Chapter 22: The Ordeal of Reconstruction 1865-1877
What were the four questions that loomed large after the Civil War?
The Problems of Peace
What other question “clamored for answers”?
How long was Jefferson Davis kept imprisoned? __________ Why wasn’t he convicted of treason?
When were all Confederate leaders pardoned?
Look at the picture on page 480: What happened in Richmond to leave it looking like this? (Hint: Look at the painting on page 473)
What parts of the Southern economy were devastated by the war?
When did Southern cotton production finally reach the same level as 1860?
How did many Southerners view the Civil War?
Freedmen Define Freedom
Despite the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863 and the fact that the Union had won the war, confusion over the
freedom of slaves was common in the South. List three examples (some tragic) of this confusion and the slaveowners’ responses.
Typically, once the Union forces arrived in an area the former “master” of the plantation would do what?
What did freed slaves begin to demand of their former masters?
Why did tens of thousands of Blacks take to the roads?
Read the two quotes on page 482: How does Houston H. Holloway, a 20 year old, newly emancipated slave, feel about freedom>
What is the Union officer writing about in his quote?
FYI: The text only suggests it, but the steamboat captains stopped hauling exodusters across the Mississippi because some whites
didn’t want that many Blacks moving into Kansas.
Which two African-American churches grew during the years after the Civil War?
Why did former slaves put such an emphasis on learning to read?
What are the two reasons both Blacks and white women from the North imported women schoolteachers from New England?
Look at the picture on page 482: Count how many kids are in the one-room school: __________ What is the other building in the
picture? ___________ Do you think that is a coincidence that a church and school are on the same piece of property?
Examining the Evidence
When did Jourdan Johnson run away from his master and who went with him?
When Johnson’s former master wrote him asking him to return, what was Johnson’s reply?
When did Johnson reply to Col. Anderson, his former master? Look at the top of the letter. ________________________
How much did Johnson ask Col. Anderson for his past services?
Read Johnson’s letter: What is he surprised about regarding the Colonel?
How does Jourdan Johnson feel about his old master?
How does Johnson arrive at the figure of $11,680 as the amount his master owes Johnson and his wife?
What does Johnson’s PS say?
The Freedman’s Bureau
Why did Congress create the Freedman’s Bureau?
Who was appointed director of the Bureau?
In what area did the Freedman’s Bureau achieve its greatest successes? How many Blacks were helped?
How did the Bureau fail former slaves?
Why did Southerners resent and fear the Bureau?
When did the Bureau end?
Johnson: The Tailor President
Describe Andrew Johnson’s origins:
Even though Johnson was a racist and even owned a few slaves later in life as a politician in Tennessee who did he support and
who did he fight against?
Johnson refused to secede with Tennessee in 1861 and remained loyal. After the Union Army took back Tennessee what position
did Johnson hold?
Why did Lincoln choose Johnson to be his running mate in 1864?
What happened at the inauguration that greatly damaged Johnson’s reputation?
What document did Johnson turn to whenever a political problem confronted him? ______________________ What political
belief did Johnson espouse (support)?
How was Johnson a political misfit?
Look at the cartoon on page 485: Do you think the cartoonist was a supporter or opponent of Johnson?
List the main points of the Lincoln plan for reconstruction:
Did Lincoln believe the Confederate states had left the Union and were being brought back in, or that they had never left the
How did Republicans in Congress respond to Lincoln’s proposed plan?
List the main points of the Wade-Davis Bill:
What did Lincoln do to the Wade-Davis Bill?
What was the opinion of many in Congress regarding the status of the Confederate states?
What two factions in the Republican Party emerged in 1864 and later? What did each believe?
How did some radicals think Andrew Johnson would treat the South?
Read Johnson’s quote on page 486: Who or what is he saying must be destroyed?
What is Johnson’s last line in this quote?
What does President Johnson do that bitterly disappoints the Radicals Republicans?
What conditions did Johnson’s Reconstruction plan propose?
As Johnson pardoned more and more members of the planter elite and they created new governments in the Confederate states that
weren’t very different than those that had come before, how did the Congress react?
The Baleful Black Codes
Define: Black Codes
What was the first aim of all the Black Codes?
What was the penalty for Blacks who “jumped” their labor contract?
What happened to Blacks who jumped their contracts in Mississippi?
While the freedom of former slaves was recognized, what were Blacks prevented from doing?
Some codes even punished Blacks for “idleness” by ordering them to do what?
