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RECONSTRUCTION 1865-1877 Problems after the Civil War A. Rebuilding the southern economy and society B. Freed Blacks 1. 4 million 2. Who is responsible?—domain of federal, state, or local government C. Treatment of Confederate states

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Problems after the Civil War

A. Rebuilding the southern economy and society

B. Freed Blacks

1. 4 million

2. Who is responsible?—domain of federal, state, or local government

C. Treatment of Confederate states

1. Treated as conquered territories

2. Treated as equal states

D. Who oversees Reconstruction

1. Congress or President

2. Role of the government?—domain of federal, state, or local

Regionalism after the Civil War

A. North

1. continued economic progress as the north follows

B. South

1. aristocracy needs cheap labor


Question of secession—Did it occur?

A. No secession

1. states could not constitutionally leave, so secession did not occur

B. The Solution

1. Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction 1863

a. Full pardon if –

1) swear allegiance to Union and Constitution

2) accept emancipation of slaves

3) ten percent of voters had to take the oath

C. Reality

1. states had to rewrite their Constitutions and eliminate slavery

Reconstruction Plan – Three Phases

A. Lincoln’s 10% Plan

1. Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction 1863

a. exclusions

i. Confederate government officials

ii. army and naval officers

iii. military officers who had resigned from Congress or US commissions in 1861

1) above would have to apply for presidential pardons

iv. Non-voting blacks in 1860


B. Radical Republicans – Wade-Davis Plan (1864) Congressional Plan

1. envision slower readmission process

2. requirements

a. fifty percent of voters have to take loyalty oath to Union

b. delegates elected to state convention to repeal secession and abolish slavery

c. second loyalty oath for delegates

i. swear they did not voluntarily support the Confederacy

3. did not support black suffrage

4. Result

a. Lincoln used the pocket veto (failed to sign the bill within 10 days of

Congress’ adjournment)

i. Senator Benjamin Wade and Congressman Henry Winter Davis were


5. Freedmen’s Bureau (1865)

a. provided food, shelter, medical aid fro poor blacks and whites

b. resettlement of freed blacks on confiscated farmlands

c. established 3,000 school sand two colleges

d. result – 200,000 freed b lacks taught to read

C. Johnson’s Plan (white supremist)

1. Did not adopt abolitionist policies nor challenged racial sentiments

2. Own political agenda


3. Lincoln’s 10% Plan with the following:

a. disfranchisement of former Confederate leaders and officeholders or

those with $20,000 in taxable property

b. escape clause: individual pardons available

Lithograph-The Granger Collection

April 15, 1865


Death of Lincoln – April 15, 1865

A. Impact on Reconstruction policies

1. Johnson’s Plan – May, 1865

a. took advantage of Congress being out of session and announced new plan

b. seven states did not have Reconstruction governments—Alabama, Florida,

Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, now can return

i. people who take oath of allegiance would receive amnesty or pardon and

all property except slaves would be restored

ii. oath takers could elect delegates to state convention = vote in regular


iii. state conventions must proclaim illegality of secession, repudiate state

debts when part of the Confederacy, ratify the 13th Amendment abolishing


iv. takes place in 1865

2. Controversy

a. some states refused to ratify the 13th Amendment

b. set up “black codes” to replace slave codes

i. ensured landless, dependent black labor force (not slaves, but not


ii. established racial segregation in public places

iii. Blacks allowed to – marry, own property, make contracts, testify in

court against other blacks

iv. Restrict blacks from racial intermarriage, jury service, giving court

testimony against whites


v. Blacks cannot rent land or borrow money to buy land

vi. Freedmen have to sign work contracts

vii. Blacks do not having voting rights


Congress v. Johnson

A. Issues

1. Northern Republicans fail to seat elected ex-Confederates

2. Johnson vetoes:

a. bill to increase services for the Freedmen’s Bureau

b. Civil rights bill to nullify Black Codes, full citizenship and equal rights to Blacks

B. Result

1. Status of southern Blacks is now a major issue in Congress

C. Congressional Viewpoints

1. Radical Republicans – Thaddeus Stevens

a. impose black suffrage on former Confederacy and delay readmission of southern

states into the Union (minority)

2. Conservative Republicans

a. tended to favor Johnson’s plan (minority)

3. Democrats - Redeemers

a. Supported Johnson (minority)

4. Moderate Republics

a. agreed with Radical Republicans that Johnson’s plans were feeble (majority)

D. The Divide

1. Moderate Republicans – Senator Lyman Trumball

a. invalidate Black Codes by supporting Freedman’s Bureau

2. Johnson vetoed

a. Constitution did not sanction military trials for civilians in peacetime, nor

support a system to care for “indigent persons.”


