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Reconstruction, 1865-1877

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  1. Reconstruction, 1865-1877 America’s Unfinished Revolution

  2. Challenges for Reconstruction • Find a place in society for the millions of recently freed slaves (“freedmen”) • Reunite the nation • Rebuild the South’s economy

  3. Lincoln’s 10% Plan • During the war • Attempts to get some southern states to return to the Union • Congress rejects the southern congressmen who are elected under the plan

  4. Wade-Davis Bill • Passed by Congress • Harsh rules for the South (Ironclad Oath) • Vetoed by Lincoln Thaddeus Stevens,leader of the Radical Republicans

  5. Johnson’s Plan for Restoration • Andrew Johnson becomes president after Lincoln’s assassination • He is a southern Democrat with few friends in Congress • His plan is very lenient on the South • Congress again rejects the southern congressmen

  6. Congressional Reconstruction • Congress passes the 13th Amendment • Congress sees the black codes passed by southern states • State laws that attempted to deny blacks equal rights and keep them in the same economic and social position • Also see awful race riots in New Orleans and Memphis • In response, they pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and then the Fourteenth Amendment

  7. Fourteenth Amendment • All persons born in the United States or naturalized are full citizens • States may not deny life or liberty to any citizen without due process of law • States who deny any male citizens over the age of 21 will have their representation in Congress reduced accordingly

  8. Congress vs. Johnson • Johnson vetoes a bill that would extend the Freedman’s Bureau and the vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866. Congress overides both vetoes. • Johnson’s refusal to support the rights of freedmen looks particularly harsh in light of the black codes and the bloody race riots in New Orleans and Memphis. • Johnson’s actions push more Northerners towards the Republican Party and push many moderates in Congress more towards the Radical Republican side.

  9. Congress vs. Johnson • Many in Congress now support the idea of black suffrage • Radicals try to remove Johnson from office • Tenure of Office Act, 1867 • Johnson vetoes and is impeached • Johnson survives the trial in the Senate by one vote, 35-19 • The trial actually pushes public opinion against from the Radicals

  10. Military Reconstruction,1867-1877 • Congress separates the South into 5 military districts. • Generals would oversee the creation of new state governments. • Blacks would have to be allowed to vote. • States had to ratify the 14th Amendment in order to be accepted by Congress. • Southern states are finally allowed self-government and representation in Congress

  11. Fifteenth Amendment • No state may deny a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.”

  12. Reconstruction Governments • Carpetbaggers • Scalawags • Black voting and representatives • Accomplishments • Dropped racial qualifications for voting • Dropped property qualifications for voting • Built roads, bridges, railroads, etc. • Increased free public schools

  13. Reconstruction Governments • Criticisms • Raised taxes • Large debts • Corruption

  14. Southern Resistance • The Redeemers • Poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses • Economic threats against blacks • KKK • Use violence and threats to impose racial social order and prevent blacks from voting • Government responds with Enforcement Acts

  15. End of Reconstruction • Supreme Court decisions • Panic of 1873 • Redeemers gain control of state governments • Loss of interest and political will by northerners • Distracted by corruption in Grant administration • Election of 1877 • Compromise of 1877

  16. Ex Parte Milligan, 1866 • Military courts cannot be in session where civil courts are in session • Reduces the ability of military governors to enforce the laws

  17. Slaughterhouse Cases, 1873 • Case involves butchers in New Orleans • States that the 14th Amendment only refers to national citizenship, not state citizenship • Therefore not all rights are protected by the 14th Amendment

  18. U.S. v. Reese, 1876 • Strikes down Enforcement Act on technicality that it didn’t follow the exact wording of the 14th Amendment • Federal government cannot oversee voting in the states

  19. U.S. v. Cruikshank, 1876 • Trial of citizens of Alabama for murdering blacks in the Colfax Massacre • Fourteenth Amendment only protects individuals from the actions of a state, not the actions of individuals • Therefore the Fourteenth Amendment cannot be used to try citizens in the federal courts

  20. End of Reconstruction • Supreme Court decisions • Panic of 1873 • Redeemers gain control of state governments • Loss of interest and political will by northerners • Distracted by corruption in Grant administration • Election of 1877 • Compromise of 1877

  21. Presidential Election of 1877

  22. The New South • Sharecropping • Crop Liens • Jim Crow Laws • Attempt to separate whites from blacks in public life • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) says “separate but equal” facilities are legal • Industrialization of the South begins

  23. Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896 • Case refers to the segregation of blacks and whites in railroad cars • Court says that “separate but equal” accommodations are legal

  24. Sharecropping in the South