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The Politics of Reconstruction

The Politics of Reconstruction

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The Politics of Reconstruction

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  1. Main Idea • Essential Question The Politics of Reconstruction What laws did Congress pass during Reconstruction to improve the lives of former slaves?

  2. Objectives

  3. Reconstruction Begins Anew • Lincoln, Johnson and Republican congress had differing visions for how to rebuild the country, based on whether to punish or pardon the defeated Confederates • Ten-Percent Plan – • High ranking Confederate officials would not be pardoned • Lincoln’s death scraped this idea, sending government back to the drawing board • Lincoln sought to streamline readmission process for Confederates to speed up the healing process • Reconstruction –

  4. Presidential Transition • Radical Republican – • The Republican controlled Congress thought that Lincoln was too sympathetic to the South, and wanted to punish them into obedience • Wade-Davis Bill – • Lincoln’s assassination removed Lincoln’s voice from the discussion, and elevated a Southerner to oversee the Reconstruction effort • Andrew Johnson – • Johnson was heavy handed and gruff, never receiving the same popularity Lincoln enjoyed.

  5. Following Lincoln’s in Footsteps • Southerners considered Johnson a traitor, and Republicans considered him an ally. Both were wrong as Johnson tried to balance interests and follow Lincoln’s example • Johnson’s Plan was generous to the South, and every state (except Texas) moved quickly to rejoin before Congress could change the agreement

  6. Struggles Continue for Ex-Slaves • Thaddeus Stevens – • Stevens saw the Confederate states as conquered provinces, and therefore the Constitution did not protect them until they were readmitted. He wanted to redistribute land from owner to slaves to repay them for their forced servitude • Social programs designed to help the lives of slaves: • Freedman’s Bureau – • Civil Rights Act of 1866 – granted citizenship and equal protection under law for African Americans, forbade states from passing Black Codes. Later strengthen and Constitutionalized by the 14th Amendment • Black Codes – • Restricted former slaves from: voting, owning land, marrying whites, traveling without permits, serving on juries, testifying against whites in court • Johnson vetoes both Freedman’s Bureau and Civil Rights Act of 1866. Despite his urge to break power of the slave-owners, he was committed to white rule

  7. Congress Takes Control • Moderate and radical Republicans join forces to override Johnson’s veto on the Freedman’s Bureau and the Civil Rights Act of 1866. 1st time a veto is overridden by Congress in US History • Anger with Johnson reaches an apex when the new Southern representation arrives at Congress. His pardons had been so generous that the South’s representation closely resembled the Confederate Government • Representation made of 58 former Confederate Congress members, 6 Presidential cabinet members, 4 Generals • Southern congressmen would continue to use any loophole to resist advancing the rights of African Americans • 14th Amendment – • 1866 Midterm Elections – Johnson loses influence as American citizens overwhelmingly vote Republican, giving them a 2/3rds majority in Congress to override his veto

  8. Presidency in Peril • Reconstruction Act of 1867 – • Johnson vetoes, but is overridden again • Confederate states divided into 5 military districts lead by former Union Generals until they meet stricter standards for readmission • Johnson Impeached for refusal to enforce Reconstruction Act or follow Tenure of Office Act • Tenure of Office Act forced President to receive Congressional approval before dismissing a member of his Cabinet • Impeach – • Johnson survives Senate trial by one vote

  9. Why was Johnson Impeached? • Running • With • Scissors

  10. The Right to Vote • Democrats and Republicans both decide against nominating Johnson for election of 1868 • Democrats nominate New York Governor Horatio Seymour, Republicans nominate Ulysses S. Grant, former Union General • Ulysses S. Grant – • 15th Amendment – • Violence against former slaves, and resistance to new amendments in Southern states caused Radical Republicans to pass the Enforcement Act, which gave federal government more power to punish states that refused to enforce 14th and 15th amendment

  11. Reconstruction efforts designed to improve the lives of former slaves