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"What Is Freedom?" Reconstruction, 1865-1877
Transcript of "What Is Freedom?" Reconstruction, 1865-1877
The Meaning Of Freedom
Blacks and the Meaning of Freedom
Families in Freedom
Freedom challenged relationships within families.
Emancipation increased the power of black men within the family.
Black women withdrew from work as field laborers and house servants to the domestic sphere.
The Making of Radical Reconstruction
Radical Reconstruction in the South
African-Americans’ understanding of freedom was shaped by their experience as slaves and observation of the free society around them.
Blacks relished the opportunity to demonstrate their liberation from the regulations (significant and trivial) associated with slavery.
The right to vote inevitably became central to the former slaves’ desire for empowerment and equality.
To demonstrate their patriotism, blacks throughout the South organized Fourth of July celebrations.
Aftermaths of Slavery
The Reconstruction-era debates over transitioning from slavery to freedom had parallels in other Western Hemisphere countries where emancipation occurred in the nineteenth century.
Only in the United States did former slaves gain political rights quickly.
Former slaves’ ideas of freedom were directly related to land ownership.
Many former slaves insisted that through their unpaid labor, they had acquired a right to the land.
Land, Labor, and Freedom
Blacks abandoned white-controlled religious institutions to create churches of their own.
Blacks of all ages flocked to the schools established by northern missionary societies, the Freedmen’s Bureau, and groups of ex-slaves.
Church and School
The Black Codes
Southern governments began passing new laws that restricted the freedom of blacks.
These new laws violated free labor principles and called forth a vigorous response from the Republican North.
The Fourteenth Amendment
It placed in the Constitution the principle of citizenship for all persons born in the United States and empowered the federal government to protect the rights of all Americans.
It did not grant blacks the right to vote.
The Fifteenth Amendment
The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified in 1870.
It prohibited federal and state governments from denying any citizen the right to vote because of race.
Did not extend suffrage to women
The Rights of Women
The destruction of slavery led feminists to search for ways to make the promise of free labor real for women.
Some feminists (Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony) opposed the Fifteenth Amendment because it did not enfranchise women.
Southern Republicans in Power
Southern Republican governments established the South’s first state-supported public schools.
The new governments also pioneered civil rights legislation.
Republican governments took steps to strengthen the position of rural laborers and to promote the South’s economic recovery.
The Quest for Prosperity
During Reconstruction, every state helped to finance railroad construction.
Investment opportunities in the West lured more northern investors than southern investors, and economic development remained weak in the South.
The Overthrow of Reconstruction
“A Reign of Terror”
Secret societies rised in the South with the aim of preventing blacks from voting and destroying the organization of the Republican Party.
The Ku Klux Klan was organized in 1866.
It launched what one victim called a “reign of terror” against Republican leaders, black and white.
Congress and President Grant, with the passage of three Enforcement Acts in 1870 and 1871, put an end to the Ku Klux Klan by 1872.
The North’s Retreat
The Liberal attack on Reconstruction contributed to a resurgence of racism in the North.
The 1873 depression also distracted the North from Reconstruction.
The Supreme Court whittled away at Congress’s guarantees of black rights.
The End of Reconstruction
Reconstruction ended in 1877.
It would be nearly a century before the nation again tried to bring equal rights to the descendants of slaves.
1. How would you feel if you had to define your "freedom" as slave experiences and your observation of others freedom?
2. Do you think it was hard for "blacks" to create their own church without having freedom?
3. What were the Black Codes?
SWBAT understand the creation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
SWBAT understand the reasoning behind the Black Codes
SWBAT understand the hardships that Blacks faced without freedom/rights.