Describe the enormous economic problem confronting Blacks:
What economic status did many Blacks and landless whites have to accept?
Look at the picture on page 487: Despite its many problems, what were two aspects of sharecropping that were better than things
Despite the fact that many freed-Blacks were barely surviving in the sharecropping system, many planters resented the meager
gains Blacks were making. What does one planter say about the system?
What is the Northern reaction to the Black Codes?
Read the quote on the bottom of page 486: How would you describe the situation confronting newly-freed slaves in the South?
What happened in Congress in December 1865 that shocked and appalled many Republicans?
Who were some of the most notorious Southern congressmen and senators?
What political reasons encouraged the Republicans to not allow the newly elected Southern Democrats to participate in Congress?
What did the Republicans in Congress do on December 4, 1865?
What political reality confronted the Republicans when they considered the newly restored Southern states?
Were Northerners right to ask the question, “Who really won the war?”
What were Republicans worried might happen if the Southerners reclaimed their place in politics?
If Southern and Northern Democrats worked together, Republicans were worried that they could repeal what Republican acts from
the previous four years?
Johnson Clashes with Congress
Johnson and the Republican Congress started openly fighting with each other when Johnson vetoed what bill?
What did Congress pass in March 1866? ____________________________ What did it call for?
Johnson vetoed the Civil Rights Act, but Congress did what in April 1866?
To ensure the principles in the Civil Rights Act were safe, Congress proposed the 14 th Amendment which it sent to the states in
June 1866. What are the four main points of the 14 th Amendment?
What was not included in the 14th Amendment?
What did President Johnson advise all the former Confederate states to do?
Swinging ‘Round the Circle with Johnson
What did the Republicans in Congress insist must be passed and President Johnson not want passed?
Why was Johnson invited to Chicago? _______________________________________ What party was the person for whom the
monument was created? ___________________
Define: Johnson’s Swing Around the Circle Tour
What kind of congress did Johnson hope to get elected?
What was the outcome of Johnson’s Swing Around the Circle Tour?
Republican Principles and Programs
What were the two factions of Republicans in Congress?
Who lead the Radicals?
Read Thaddeus Steven’s quote on page 490: What if the final of three reasons he says Black male suffrage is proper and
Read the caption above the picture of Thaddeus Stevens on page 490: How did Stevens regard the Confederate states?
___________________________ What must be done, in his opinion, lest all “our blood and treasure have been spent in vain”?
Radical Republicans wanted to keep the Southern states out of Congress for as long as possible and wanted to bring about what in
What did moderate Republicans want?
What was the one thing both factions agreed upon by 1867?
Reconstruction by the Sword
What was going on at the same time as the Reconstruction Act of 1867 was passed?
The South was divided into what?
What two “stringent” conditions were laid-down before a Southern state could reenter the Union?
What, however, was missing from this plan?
To prevent Southern states from taking away the right to vote for Black men, what did Congress pass in 1869?
Define: Ex parte Milligan
With Union soldiers in ten of the former Confederate states new state constitutions were created, but what happened after the
Union soldiers left?
Two terms to know:
Radical Regime: A Republican/Black government in the South
Redeemed or Home Rule Regime: The Democratic/White dominated governments that replaced the Reconstruction
Look at the map and chart on page 491:
How many military districts was the South divided into? _________________
What one former Confederate state avoided military Reconstruction? ___________________
What did this one state do to avoid military Reconstruction?_____________________________________________
What were the first and second Southern States to put in place a “Redeemer” government? _________________________
What were the last two Southern States to put in place “Redeemer” governments? _______________________________
No Women Voters
Why were women disappointed by the passage of the three Reconstruction-era Amendments?
What had leaders of the Women’s Rights Movement done during the Civil War?
Read Susan B. Anthony’s quote on page 492: How does threat is she making to her former political allies (both men)?
What was inserted into the Fourteenth Amendment which shocked and outraged suffragettes?
The Realities of Radical Reconstruction in the South
At first, how eager were the Republicans to give Black males the vote?
Even the Fourteenth Amendment envisioned what status for Blacks?
However, by 1867 the Radical Republicans had changed how the party felt about Blacks. This was a change, because before the
Fifteenth Amendment passed in 1870, what was the voting status of Blacks in the North?
Define: Union League
What new roles did Black women assume?
What did Black male delegates to state Constitutional Conventions insist be included in the Constitutions?
Many Blacks were elected to political office. Between 1868 and 1876 how many congressmen and senators were elected?
