpetbaggers – northern whites who had moved South to start businesses or to gain political power.
Impeachment of Johnson (Round 1) There were two attempts to remove President Andrew Johnson from office. The first occurred in the fall of 1867. On November 21st of that year, the House Judiciary Committee produced a bill of impeachment that was a collection of complaints against him. After a furious debate, there was a formal vote in the House of Representatives on December 5th, which failed 108-57.
Impeachment of Johnson (Round 2) Later that year, Johnson removed a member of his Cabinet from office without giving proper notice or justifying this action. This violated the Tenure of Office Act. Denied the President the power to remove from office anyone who had been appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate unless the Senate also approved the removal. This act had been vetoed by Johnson, but was passed over his head by Congress. Years later in the case Myers v. United States in 1926, the Supreme Court ruled that such laws were indeed unconstitutional. In the second impeachment proceeding, Johnson was spared conviction and removal from office by one vote in the Senate.
Election of 1868 Ulysses S. Grant (R) v. Horatio Seymour (D) A big controversy because Johnson failed to win his party’s nomination (rarely happens to incumbent presidents). Grant won with nearly 53% of the popular vote. Grant won the electoral votes for 26 out of 34 states. A huge majority considering how many new voters were voting for the first time. An estimated 500,000 African Americans voted.
15 th Amendment Says that “the United States may not prevent a citizen from voting because of his race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (slavery). It was ratified on February 3, 1870. Was considered “too weak” by many because it did not prevent individual states from passing excessive limitations on voting. Poll Taxes – Required all voters to pay for the “privilege” of voting. Literacy Tests – Voters were required to read and answer questions about a passage (usually a portion of the Constitution) before being allowed to have a ballot. Grandfather Clauses – You could avoid the literacy test if your father or grandfather was eligible to vote on or before January 1, 1867. Many of these laws were deemed Constitutional because they did not specifically apply to only African Americans (but also discriminated against the poor, uneducated and non-English speaking whites as well).
Ku Klux Klan These organizations have used terrorism, violence, and acts of intimidation, such as cross burning and lynching, to oppress African Americans and other social or ethnic groups. The Klan's first incarnation was founded in 1866 by six “educated” former Confederate soldiers from Tennessee. Its main purpose was to resist changes suffrage and equal rights of citizenship for African Americans. A rapid reaction to the murders set in, and the Klan's leaders officially disowned violence. Independent Monitor Tuscaloosa, Alabama (1868)
Election of 1876 Rutherford Birchard Hayes (R) Number of Popular Votes : 4,034,311 Percentage of Popular Vote: 47.9% Electoral Votes: 185 Samuel Jones Tilden ( D) Number of Popular Votes : 4,288,546 Percentage of Popular Vote: 51.0% Electoral Votes: 184
Election of 1876 One of the most disputed and intense presidential elections in American history. There were 20 disputed electoral votes: in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina each party reported its candidate had won the state, while in Oregon one elector was declared illegal and replaced. The votes were ultimately awarded to Hayes. Many historians believe that a deal was struck to resolve the dispute. In return for Hayes' election, the Republicans would agree to withdraw troops from the South ending Reconstruction. This deal became known as the Compromise of 1877. The Compromise pushed African-Americans out of power in the government; they were soon barred from voting by poll taxes and grandfather clauses.
Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) In 1890, the State of Louisiana passed a law that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads, including separate railway cars. An association dedicated to the repeal of that law persuaded Homer Plessy, who was one-eighth black to test it. He refused to leave the white car and was arrested. At his trial he argued that the East Louisiana Railroad (ELR) had denied him his constitutional rights under the 13th and 14th Amendments. (Homer Plessy)
Plessy v. Ferguson Judge John Howard Ferguson ruled that Louisiana had the right to regulate railroad companies as long as they operated within state boundaries. Plessy was thus convicted of violating the segregation law, and sentenced to pay a $25 fine. Plessy kept appealing the decision until it went to the Supreme Court where the Ferguson ruling of “separate but equal” facilities was upheld.
Conditions Under “Separate but Equal” Segregation - the policy or practice of separating people of different races, classes, or ethnic groups, as in schools, housing, and public or commercial facilities, especially as a form of discrimination. This occurred in schools, hospitals, court rooms, public transportation, restaurants and places of entertainment. Some would claim that these practices were less severe in the Northern United States, but others argue that segregation had been taking place there since the first African slaves arrived in the United States.
Sharecropping A system of agricultural production where a landowner allows a tenant farmer to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land. After the Civil War many planters had a lot of land but no money to pay workers. At the same time most former slaves were uneducated and impoverished. The solution was the sharecropping system, which continued the workers in the routine of cotton cultivation under rigid supervision (as in slavery). Sharecrop farmers were loaned a plot of land to work. In exchange, they owed the owner a share of the crop at the end of the season. Often the planter’s share was 1/3. The sharecropper was required to purchase seed, tools and fertilizer, as well as food and clothing, on credit at the plantation store (also owned by the plantation owner).
Sharecropping When the harvest came, the sharecrop farmer would harvest the whole crop and sell his or her portion to the planter at a fixed price. By the time all the debts owed and proceeds made were tallied up the farmer was lucky to break even. As the planter set the price of the crop, and all the books were kept and tallied by the planter, there was plenty of opportunity to falsify the books, thus guaranteeing that the sharecropper never made any profit. Sharecropping continued to be a significant institution in Tennessee agriculture for more than sixty years after the Civil War, peaking in importance in the early 1930s, when sharecroppers operated approximately one-third of all farm units in the state.
What to Expect on the Test Please write all of your answers on the test in the left margin! 10 Matching Names and dates are fair game. 10 True/False Only one piece has to be false for the whole statement to be false. 5 Political Cartoon Questions Multiple choice on one Reconstruction Era cartoon. 20 Multiple Choice Choices A through D. 1 Essay Chose one from four. Should look VERY familiar!