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Reconstruction. Re-unifying the USA. What was reconstruction?. Rebuilding the South after the Civil War Reconstruction would determine: How defeated the south was How free African Americans really were. Presidential Reconstruction. Lincoln’s Plan Amnesty – Loyalty oath 10% Plan

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Re-unifying the USA

what was reconstruction
What was reconstruction?
  • Rebuilding the South after the Civil War
  • Reconstruction would determine:
    • How defeated the south was
    • How free African Americans really were
presidential reconstruction
Presidential Reconstruction
  • Lincoln’s Plan
    • Amnesty – Loyalty oath
    • 10% Plan
  • Johnson’s Plan
    • Disqualify former Confederate leaders from holding office
    • Allowed states to rejoin freely
    • Pardoned thousands of southerners
    • Allowed south to handle freedmen as they saw fit
ten percent plan
  • Since Lincoln had always believed the prime purpose of the war had been to preserve the Union, he thought that, now that it was over, all effort should be made to restoring the Union and ending the bitterness and hatred of war years
    • Wanted to be lenient on the defeated South
    • Favored letting them reconstitute their state governments and pardoning all former Confederates except the highest leaders
  • Embodied his lenient position in the so-called Ten Percent Plan
  • Many Northerners did not like the Ten Percent Plan
    • Every Southern state contained thousands of people who opposed the Confederacy--Unionists
      • Northerners wanted to reward Unionists and punish Rebels
      • Were afraid ex-Rebels would take revenge on Unionists as soon as they had the chance
        • Would also try to re-establish slavery and might even start a new civil war once they had regained strength
northern opinion
  • Many Northerners did not want the South admitted as a full member of the Union as quickly or easily as Lincoln did
    • Wanted the South to go through a period of reconstruction first
      • A trial period in which the North would essentially control the South in order to make sure Southerners were sincere about re-establishing their loyalty to the Union before allowing Southern states to become free and equal members of the U.S.
wade davis bill
  • Congress thought Ten Percent plan was too lenient and passed its own alternative, the Wade-Davis Bill
    • Made it difficult for southern states to organize new state governments
      • Majority of adult white makes had to swear oath of allegiance to Union first
    • Full citizenship denied to any man who had willingly served the Confederacy
  • Lincoln vetoed the bill and, in response, Congress refused to implement Ten Percent Plan
    • Result was stalemate
wade davis bill1
Wade-Davis Bill
  • Harsh conditions to rejoin
    • States must re-write constitutions
    • Outlaw Slavery
    • Confederate supporters could not hold office/vote
    • Pledge loyalty to USA (majority of people)
    • Vetoed by Lincoln (1864)
      • Lincoln favored his 10% Plan
  • Congress and Lincoln still locked in stalemate when the war ended (4-9-65) and Lincoln was murdered five days later
  • If Lincoln had lived, he probably would have found a solution
    • A master politician who would have found some sort of compromise
    • Too smart and too ambitious to continue a fight if he knew he was going to lose
    • But now he is no more
andrew johnson
  • New president, Andrew Johnson, was well-intentioned but less intelligent, flexible, and willing to compromise than Lincoln
  • Started off on wrong foot when he announced his own policy while Congress was in recess
    • As lenient as Ten Percent Plan
    • Pardoned all ex-Confederates as soon as they swore oath to support the Union
    • Created procedures to set up new Southern state governments and allow Southern states to re-enter Union
    • Hoped lenient measures would heal wounds of the Civil War
  • When pardoned southerners went to polls in late 1865 to elect their new state governments, they often selected men who had been high Confederate officials
    • This upset Northerners
    • Wanted some assurance that the South would not try to leave Union again, but these actions did not give them any high hopes
black codes
  • Johnson did not make any provisions for freed slaves
    • Left their future up to new southern state governments
  • New southern state governments had no desire to help ex-slaves become equal citizens
    • All passed laws that discriminated against ex-slaves
    • Called the “Black Codes”
black codes1
Black Codes
  • Vagrancy Laws: Considered a vagrant if unemployed and could be arrested if so. You could then be worked through convict labor. In other words, you must have home and means of supporting that home.
  • In Mississippi, African Americans forbidden to rent or own land outside towns
  • In SC, black children could be “apprenticed” to whites if parents did not educate them.
