Reconstruction American History (CHA3U1)
Introduction • Confederate war veterans returned to devastated land • African Americans quickly learned that freedom didn’t mean equality • Readmitting Southern states to the Union difficult because of white Southern bitterness & Radical Republicans in Congress
Frederick Douglass • The arm of the Federal government is long, but it is far too short to protect the rights of individuals in the interior of distant States. They must have the power to protect themselves, or they will go unprotected, in spite of all the laws the Federal government can put upon the national statute-book. - Frederick Douglass, 1866
Where did it begin? • Reconstruction Began as War Measure • First came the Emancipation Proclamation • Lincoln’s 10% Plan - Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction • Goal was an easy peace to shorten war and to absorb the South back into the Union as quickly and painlessly as possible
Emancipation Proclamation • Lincoln issued it on January 1, 1863, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war. • The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free • 13th Amendment – made all slaves free in 1865
Emancipation Proclamation Con’t • Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. (they couldn’t enforce it in the southern states they did not control) • After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. • The Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy • By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural • With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.
Lincoln’s 10% Plan • Lincoln offered a full pardon to any Southerner, with the exception of certain leaders, who would take an oath to support “the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder.” • Those who took the oath in each state could vote to form a new state government. • Lincoln promised to recognize the new government if two conditions were met: the new government accepted the elimination of slavery as required by the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863; and the number of those voting for the new government was at least 10 percent of those who had voted in the 1860 presidential election.
Who’s in Charge of Reconstruction? • Lincoln was convinced that Reconstruction, or restoration, as he preferred to call it, was for the president to carry out. • Congressional leaders thought otherwise. They tabled the Wade-Davis bill in July 1864. • It was designed to punish the South and to make it subservient to the Republican Party in the North. • The bill limited voting on new state constitutions to those who had never joined the rebel cause, required a loyalty oath by the majority of a state's citizens, and permanently deprived former rebel leaders of the right to vote. • Lincoln killed the bill by using his pocket veto, and as long as he lived this plan made little headway.
Wade-Davis Bill, July 1864 • The bill was designed to punish the South and to make it subservient to the Republican Party in the North. • The bill limited voting on new state constitutions to those who had never joined the rebel cause • It required a loyalty oath by the majority of a state's citizens • It permanently deprived former rebel leaders of the right to vote. • Lincoln killed the bill by using his pocket veto, and as long as he lived this plan made little headway. Benjamin F Wade
After Slavery New Ways of Life • The Plight of Landowners some slaves agreed to stay and work the land for housing, food and cash after crops harvested Many lost land because Confederate money worthless therefore couldn’t pay taxes or debts • The Plight of Workers poor whites / African Americans tenant farmers / sharecroppers
The Freedman’s Bureau • The Freedmen's Bureau was established in the War Department on March 3, 1865. • The Bureau supervised all relief and educational activities relating to refugees and freedmen (ie. including issuing rations, clothing and medicine) • The Bureau assumed custody of confiscated lands or property in the former Confederate States, border states, District of Columbia, and Indian Territory. • They also built schools
Sec. 2: Reconstructing the South Presidential Reconstruction • Lincoln’s Plan amnesty / pardon to all Southerners who pledged an oath of loyalty to the United States African Americans could return to Africa or colonize Caribbean • The Radical Republicans’ Plan harsher than Lincoln’s plan military rule
Reconstructing the South • Johnson’s Program President after Lincoln assassinated tried to implement Lincoln’s generous plan but Radical Republicans refused to co-operate disagreed with having former Confederate leaders elected • White Men & Black Codes states allowed to create their own laws that denied African Americans many basic rights such as voting or gov’t education
Reconstructing the South Presidential Reconstruction • The North Responds April 1866 Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill giving citizenship to African Americans and all the rights entailed • The Fourteenth Amendment defined citizenship to include African Americans who were guaranteed equal protection under the law
Sec. 2: Reconstructing the South Radical Reconstruction • Reconstruction Plans appreciative African Americans would vote for Radical Republicans • Reconstruction Legislation March 1867 Reconstruction Act passed putting the South under five district military rule until the states gave African Americans the right to vote • Former Confederate states could not elect people to Congress until they passed the 14th Amendment • 15th Amendment passed taking away state power to control voting, but not enforced
Reconstructing the South • Scalawags (Union sympathizers) and carpetbaggers (Northerners) despised • carpetbaggers was the term southerners gave to northerners who moved to the South during the Reconstruction era, between 1865 and 1877. • They formed a coalition with freedmen (freed slaves), and scalawags (southern whites who supported Reconstruction) in the Republican Party. • Together they politically controlled former Confederate states for varying periods, 1867–1877.
Reconstructing the South Carpetbag Government • The Radicals in Power reduce Presidential power • Challenging the Tenure Law Pres. Johnson twice fired Edwin Stanton a supporter of Radicals • Johnson Impeached May 16, 1868 Senate voted 35 to 19 to convict Pres, one vote shy • The 1868 Election General Grant won as a Radical Republican to become new President
Restoring Southern Power Opponents of Reconstruction set up secret societies (e.g. KKK) wore out Radicals The Compromise of 1877 • Electoral Commission disputed Pres vote in 1876 given to Republican candidate Hayes • Reaching an Agreement Democrats outraged so Republicans promised South power, funds and removal of federal troops
Restoring Southern Power After Reconstruction • Segregation separation of races made legal by Supreme Court ruling Civil Rights Act of 1875 unconstitutional Jim Crow laws follow • The “New South” industrialization with Northern financing brought railroads, factories • Few Gains for African Americans temporary gains soon gone with economic slavery
Conclusion • Civil War devastated the South but in the long run the abolition of slavery helped the South to industrialize and diversify its economy • Unfortunately it would take another 100 years for African Americans to gain political and economic equality