The south after the civil war
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The South after the Civil War. South in Ruins.

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The South after the Civil War

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The south after the civil war

The South after the Civil War

USII.3a, b, c


South in ruins

South in Ruins

Much of the South was in ruins at the end of the Civil War. Confederate money was worthless, and most Confederate banks were closed. Entire cities had been burned. Many railroads, bridges, plantations, and farms had been destroyed. The years following the war were hard ones for all Southerners. For the more than 4 million former enslaved African Americans living there, however, these years also brought new hope.

USII.3a, b, c


Freedmen s bureau

Freedmen’s Bureau

Before the war ended, in March 1865, the U.S. Congress set up the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands—the Freedmen’s Bureau. It helped all needy people in the South, although freedmen—men, women, and children who had been slaves—were its main concern.

USII.3a, b, c


Freedmen s bureau1

Freedmen’s Bureau

Big Ideas

Before the war ended, in March 1865, the U.S. Congress set up the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands—the Freedmen’s Bureau. It helped all needy people in the South, although freedmen—men, women, and children who had been slaves—were its main concern.

  • Freedmen’s Bureau

    • Mainly aided former slaves in South

USII.3a, b, c


Freedmen s bureau2

Freedmen’s Bureau

Many former slaves were wandering through the country looking for a way to start a new life. The Freedmen’s Bureau gave these people the food and supplies they needed. It also helped some white farmers rebuild their farms. The most important work of the Freedmen’s Bureau was education. Newly freed African Americans were eager to learn to read and write. To meet this need, the Freedmen’s Bureau built more than 4,000 schools and hired thousands of teachers.

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

Freedmen’s Bureau

The Freedmen’s Bureau provided food, clothing, jobs, medical care, and education for millions of former slaves and poor whites.

A teacher and elementary school students posing on the steps of the Hill School, ca. late 19th Century. The school was a part of the Christiansburg Institute, which was first opened by the U. S. Freedmen's Bureau in 1866. (Montgomery County, VA)

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

USII.3a, b, c


Freedmen s bureau3

Freedmen’s Bureau

The Freedmen’s Bureau also wanted to help former slaves earn a living by providing them with land to farm. Unfortunately this plan didn’t work. The land was to come from the plantations taken or abandoned during the war, but the U.S. government decided to give those plantations back to their original owners. In the end most former slaves were not given any land. Without the money to buy land of their own, they had to find work where they could.

Freedmen at Richmond, Virginia, April 1865. At the end of the Civil War, the future of African Americans such as these was less than clear. They had their freedom, but what else did they have? The answer to this question was to preoccupy the nation for the next several years and, in the end, was to prove less than satisfactory to the freedmen.

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

Some Radical Republicans wanted to give each freedman “40 acres and a mule”. However, all the freedmen were given was their freedom.

USII.3a


Freedmen s bureau4

Freedmen’s Bureau

Many formers slaves ended up going back to work on plantations. Planters welcomed them because their fields needed to be plowed and crops planted. Now the planters had to pay the former slaves for their work.

Because there was not much money, many landowners paid workers in shares of crops rather than in cash. This system was known as sharecropping. A landowner gave a worker a cabin, mules, tools, and seed. The sharecropper then farmed the land. At harvest, the landowner took a share of the crops plus enough extra to cover the cost of the worker’s housing and supplies. What was left was the worker’s share.

USII.3a, b, c


Freedmen s bureau5

Freedmen’s Bureau

Sharecropping gave owners the help they needed to work their fields while giving the former slaves work for pay. Sadly, few people got ahead through sharecropping. When crops failed, both the landowner and sharecropper suffered. Even in good times, most workers’ shares were very little, if anything at all.

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

USII.3a


Who were the carpetbaggers

Who were the carpetbaggers?

After the Civil War, Southerners resented northerners who took advantage of the South during Reconstruction. What did many Southerners call these Northerners. They called them carpetbaggers because they carried around carpetbags. A carpetbag is a bag usually made from an oriental rug.

USII.3a


Carpetbaggers

Carpetbaggers

To rebuild bridges, buildings, and railroads, the South’s Reconstruction governments had to increase taxes. White Southerners blamed the higher taxes on African American state legislators and on other state government leaders they called carpetbaggers.

Carpetbaggers were people from the North who moved to the South to take part in Reconstruction governments. They were called carpetbaggers because many of them carried their belongings in suitcases made of carpet. Some of them truly wanted to help, but others were looking for a chance for personal gain.

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

Carpetbaggers - Northerners that moved to the South during Reconstruction looking for wealth, land, or to help the freedmen.

A Thomas Nast cartoon from 1872 makes fun of a Northern politician. It shows him as a carpetbagger, or a Northerner who moved to the South with only what he could carry in a small bag. It is a caricature of Carl Schurz carrying bags that are labeled, "carpet bag from Wisconsin to Missouri" and "carpet bagger South." Nast criticized Schurz for his sympathetic policies relating to the treatment of ex-Confederates.

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

USII.3a, b, c


Carpetbaggers1

Carpetbaggers

Big Ideas

To rebuild bridges, buildings, and railroads, the South’s Reconstruction governments had to increase taxes. White Southerners blamed the higher taxes on African American state legislators and on other state government leaders they called carpetbaggers.

Carpetbaggers were people from the North who moved to the South to take part in Reconstruction governments. They were called carpetbaggers because many of them carried their belongings in suitcases made of carpet. Some of them truly wanted to help, but others were looking for a chance for personal gain.

  • Carpetbaggers

    • Came from North to take part in Reconstruction governments

    • Resented by Southerners

    • Took advantage of South

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

USII.3a


A changing society

A Changing Society

Many white Southerners did not want their way of life to change. Burdened by heavy taxes and a changing society, they began to organize to regain their authority. One way to do this was to control the way people voted.

USII.3a, b, c


Limits on voting

Limits on Voting

Over time, white Southerners once again took control of their state governments and society. Despite the Fifteenth Amendment, new state laws were passed that made it very difficult, if not impossible, for African Americans to vote. African Americans were also required to go to separate schools and churches and to sit in separate railroad cars. These laws led to segregation, or the practice of people in separate groups based on their race or culture.

USII.3a, b, c


Limits on voting1

Limits on Voting

Big Ideas

Over time, white Southerners once again took control of their state governments and society. Despite the Fifteenth Amendment, new state laws were passed that made it very difficult, if not impossible, for African Americans to vote. African Americans were also required to go to separate schools and churches and to sit in separate railroad cars. These laws led to segregation, or the practice of people in separate groups based on their race or culture.

  • Southern states pass laws to prevent African Americans from voting.

USII.3a, b, c


Reconstruction ends

Reconstruction Ends!

Reconstruction ended with the election of 1876. In 1877 the last of the Union troops left the South. African Americans in the South were once again being denied the rights and freedoms that that they had won following the war. By 1900 most African Americans were not allowed to vote, and few held public office.

USII.3a, b, c


Reconstruction ends1

Reconstruction Ends!

Big Ideas

Reconstruction ended with the election of 1876. In 1877 the last of the Union troops left the South. African Americans in the South were once again being denied the rights and freedoms that that they had won following the war. By 1900 most African Americans were not allowed to vote, and few held public office.

  • Reconstruction ends with Election of 1876

    • Federal troops leave South

    • Black Codes restrict African American rights

USII.3a, b, c


The south after the civil war

USII.3a, b, c


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