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Reconstruction What were the Successes? What were the Failures? UNIT 5 HUSH What was Reconstruction?? • Reconstruction was the federal government’s attempt to repair the damage to the South after the Civil War • Occurred from 1865 to 1877 • Controversial – Had mixed results Think About It… •Was Reconstruction a success? •Was Reconstruction a failure?? • Most historians claim that Reconstruction failed to truly help southern blacks and thoroughly angered and alienated southern whites. Results of the Civil War • The entire country was impacted by the war • The North – Lost 364k Federal soldiers including 38k African Americans • The South – Lost 260k Confederate soldiers – 1/5 of all white men in region Southerners’ Hardships 1. Black Southerners • 4 million freed slaves with little or no skills or education • Homeless and jobless 2. Plantation owners • Lost slave labor that amounted to $3 billion • Lost seized plantation land- $100 million 3. Poor white southerners • Could not find new jobs • Moved North if possible Federal Government’s Dilemma What to do About the South?? • Lincoln's Plan – Pardon any Southerner who pledged allegiance to the United States • But denied pardons to officials who had killed African American war prisoners – Permitted states to hold a new constitutional convention AFTER 10% of voters had sworn allegiance to the US • After state constitutions were accepted, voting rights would be reestablished The Radical Republicans • Most northerners in Congress were Republicans and opposed to slavery – They now wanted to punish the South • Saw Lincoln’s plan as too forgiving – Congress’ Plan was to totally reconstruct southern society and guarantee southern blacks equality – Passed own plan- The Wade- Davis Act • Lincoln used pocket-veto to kill bill The Death of a President • Did not live to see the peace he helped to create – Conspirators and southern sympathizers plotted against the president – Died in office on April 14, 1865 Lincoln - Kennedy 9) The first name of Lincoln's private secretary was John, the last Coincidences name of Kennedy's private secretary was Lincoln. 1) Lincoln was elected in 1860, Kennedy in 10) John Wilkes Booth was born in 1839 1960, 100 years apart [according to some sources] Lee Harvey 2) Both men were deeply involved in civil Oswald was born in 1939, one hundred rights for African Americans. years later. 3) Both men were assassinated on a Friday, 11) Both assassins were Southerners who in the presence of held extremist views. their wives. 12) Both assassins were murdered before 4) Each wife had lost a child while living at they could be brought to trial. the White House. 13) Booth shot Lincoln in a theater and fled 5) Both men were killed by a bullet that entered the head from behind. to a warehouse. Oswald 6) Lincoln was killed in Ford's Theater. shot Kennedy from a warehouse and Kennedy met his death while fled to a theater. riding in a Lincoln convertible made by 14) Lincoln and KENNEDY each has 7 the Ford Motor Company. letters. 7) Both men were succeeded by vice- 15) ANDREW JOHNSON and LYNDON presidents named Johnson who were JOHNSON each has 13 letters. southern Democrats and former senators. 16) JOHN Wilkes BOOTH and LEE HARVEY 8) Andrew Johnson was born in 1808. OSWALD each has 15 letters. Lyndon Johnson was born in 1908, 17) A Lincoln staffer Miss Kennedy told him exactly one hundred years later. not to go to the Theater. A Kennedy staffer Miss Lincoln, told him not to go to Dallas. Strange….But True??? President Andrew Johnson • Not well liked by either side • Only Southern senator to remain in Congress after Secession • Created own plan for Reconstructing the South Political Cartoon, “Johnson Antagonizes Washington” Johnson’s Plan • Pardon all Southerner’s who swore allegiance to US • Permitted each southern state to hold a constitutional convention without Lincoln’s 10% requirement • Former Confederate states had to void secession, abolish slavery, and ratify 13th Amendment – Then elections could be held and statehood resumed Like Adding Fuel to the Fire • Johnson’s Plan vs. Lincoln's Plan – Johnson’s was more generous to the South – Created anger and resentment in Congress • Congress decided to make own plan • The Radical Republicans were born Thank God Almighty I’m Free At Last! • Southern blacks celebrated their freedom as the politicians decided how to proceed with punishing the South – Freedom of Movement – Freedom to Own Land – Freedom to Worship – Freedom to Learn The Freedman’s Bureau • Created in March 1865 as a relief agency for newly freed slaves or “Freedmen” • Was intended to offer assistance in housing, education, and citizenship – Was not completely successfully in any of these areas (due to corruption and mismanagement) – Did issue twenty million rations of food, established 50 hospitals, set up 4,330 schools and helped establish the first Black colleges. Congress’ Plan 1. Put the South under military rule 2. Order southern states to hold new elections for constitutional delegates 3. Required all states to allow African- Americans the right to vote 4. Temporarily barred former Confederates from voting 5. Required southern states to guarantee equal rights for all citizens 6. Required all states ratify the 14th Amendment Black Codes • After Southern states met Johnson’s requirements they one-by-one rolled back civil rights laws • Many southern states instituted Black Codes as a way of getting around requirements – Set curfews, created vagrancy laws, set year- long contract