Reconstruction � Is it finished

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					Subject: Reconstruction and Civil Rights
Title: Reconstruction – Is it finished?
Grade Level: 11
Author: Lynne Dubin
School: Hayfield Secondary
Lesson time: 4 block periods

Topics covered:                                                        Time Period: 1865 - present
              Jim Crow
             Booker T. Washington v. W.E.B. DuBois
             Civil rights movement
             Current status of white/black relations

Part 1:
Essential Learning Description:
Students will be able to explain how the Civil War and Reconstruction both solved and
created problems for our nation.
     Students will understand how Reconstruction caused a further decline in relations
        between the North & South.
     Students will understand that racism has been and is existent in the U.S. from
        slavery through the present.
     Students will gain experience in reading and interpreting primary source

Historical Thinking Standards:
        Identify the authors or source of historical documents or narratives.
        Reconstruct literal meaning of historical passage.
        Identify central questions of historical narrative.
        Read historical narratives imaginatively.

        Historical Analysis & Interpretation

        Formulate questions to focus inquiry or analysis.
        Compare and contrast sets of ideas, values, etc.

        Historical Issues:

   1.   Analysis & Decision Making-Identify problems and dilemmas in the past.
   2.   Analyze the interests and values of various people involved.
   3.   Identify causes of a problem or dilemma.
   4.   Propose alternative choices for a problem.
   5.   Formulate a position or course of action.
   6.   Identify the solution chosen.
   7.   Evaluate the consequences of a decision.
Virginia Standards of Learning:
          Benchmark 7.3: The student analyzes the political and social consequences of Reconstruction on
          the South and the rest of the Nation.
          VUS.13: Civil Rights Era
          Benchmark 13.1: The student describes and evaluates the efforts and accomplishments of
          individuals and groups, within the public and private sectors, to affect change in Civil Rights.

Fairfax County POS:
Same as above

Part 2:

Documents as listed throughout lesson – (total list at end of lesson)
Film “A Time for Justice” – from the Southern Poverty Law Center
Chart paper with questions for all stations (Days 2 & 3)

                  Venn diagrams prepared in groups on day one
                  Gallery walk days two and three
                  Timeline completed day four
                  Homework due day two and day four

                                  Day One – Plans for Reconstruction
Part I
   Discussion – President Bush announced the U.S. war in Iraq ended in May 2003 –
   why does Iraq continue to be a problem for the U.S.? What specific issues continue to
   need a solution in Iraq?
       Suggested responses:
          o Need to build a new government structure to replace the old one
          o Need to find new leaders
          o Need to establish new laws
          o Need to rebuild the infrastructure
          o Need to rebuild the economy
          o Struggle between different factions

How does this situation compare to the problems in the American South after the Civil
War? What specific issues needed a solution in the post Civil War U.S.?
(Note to teacher: Although Iraq is not a Civil War some postwar problems are common
to any war & the Iraqi situation is the situation with which the students are most
        Suggested responses:
            o Need for a labor force
            o Need to rebuild factories, railroads
           o Need to plant restore & plant fields
           o Bankruptcy
           o Old leaders had sworn allegiance to the rebellion
           o Struggle between former plantation owners, poor whites, scalawags,
             carpetbaggers and freed blacks
           o Role for newly freed blacks

How are the two situations different?
In what ways can the similarities help us to better understand Reconstruction and its
continuing aftermath?
(Possible answers include: We are more familiar with the Iraq situation – it is in the news
everyday – so perhaps we can better understand how people felt almost 150 years ago.)

Part II
Students will examine primary documents of plans proposed for accomplishing the
Reconstruction of the nation – to include:
        Wade Davis Bill –
        Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address –
        Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan – http ://
        Reconstruction Acts –
Students will work in groups to prepare Venn diagrams showing differences and
similarities between Congressional & Presidential plans.

Summary discussion:
   1. How did the plans proposed by the Congress and the President conflict?
   2. What differing philosophies regarding treatment of the rebels are reflected in the
   3. How did each plan address the issues identified in opening discussion?
Suggested responses:
   1. Congressional plans were more punitive and required greater degrees of
       compliance from southerners.
   2. President regarded them as naughty, rebellious children, Congress regarded
       them as traitors. President felt it was impossible to secede, therefore saw southern
       actions as less serious. “With malice toward none, with charity for all…”
   3. President more concerned with “binding up the wounds…” and rebuilding;
       Congress concerned with punishment and delaying return of southern Democrats
       to power.

Homework due Day Two:
Identify:         Reconstruction Acts
                  13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
How would each of the following groups likely have reacted to Reconstruction Acts of
1866 & 1867 & amendments 13, 14 & 15? Explain why.
                        1. Scalawags
                        2. Carpetbaggers
                        3. Former slaves
                        4. Former abolitionists
                        5. Moderate northerners

Suggested responses:
1 & 2. Would like – prolonging Reconstruction prolongs their power.
   3.Would like – gives them greater political support and financial assistance.
   4.Would love! –former abolitionists radical reconstructionists and this was their
   5.Depends on party affiliation

                   Day Two and Three – The “Crime of Reconstruction?
Part I
Lecture/discussion based on homework and focused on different attempts to solve the
three major problems of Reconstruction – political reunification of the states, economic
rebuilding of the South and establishment of a societal role for newly freed black
Lecture to include:

Problem 1: How should the south be readmitted to the union?
             Presidential response –
                    Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan
                    Lincoln’s assassination
                    “Ring around the circle”
                    Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