3. Congress overrode Johnson’s veto with Supplementary Freedman’s Bureau

4. Congress passed bill that made Blacks US citizens, have same civil rights, federal

intervention authorized to ensure Blacks have rights in court

5. Johnson vetoed bill arguing it would operate in favor of the colored versus

white race

6. Congress overrode veto and passed Civil Rights Act of 1866

7. Fourteenth Amendment adopted by Congress (1866)

a. First clause

i. all persons born or naturalized the US were citizens. . . that no state could

abridge their rights without due process of law or deny them equal

protection of the law

b. Second clause

i. . . .if state denied suffrage to any male citizens, its representation in

Congress would be proportionally reduced

1) did not guarantee black suffrage, southern states could be deprived

of some legislators

c. Third clause

i. Disqualified all prewar office holders unless Congress removed

disqualifications by a 2/3 vote

d. Fourth clause

i. Repudiated Confederate debt and validated the federal debt


E. Reconstruction Act of 1867 – Congressional Reconstruction

1. invalidated state governments formed under Lincoln and Johnson Plans

a. Tennessee readmitted, ratified 14th Amendment thus escaped further


b. ten Confederate states divided into 5 temporary military districts headed by

a Union general

c. voters, all Black men and white men not disqualified by 14th Amendment, could

elect delegates to a state convention that would write a new state constitution

granting black suffrage

d. readmittance granted when state legislature ratified 14th Amendment, became

part of the Federal Constitution

Impeachment Crisis 1867-1868

A. Congress passed two laws to limit presidential power

1. Tenure Office Act

a. President must get Senate approval before removing civil officers

b. Cabinet members could only be fired by Senate approval

2. Rider to military appropriations bill

a. President prohibited to issued military orders except through Grant; Grant

could not be removed without Senate approval

B. Crisis

1. Johnson removed Henry Stanton, Secretary of War-Radical Republican ally

2. Senate refused to approve removal

3. Grant vacated position, Johnson replaced Stanton with Lorenzo Thomas


C. Impeachment

1. Republican moderates eventually support impeachment

a. 11 charges brought

i. 9 violations of Tenure Office Act

ii. 2 charges-Johnson “unmindful of duties of high office”

2. Result

a. 3-month trial in Senate

b. 1 vote short of impeachment (needed 2/3 vote)

c. 7 Republican moderates join Democrats—bad precedent to remove a president

for political reasons


Fifteenth Amendment – Question of Woman Suffrage

A. Prohibit states from denying or abridging a citizen’s right to vote “on account of race,

color, or previous condition of servitude

1. Women’s rights advocates

a. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony

i. 14th Amendment disable women by including “male”

ii. 15th Amendment did not add “on account of sex”

iii. “Aristocracy of Sex” created and increased women’s disadvantages

b. Dispute over 15th Amendment=Split in women’s suffrage organization

i. American Women Suffrage Association

1) Julia Ward Howe, Lucy Stone-women’s rights on state level

ii. National Suffrage Association

1) Stanton, Anthony-women’s rights on a national level

Composition of Reconstruction Governments

A. Transformation of southern electorate

1. disfranchising percentage of potential white voters

B. Result

1. Blacks held voting majorities

2. Electorate created a base for the Republican Party

3. Democratic opponents develop stereotypes

a. Scalawags

i. white southerners who supported the Republicans


ii. predominately poor, ignorant whites; profit from Republican rule

iii.some entrepreneurs who support National Bank and high tariffs

iv. some prosperous planters who opposed secession (former Whigs)

b. Carpetbaggers

i. Northerners

ii. came to south seeking wealth and power (few possessions stuffed into

carpet bags)

iii. many former Union generals who hoped to buy land, open factories, build

railroads, enjoy warmer climates

White Supremacy-Ku Klux Klan

A. Secret societies of southern whites to intimidate blacks and white reformers

1. vigilante groups to reduce black votes, win white votes

2. antagonism towards free blacks is major theme in south

3. started by 6 young Tennessee Confederates

a. social club-elaborate rituals, hooded costumes, secret passwords

i. spread through state

ii. “invisible empire”-burn black owned buildings, flogging, murdered

freed men to prevent voting

B. Congressional Response – Force Acts

1. Enforcement Act

a. protect black voters-witnesses afraid to testify, local juries refused to convict