Look at the picture on page 494: Who held the US Senate seat in Mississippi before Hiram Revels was elected?
What were some of the positive accomplishments of the “radical regimes”?
FYI: graft means the illegal abuse of government power to make you or your supporters rich
What are two examples of graft that occurred in radical regimes in the South?
How corrupt do the authors say the Reconstruction governments were?
The Ku Klux Klan
Read the excerpt on page 495 from the 1871 testimony in Congress by a group of Kentucky Blacks:
What do they say the Klan has been doing?
What did the State Legislature refuse to do?
What couldn’t a Black do in court?
Who are the only victims of the Klan?
Which political party is behind the Klan?
When was the Klan founded and in what state?
If trying to scare scalawags, carpetbaggers and “uppity” Blacks wasn’t enough, what would the Klan and other terrorist
organizations resort to?
What happened in Louisiana in 1868?
Define: Force Acts of 1870 and 1871
Despite the 14th and 15th Amendments many whites in the South did all they could to prevent Black participation in Southern
politics. When did Blacks begin to be disenfranchised?
Johnson Walks the Impeachment Plank
What was the Tenure of Office Act?
Why did the Radical Republicans like Secretary of War Edwin Stanton?
What did Johnson do in early 1868 which violated the Tenure of Office Act and gave the Radicals the pretext they needed to draw
up articles of impeachment?
A Not-Guilty Verdict for Johnson
Who sat as the jury in the impeachment trial?
Who acted as the prosecutors in the impeachment trial?
Johnson’s lawyers said the President had fired Stanton for what reason?
Did the Supreme Court rule in favor of Johnson’s argument? ______________ When?
When did the Senate vote on Johnson’s guilt or innocence? _____________________ What were the vote totals? _____ to _____
How many Republicans broke ranks and voted against impeachment?
What three factors lead to the vote against convicting Johnson?
Despite the anger among radicals, how did most of the country react to the “not-guilty” verdict?
What dangerous precedent would convicting Johnson have set?
FYI: Andrew Johnson (and Bill Clinton in 1999) were both impeached. However, they were not convicted. Therefore, it is
accurate to say, two presidents have been impeached, but neither was convicted.
FYI #2: President Nixon would have been impeached and convicted in 1974 had he not resigned from office.
The Purchase of Alaska
Why were the Russians willing to sell Alaska?
Who was Secretary of State at the time? _______________________ How much did he agree to pay for Alaska? _____________
What were the four disparaging nicknames for Alaska?
Why did the US Senate agree to purchase Alaska, when so many people thought it was worthless?
The Heritage of Reconstruction
How did many white Southerners view Reconstruction?
When the war ended, did anyone have a clear picture as to what Federal policy towards the South should be?
What two things did Republicans want to protect?
What do the authors say Moderate Republicans never fully appreciated?
What effect do the authors speculate would the implementation of Thaddeus Stevens’ radical program of economic reforms and
protection of political rights have had?
What four factors prevented the implementation of Stevens’ radical program?
Look at the cartoon by Thomas Nast on page 499: What point is Nast trying to make in 1876 when Reconstruction came to an
Read Frederick Douglass’ writing on page 499: What condition does Douglass say Blacks are in?
Douglass says no man can be truly free in what condition or under what circumstances?
Copy the rest of this sentence: “Yet the Negro after his emancipation was precisely in this state of destitution. . . .
What do you think Douglass thought the government should have done to aid the freed slaves?
What was the historical viewpoint on Reconstruction put forth by Columbia University Professor William A. Dunning and his
students in the early 1900s?
What was the historical viewpoint on Reconstruction and the war itself popular in the 1920s?
Who was W.E.B. Dubois and what did he write in 1935?
What outside event influences scholarship on Reconstruction in the years after World War II?
What has Columbia University Professor Eric Foner written about Reconstruction in the last 15 years or so?
Resources to help you understand Reconstruction
Reconstruction is enormously important to American history and still affects us today. Reconstruction is also so multifaceted that
it’s hard to fully understand it. Below are three sites that might help you get a better idea.
1. To find out more about Reconstruction: Go to the American Experience: “Reconstruction: The Second Civil War” website:
This site has video clips about Reconstruction, sharecropping and race riots in the South.
2. Digital History has a very succinct description of Reconstruction. The link is on our Blackboard site or you can go to
3. Finally, the briefest outline of Reconstruction is available from Greg Feldmeth on his site. There is a link on the Blackboard
site and I’ve posted the outline as a one-page printout on the Course Documents section of the Blackboard site.