               Congressional response –
                     Inspired by lack of southern show of contrition, black codes
                     Radical Republicans’ desire to maintain political power
                     10 Percent plan replaced by Reconstruction Acts
                     Compromise of 1876

Problem 2: How shall the southern economy be rebuilt?
             Freedman’s Bureau
             No real recovery until after WWII

Problem 3: What should be the role of the newly freed blacks in American society?
             Southern response –
                    Black codes
                    Formation of KKK
             Northern response –
                       Freedmen’s Bureau
                       “40 acres & a mule”
                       Amendments 13, 14 &15
                       Electoral successes before 1877

Part II
Gallery exercise:
         Students will be divided into five groups.
         Five stations will be established at which students will examine documents
           related to Reconstruction and aftermath up to 1960’s.
         Five groups will circulate amongst the five stations.
         Students should list all documents as they circulate through stations or teacher
           could distribute chart with all documents listed.
         Chart paper will be provided at each station described below and each group
           will record their responses to questions (in italics below) at each station on the
           chart paper.
         At end of activity groups will go through each station a second time to read
           responses of all groups.
         Students will also be expected to take notes on the contents of each document.

This will be followed by a full class discussion revolving around the questions listed at
the end of Day 2 & 3
Station 1 – Black codes –
             Data on lynching –
            KKK –
            Photo of lynching –

List methods of discrimination blacks faced in the south immediately following the Civil
Possible responses: violence, limited employment, limited right to move, travel, etc.

Station 2 –
           Jim Crow laws –
               Song “The Crow Family”
          After Appomattox by W.R. Houghton –
           Plessey v. Ferguson –
           Jim Crow cartoon –

   1. List obstacles imposed upon blacks in the 20 years after Reconstruction.
   2. What white views of blacks are reflected in these materials?
   3. Does there appear to be a difference in northern and southern views of blacks?
Possible responses:
   1. Jim Crow laws limited access to all public places in the southern states and
      Supreme Court declared such laws constitutional.
   2. Blacks are seen as unfit to associate with whites on equal basis
   3. Limitations are legalized in south but north appears to approve as reflected in
      Supreme Court decision.

Station 3 – Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Speech –
            W.E.B. DuBois’ response “The Souls of Black Folk” Words of Ages pp.134-5
Make a Venn diagram comparing the solutions proposed by these two men.

Station 4 – Truman’s order desegregating the military –
            Brown v. Board of Education decision –
            Geraldine Phillips on meaning& importance of 1963 March on Washington –
List ways the situation of the blacks in America begin to improve after WWII?
Possible responses: military desegregated, schools ordered to desegregate, blacks
gaining political power – confidence to organize major march.

Station 5 – “The Means to Achieve our Education Were Taken Away” by Celeste Wiley
            Excerpt from Letter from a Birmingham Jail –
            George Wallace’s refusal to accept integration –
List obstacles still faced by blacks in the 1960’s?
Possible responses: discrimination still rampant, especially in south, white political
leaders condone limitations and violence, schools even closed to prevent integration

Summary discussion:
Was Reconstruction a crime? (Answers here can be whatever the students think – so long
as they can support their position.)
Did Reconstruction solve the problems facing the nation after the Civil War?
(Possible responses: southern economy did not really recover until WWII, ended too soon
for blacks to achieve equality, did answer questions regarding nature of the union,
nullification, secession, etc.)
In what ways did Reconstruction create more problems than the Civil War?
(Possible responses: resentment and anger increased and therefore ability for N & S to
work together after Reconstruction was impacted; politically, solid south voted strictly
Democratic for over 100 years)
Homework due day 4
Students should have been told to list each of the documents viewed as part of the gallery
For each of the documents:
       Briefly describe the contents of the document
       Explain the importance of the document to American history

                                   Day Four – Now and the Future
Part I
View tape “A Time for Justice” from Southern Poverty Law Center / Teaching Tolerance
While viewing students will:
        Prepare a time line of major events in the civil rights struggle – starting with
        murder of Emmitt Till & ending with passage of Voting Rights Act of 1965
After viewing: discuss reactions to this very powerful material & the following statement:
Many consider the Voting Rights Act of 1965 the most important single piece of civil
rights legislation in the history of the United States. Do you agree or disagree? Why?
(Possible responses: only with power of vote could blacks achieve other objectives)

Part II
Read “African Americans and the 2004 U.S. Elections” an interview with Dr. Ron
Walters –
What problems does Dr. Walters feel still face black Americans?
What additional problems do you see still facing black Americans?
Which of these have their origins in Reconstruction?
What solutions (if any) do you foresee to these problems?
                              List of all sources
  After Appomattox by W.R. Houghton –
 Black codes –
 Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta Compromise Speech –
 Brown v. Board of Education decision –
 Data on lynching –
 Jim Crow cartoon –
 Jim Crow laws –
  KKK –
 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, excerpt –
 Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address –
 Lincoln’s Ten Percent Plan –
 Phillips, Geraldine on meaning& importance of 1963 March on Washington –
 Photo of lynching –
 Plessey v. Ferguson –
 Reconstruction Acts –
Truman’s order desegregating the military –
  Song “The Crow Family”
 Wade Davis Bill –
  Wallace, George refusal to accept integration –
 Walters, Dr. Ron “African Americans and the 2004 U.S. Elections” an interview–
  W.E.B. DuBois’ response to Booker T. Washington“The Souls of Black Folk”
 Words of Ages pp.134-5
  Wiley Celeste “The Means to Achieve our Education Were Taken Away”–

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