Reconstruction Triumph of Race, Politics, and Redeemers, 1863-1877
Books to Read William C. Harris, With Charity for All Eric Foner, Reconstruction, America’s Unfinished Revolution
Frederick Douglass, 1866 The arm of the Federal government is long, but it is far too short to protect the rights of individuals in the interior of distant States. They must have the power to protect themselves, or they will go unprotected, in spite of all the laws the Federal government can put upon the national statute-book.
Reconstruction Began as War Measure First Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln’s 10% Plan Goal was an easy peace to shorten war
Who Should Control Reconstruction—Congress or President? Wade-Davis Bill Lincoln Pocket Veto Assassination of Lincoln left question unresolved when Andrew Johnson became president.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Freedman’s Bureau The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Land, often referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, was established in the War Department on March 3, 1865. The Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen, including issuing rations, clothing and medicine. The Bureau also assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory. Built Schools—many of whom were forerunners of the “Historically Black Colleges” in the South.
Andrew Johnson Rags to Riches Story “Treason must be made odious” Initially a darling of and later a disappointment to Radical Republicans Reconstruction Plan (Proclamation of Amnesty—May 1865) similar to Lincoln’s
Radical Republicans: Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner, Ben Wade
Southerners Don’t Get It Elect ex-CSA leaders to Congress, including Alexander Stephens Black Codes Race Riots
Radicals Respond Barely failed to override Johnson’s Veto of Bill to Extend Life of Freedman’s Bureau Overrode Johnson’s Veto of CRA of 1866 Enacted a new Freedman’s Bureau Sent 14 th Amendment to States—ratified by them in 1868 Radical’s insisted on Civil Rights for former slaves and a federal enforcement mechanism
Radicals on a Roll—March 2, 1867 Military Reconstruction Act Command of the Army Act Tenure of Office Act
Military Reconstruction Act-- 1867 Divided South into Military District Southern States—Tn. Excepted—would write new constitutions w/ Universal Adult Male Suffrage States had to ratify 14 th amendment Subsequent legislation gave Army power to register voters and to disqualify “disloyal persons” from registering.
South Readmitted By 1870, Southern states were readmitted Some had to ratify 15 th amendment too Reconstruction Constitutions were most LIBERAL—yes, that’s a mighty fine word, look it up—in history of Southern States. Legal means to overturn Reconstruction often culminated with rewriting these Reconstruction Constitutions.
Johnson Impeached Vote to remove was 35 to 18, one shy of the 2/3rds needed Radicals didn’t need to remove Johnson; by the time of his trial it was 1868, an election year; he could simply be ignored.
Major Achievements of Reconstruction 14 th and 15 th Amendments African American Participation in Public Life Readmission of Southern States
14 th Amendment National Definitions of Citizenship Equal Protection Clause Due Process Clause High Confederate Official banned from national office Confederate debt repudiated
15 th Amendment “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”
Failure of Reconstruction Southern whites were violently opposed to black rights; many in north were indifferent Rise of KKK Where army was present, KKK leaders were apprehended and imprisoned Land Reform—blacks (and poor whites) left to farm tenancy
Grant Presidency Did attempt to enforce Reconstruction Presidency clouded by scandals Republican party divided between Stalwart and Liberal Republicans—little energy left to devote to Reconstruction.
1876 Presidential Election Disputed results between Hayes and Tilden Democrats accept result of Wormsley Hotel Conference Southerner named to cabinet, army withdrawn from south, southern pacific railway