  • Goal = Keep African Americans in slavery – insure cheap labor supply; restore pre-Civil War conditions
black codes2
Black Codes
  • Prohibited blacks from testifying against whites in court
  • Prohibited blacks from serving on juries
  • Prohibited marriage between whites and blacks
  • Banned blacks from mixing with whites in public facilities
  • If a black person was arrested for vagrancy, they were hired out to whites and forced to work until their fines and court costs were paid off
    • Their labor was auctioned off to the highest bidder
northern response
  • Northern Congressmen interpreted Black Codes as an effort to restore slavery in the South
    • Realized that Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment were not enough
    • Blacks had to given the right to vote and hold public office so that laws like the Black Codes could not be passed in the future
  • Most Republicans were moderates and did not want to fight Johnson and split the party over this issue
    • Hoped that they would be able to reason and compromise with him and thus modify his reconstructionprogram with his cooperation
radical republicans
  • Johnson refused to compromise
    • Thereby strengthening the radical wing of Congressional Republicans and gave them the ammunition they needed to try to dump Johnson and impose their own Reconstruction program
  • Radical Republicans were a minority in Congress but they included some very able men
    • Rep. Thaddeus Stevens of PA
    • Hated the South, blamed the entire Civil War on southern slave-owners, and were devoted to establishing Negro equality
    • Dedicated to restructuring southern society by confiscating the property of southern slave-owners and redistributing it to ex-slaves
congressional reconstruction
Congressional Reconstruction
  • The “Radical Republicans”
    • Led by Thaddeus Stevens
      • “40 acres and a mule”
      • Destroy south’s power
    • Harsh requirements for south to rejoin union
freedman s bureau
Freedman’s Bureau
  • Created to help ex-slaves adjust to freedom
  • Build Schools
  • Provided clothes and food
    • Vetoed by Johnson
    • Overridden
sherman s special order 15 f orty acres a mule
Sherman’s Special Order #15 (forty acres & a mule)
  • Created in Savannah, GA while war continued on January 16, 1865.
  • They provided for the confiscation of 400,000 acres of land along the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida on which were to be settled approximately 40,000 freed slave families and other freed African-Americans then living in the area.
  • The orders were intended to address the immediate problem of dealing with the tens of thousands of black refugees who had joined Sherman's march in search of protection and sustenance, and "to assure the harmony of action in the area of operations".
  • General Sherman issued his orders after meeting in Savannah, Georgia with twenty ministers of the black community and with U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. Brig. Gen. Rufus Saxton, an abolitionist from Massachusetts who had previously organized the recruitment of black soldiers for the Union Army, was put in charge of implementing the orders. In the Fall of 1865, it will be overturned. However, many slaves were working the land as early as 1861 with the authorization of the U.S. Army(Ossabaw & Skidaway Island, GA).
  • 14th Amendment – grants full citizenship to all born in the USA (including freedmen)
    • Ended 3/5 Compromise
    • South gained seats in House of Reps
    • Southern states had to ratify before being readmitted
  • 15th Amendment – Freedmen Suffrage (guaranteed right to vote regardless of race)
    • 90% of males register quickly
14 th amendment
  • Congress passed 2 bills to protect Negro rights in the South
    • Johnson vetoed both bills
      • Not because he was a racist but because he believed Reconstruction policy should be a presidential, not a Congressional, power
    • Congress over-rode both
  • Johnson’s stubbornness gave Radical control of Congress
    • Passed 14th Amendment
      • Gave blacks equal rights and pressured southern states to give blacks full voting rights
    • Northern states ratified amendment but only one southern state did
reconstruction act of march 2 1867
  • Since 14th amendment was the foundation for all future Reconstruction policies, Radicals realized that southern states had to be convinced to ratify it
    • Passed Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1867 to do this
    • Dissolved all state governments in South and divided region into 5 military districts
      • Each under the control of military commander charged with preserving order and protecting the rights of ALL persons
    • To remove itself from this situation, a southern state had to ratify the 14th Amendment and set up a state government that granted full equality and voting rights to blacks
andrew johnson s impeachment
Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment
  • Johnson attempted to block Congressional Reconstruction
    • Vetoed 29 laws, overridden 15 times
    • Johnson’s appointed governments ratify Black Codes
      • "This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government for white men.“
      • Republicans unite to impeach Johnson
decision to dump johnson
  • Congress also passed laws to reduce Johnson’s ability to hinder enforcement of its Reconstruction policy
    • Such as prohibiting him from firing an federal official with prior Congressional approval
  • Johnson still had enough power to get in the way and he did so as much as possible
    • It was at this point that Radicals made up their mind to impeach him and get rid of him once and for all
johnson in trouble
  • Johnson had not committed a “high crime or misdemeanor”
    • But he had displayed an incredible lack of political judgment
  • He then began to fire federal officials friendly to the Radicals
    • In direct violation of the law Congress had just passed
    • Gave Radicals real charge to use to impeach him
      • This and 10 other trumped up charges were presented to and approved by the House
johnson s impeachment
Johnson’s Impeachment
  • Impeached for violation of the Tenure of Office Act
    • stated that a President could not dismiss appointed officials without the consent of Congress
    • Johnson viewed the act as unconstitutional
    • Attempted to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
  • Impeachment trial held in Senate from March 13-May 16, 1868
    • Vote very close in the end
      • 35 guilty/19 not guilty
      • One vote short of necessary 2/3s majority to impeach
  • Johnson hung on to his job but it didn’t matter any more
    • U.S. Grant got Republican presidential nomination
      • Making Johnson a lame-duck for the remaining 9 months of his term
      • Grant and Republicans swept the country in November 1868