Reconstruction. The Aftermath of the American Civil War 1865-1877. Lincoln’s 10% Plan.
The Aftermath of the American Civil War
Lincoln believed that since secession was illegal, Confederate governments in the Southern states were illegitimate and the states had never really left the Union. He believed that Reconstruction was a matter of quickly restoring legitimate Southern state governments that were loyal to the Union.
Lincoln also believed that to reunify the nation, the federal government should not punish the South, but act “with malice towards none, with charity for all… to bind up the nation’s wounds….”
1. The President is in charge, not Congress. Goal = reunite nation ASAP, NOT punish the South..
2. When 10% of the voters from 1860 pledge their allegiance, Reconstruction is over & the South can rejoin the Union.
Radical Republicans in Congress clashed repeatedly with Lincoln’s successor as president, Andrew Johnson, over the issue of civil rights for freed slaves, eventually impeaching him, but failing to remove him from office.
1. A majority of 1860 voters had to pledge their allegiance
2. Goal = punish Southern leaders for secession
3. Leaders had to personally get a presidential pardon, but allowed Black Codes.
The assassination of Lincoln just a few days after Lee’s surrender at Appomattox enabled Radical Republicans to influence the process of Reconstruction in a manner much more punitive towards the former Confederate states. The states that seceded were not allowed back into the Union immediately, but were put under military rule.
Theyalso believed in aggressively guaranteeing voting and other civil rights to African Americans.
1. Congress is in charge, NOT the President. Goal= punish the South & guarantee rights for Freedmen
2. Created Freedman’s Bureau to help former slaves
3. Military Reconstruction Act= replaced Southern states with military districts under martial law
·13th Amendment: outlaws slavery in the United States
·14th Amendment: gives former slaves citizenship
·15th Amendment: gives Freedmen the right to vote
The Reconstruction period ended following the extremely close presidential election of 1876. In return for support from Southern Democrats in the electoral college vote, the Republicans agreed to end the military occupation of the South. Known as the Compromise of 1877 this enabled former Confederates who controlled the Democratic Party to regain power. It opened the door to the “Jim Crow Era” and began a long period in which African Americans in the South were denied the full rights of American citizenship.
1. Ku Klux Klan- Created to oppose Reconstruction & use violence to intimidate African Americans from voting.
2. Redeemer Governments- After the Compromise of 1877 Southern voters elected anti-Reconstruction governments to pass Jim Crow laws
farmers. Owned their own homes but rented land from rich landowners in return for cash payments.
Poorest people in
Rented land, food, supplies & shelter
from rich land
owners in return
for a share of
Mostly black farmers
Did not own land.
Had to pay rent for use of land.
Impeachment: Hearing to decide if a President has broken the law & if there should be a trial.
Who: President Johnson is tried by the members of the House of Representatives
Why: Johnson broke the law by firing his Secretary of War & ignoring the Military Reconstruction Act
What Happened: Johnson is impeached, but the Senate votes to not kick him out of office.