2. Second Enforcement Act

a. Federal supervision of southern elections


3. Third Enforcement Act-Klu Klux Klan Act

a. strengthen punishments

b. federal troops to enforce law

c. suspend habeas corpus in cases where insurrection proven

Impact of Emancipation

A. Freedom

1. move out of slave quarters, set up dwellings on plantations

2. leave plantations entirely

3. mass migration

a. leave Upper South for Deep South-demand for labor high; wages high

b. urban Black population doubled and tripled

c. search for family members

d. Exodusters- move to the west

i. legalize unions (marriages-up to 70 couples at a time)

B. Development of Black Institutions

1. Black Churches

a. leave white churches

i. AME (African Methodist Episcopal Church-1790) gained thousands of new


2. Education

a. seek literacy

b. organize own schools

i. Supervised by Freedman’s Bureau


c. established black colleges

i. Howard, Fisk, Atlanta (established during Reconstruction)

3. Sharecropping

a. southern agriculture in turmoil due to loss of labor

b. White landowners forced blacks to sign contracts

i. Result-bound signer to permanent and unrestricted labor (slavery by another


ii. Goal-preserve black labor force

1) tenancy and sharecropping established

a) landowner provided seed and farm supplies in return for share of crop

i. crop lien – ½ of crop goes to landowner

b) sharecroppers remained dependent on landowners or in debt to local


Grant’s Presidency - Grantism

A. Characteristics

1. war hero, Republican (admired in North), passive, corrupt

B. Corruption

1. cabinet appointees mediocre, unscrupulous=scandals

2. Grantism=fraud, bribery, political corruption

a. 1869 – Scheme to corner gold market by Jay Gould and James Fisk assisted

by Grant’s brother-in-law

i. Result: gold prices tumbled, Gould saves fortune, investors ruined

b. Credit Mobilier Affaire

i. Stock given to members of Congress to avoid investigation of profits made


from government subsidies for building transcontinental railroad

c. Whiskey Ring

i. Federal revenue agents conspire with liquor industry to defraud government

of tax dollars

C. Response

1. Liberal Republicans revolt

a. endorsed policies of free trade, gold standard, law of supply & demand

b. denounced Grantism and “spoilsmen”-demand civil service reform

i. “best men” in government

D. Grant’s second term

1. Panic of 1873

a. overspeculation and overbuilding = widespread business failures and depression

b. debtors on farms and cities want Greenback paper money, unsupported by

gold standard (inflationary)

c. 1874-Grant supported hard-money bankers and creditors (backed by gold)

2. New York state: Boss Tweed Ring

a. $2000 million stolen from taxpayers

Reconstruction and Constitution

A. Would court support laws to protect rights of freedmen?

1. Ex parte Milligan (1866)

a. Habeas Corpus legal, but Military courts could not try civilians if civil courts

were functioning

i. Result-Supplementary Freedmen’s Bureau Act doomed


B. Would court sabotage congressional reconstruction plan?

1. Texas v. White (1869)

a. Union was indissoluble, secession legally impossible made Reconstruction


C. 1870’s-Cases involving 14th & 15th Amendments

1. Slaughterhouse cases of 1873

a. “privileges and immunities” clause in Constitution only protected rights

guaranteed by US, not individual states

b. Slaughterhouse operators sued that they were deprived of property without

due process, violated 14th Amendment

c. Decision-against slaughterhouse operators, 14th Amendment had to be considered

i.e. guarantee freedom of former black slaves

D. US v. Reese-1876

1. Undermined the 15th Amendment

a. Upheld poll taxes, literacy test, and grandfather clause (slaves could not vote)

E. US v. Cruikshank-1876

1. Due Process and Equal Protection clauses applied only to state actions not

actions of individuals

a. Result: KKK are individuals, state is not


Compromise of 1877 – End of Reconstruction

A. Amnesty Act of 1872

1. removed voting restrictions and office-holding restrictions against all but 500


B. Mississippi Plan 1875 – used by Republicans to overthrow Democrats

1. suppress black vote, disrupted elections – used by other southern states

C. Civil Rights Act of 1875

1. passed by biracial Congress

2. all Americans, regardless of race, protected in access to public accommodations

and facilities—declared unconstitutional in 1883

D. Election of 1876 inconclusive-Congress had to decide

1. Rutherford B. Hayes and Samuel Tilden

2. Democrats will support Hayes for end to Reconstruction, withdrawal of federal

troops from 5 military zones

a. deal done-Hayes elected, took Union troops out of the South