minimums, limited black women’s right to work, restricted renting to cities… The 14th and 15th Amendments • Congress was concerned about these abuses and decided to add civil rights to the US Constitution – 14th Amendment- Granted citizenship and “equal protection” to all African Americans – 15th Amendment- Gave the right to vote to all African American males over the age of 21 • Both amendments have had far reaching effects in the 19th-20th and 21st centuries A Showdown Between Two Branches of Government! • A constitutional crisis occurred when the Congress’ plan was pitted against the President’s plan • Two powerful Senators led the charge against President Johnson – Charles Sumner- MA senator and abolitionist – Thaddeus Stevens- PA senator and power player Executive versus Legislative • President Johnson tried to fire Secretary of War Edwin Stanton • The Radical Republicans tried to block the firing using the new Tenure of Office Act • Provisions of the Act: – Took power away from the President – The hiring and firing of Cabinet secretaries had to approved by Congress – The title of Commander-in-Chief was also removed! Andrew Johnson Cartoons Johnson as Caesar: “Treason is a crime and must be punished" The 1st Presidential Impeachment • The House of Representatives filed charges of impeachment against Johnson • The House voted ‘yes’ • The Senate held a trial and Johnson was found ‘not guilty’ by one vote – Was not convicted – Kept his office – Established the precedent that “high crimes and misdemeanors” were needed to remove a president The Republican South • Not everyone in the South was a Democrat • Northerners who moved South to take advantage of the situation for profit were called “carpetbaggers” • Even more hated were the “Scalawags – Southerners who joined the Republican party or who were former Whigs • Political Cartoon- “The Old South carries the Burden of Reconstruction” • Notice ‘AJ’ on top of the Carpetbag! The Life of a Freedman • The South was desperate for workers – Most former slaves who could leave did • Most who stayed in South became sharecroppers or tenant farmers – Worked another person’s land – Had free or reduced rent in exchange for tending crops – Received part of profit- if any was made Economic Effects on South • The labor force changed – Cotton harvest changed from 90% slave labor to 40% white tenant farmers • Emphasis now on cash crops – Cotton, tobacco, and sugar cane rather than food – The South became dependent upon imports of food • Cycle of debt was established – Poverty in all classes and races • Rise of merchant class in South – New stores sold goods on credit Birth of Industrial South • Growth of southern cities – Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, Dallas, Montgomery, Little Rock • Some areas became industrial – Birmingham AL- steel production – However, the majority of Southerners remained dependent upon agriculture for their livelihood Terror Groups • White Southerners unhappy with their new way of life created “political clubs” to complain about politics • These soon evolved into terrorist groups – KKK, The Knights of the White Camilla… • Used tactics such as intimidation, threats, and violence against freedmen, carpetbaggers, and scalawags • Effective at stopping progression in South Stopping the Klan • President Grant requested that Congress pass a series of laws outlawing hate groups and their tactics – The Enforcement Act of 1870 • Used federal troops to stop the violence, but once the troops withdrew the terror started again President Ulysses S. Grant The End of Reconstruction • Most Americans had become tired of Reconstruction by the mid-1870’s- Why? – The country had gone into debt – Reconstruction programs became known for greed and corruption – Southerners had gained back control in most Southern states (it took longer in GA!) – Southern states began to block legislation in Congress again – Many Northern voters’ did not support the Radical Republican’s idea of full equality for blacks – An economic recession turned public opinion away from the movement for equal rights The Solid South is Born • When the Southern states all were readmitted they began to vote in a Democratic block • White Southern Democrats were elected who blocked new legislation The Election of 1876 • Republican Rutherford B. Hayes lost the popular vote to Democrat Samuel Tilden • Congress was forced to settle the election – The vote went to Hayes when he promised to end Reconstruction • The Compromise of 1877 – Gave the Southern states self-control back – Reconstruction was officially over “Compromise, Indeed!”- (Tilden or blood) Successes of Reconstruction 1. Union was rebuilt and South was rebuilt 2. Economic growth was established in the South 3. The 14th and 15th Amendments granted rights to freedmen 4. The Freedman’s Bureau helped many newly freed slaves with a fresh start 5. Mandatory education was started in South Failures of Reconstruction 1. Most blacks remained poor and uneducated 2. Terror groups were formed 3. Racist attitudes continued in both the North and South 4. Southern infrastructure and economies lagged far behind the North 5. Many problems remained unaddressed • Women, labor unions, and farmers fearful of the coming of the railroads Think About It…Again! • Was Reconstruction a success? • Was Reconstruction a failure?? • Why did the implementation of truly radical measures during Reconstruction fail to truly help southern Blacks while thoroughly angering and alienating southern whites?
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