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Rebuilding the South

Rebuilding the South

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Rebuilding the South

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  1. Rebuilding the South Ch. 17: Reconstruction

  2. Reconstruction • The process of readmitting the former Confederate states to the Union • Lasted from 1865 to 1877

  3. Damaged South • Cities, towns, and farms were ruined • High food prices and crop failures meant starvation • Confederate money was worthless • Banks failed • Merchants went bankrupt

  4. Mary Boykin Chesnut wrote in her journal: “We are shut in here…All RR’s destroyed – bridges gone. We are cut off from the world.”

  5. Lincoln’s Plan • Wants to reunite the country • Ten Percent Plan: offered southerners amnesty, or official pardon, for all illegal acts supporting the rebellion • Sweat an oath of loyalty to the Union • Agree that slavery was illegal • Ten Percent of voters in a state had to make the pledge in order to be readmitted to the Union

  6. Freedom for African Americans • Thirteenth Amendment made slavery illegal throughout the United States • Many people held marriage ceremonies • People looked for relatives that had been sold away • Many people moved just because they were free “I must go, if I stay here I’ll never know I’m free.” • Many changed their names

  7. Forty Acres and a Mule • Many plantations were broken up into 40 acre plots and given to former slaves as compensation • Eventually, the U.S. government returned the land to its original owners • Many were unsure what they would do or where they would live • Freedoms were difficult to enforce

  8. Freedmen’s Bureau • An agency providing relief for freedpeople and certain poor people in the south • Provide food for the poor • Education • Legal help • Established schools – Slaves had never learned to read or write “I never before saw children so eager to learn.”

  9. A New President • April 14, 1865, President Lincoln and his wife Mary attend a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington D.C. • During the play, John Wilkes Booth, a southerner shot Lincoln • (4:33) • Vice President Andrew Johnson was sworn into office

  10. Opposition to President Johnson “This is a white man’s government, and intended for white men only.” ~ Governor Benjamin F. Perry, South Carolina Black Codes: laws the greatly limited the freedom of African Americans

  11. Black Codes • Southern States • Sign work contracts • Unemployed African Americans could be arrested, punishment = 1 year of work without pay • “If you call this freedom, what do you call slavery?”

  12. Radical Republicans • Wanted the federal government to force change on the South • Thought Black Codes were cruel and unjust • Critical of President Johnson Thaddeus Stevens: Leader of the Radical Republicans

  13. Fourteenth Amendment • Read Johnson Versus Congress, pg. 560-561 • What rights did the Fourteenth Amendment protect? • Johnson opposed the amendment

  14. Reconstruction Acts • Divided the South into five districts • Military would control the South until southern states rejoined the Union • Each state had to write a new constitution supporting the Fourteenth Amendment • Give African American men the right to vote • Look at quick facts page 562

  15. Congress Takes Control • Election of 1866: Republican Party has a 2/3 majority in both House and Senate • Override veto • Passed Reconstruction Acts • Laws that divided the South into five districts • Controlled by a military commander • States had to write a new state constitution supporting the Fourteenth Amendment

  16. President on Trial • President Johnson strongly disagrees • African Americans did not deserve the same treatment as white people • House of Representatives voted to impeach the president • Impeachment: bring charges of wrongdoing against a public official • However, he was not convicted • Johnson did not run for another term

  17. Grant • Grant is elected the next president even though he has no political experience • Grant supported reconstruction • Many African Americans voted for him

  18. Fifteenth Amendment • Gave African Americans the right to vote • Women were angry – it did not include them

  19. Reconstruction Governments • Republicans were unpopular with white voters • Carpetbaggers: Northern born republicans who had moved south and now held office • Disliked by southerners • Scalawags: white southern republicans • African Americans were Republicans • During Reconstruction more than 600 won elections to state legislatures

  20. Ku Klux Klan: formed 1866 by white southerners • Opposed civil rights • Opposed suffrage for African Americans • Used violence and terror

  21. KKK attacked and even murdered African Americans, white republican voters, and public officials, often at night • Government did little to stop the violence • Many were sympathetic towards or feared the clan • Read about KKK, page 566 • The KKK today

  22. Reconstruction Ends • Republicans begin to lose power • Former Confederates are elected back into power • Financial and political scandals during Grants presidency

  23. Panic of 1873 • Severe economic downturn • Value of land along the Northern Pacific RR • Investors lost money • Panic swept through the stock market • Unemployment rises to 14% • Strikes and protests around the nation • Republicans were blamed for the problems

  24. Election of 1876 • Republicans choose Rutherford B. Hayes • Democrats choose Samuel J. Tilden • Tilden appeared to have won but was challenged by Hayes • Compromise of 1877: Democrats agreed to accept Hayes’s victory. In return, all remaining federal troops would be removed from the South

  25. Redeemers • Democrats in power • Limit the rights of African Americans • Lower state budgets • Get rid of social programs • Cut property taxes • Cut public funding for schools • Poll tax: special tax people had to pay in order to vote • Literacy test • Segregation: Jim Crow laws •

  26. Farming in the South • Sharecropping: sharing the crop. Landowners provide land, tools, and supplies, and sharecroppers provide the labor. • Most of the crop goes to the landowner • Created a cycle of debt • Little cash meant items were bought on credit • Cycle of good and bad years, weather, crop prices

  27. Rebuilding Industry • Southern business relied on industry to rebuild the South • Work appealed to rural families • African Americans were not allowed to work in mills • Long hours, dangerous working conditions, low wages