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Reconstruction Period 1865 - 1877
Transcript of Reconstruction Period 1865 - 1877
How did a deeply divided Nation move forward after the Civil War?
1865 - 1877
Lincoln's Reconstruction plan
-In Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address, he promised to unify the nation and treat the South with respect. His plan included pardoning confederate officials and called to allow Confederate states to send representatives to Congress..
On April 11, 1865 Lincoln stated in his last public address that he proposed a generous reconstruction policy. He urged compassion and open-mindedness for the South throughout the process.
- He pronounced that the Confederate states had never seceded.
- This was in direct opposition of the views of the Radical Republicans who felt the Confederate states has seceded and should be treated as "conquered provinces".
- On April 14th, Lincoln met with his cabinet to discuss post -war rebuilding.
- Lincoln wanted to get Southern state governments in operation before congress met in December of 1865 in order to avoid persecution on southern states by Radical Republicans.
-That same night Lincoln was shot and killed in Ford's Theater by a fanatic Southern actor, James Wilkes Booth.
- Even before his death, there was conflict on who should be in charge of Reconstruction; the President, Congress or the South itself.
Under President Johnson
- Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's VP, became President after his assassination.
- Johnson, a senator from Tennessee, came from humble upbringings. His first career was as a tailor. His wife taught him to read, write and do arithmetic.
- As president he had a very rapid, lenient plan for reconstruction, which called for little change to the Constitution in terms of rights for freed slaves.
- Johnson promised the following as part of his Reconstruction plan:
-amnesty (official pardon) to most white southerns.
- return of property to white southerners
- in return Southerns only had to promise their loyalty to the US.
- Congress not in session when Johnson became president in April 1865
- Did not meet again until December 1865
- In that time southern states began to rebuild their government much as they were before the war. Some refused to ratify (confirm or approve) the 13th amendment that freed slaves.
- Johnson did nothing to stop this.
- His main goal was to readmit southern states to the Union as quickly as possible and did nothing to meet the needs of freed slaves. Johnson felt that states should have the right to address these matters on their own.
What reaction did the South have to this? Radical Republicans?
The Impact of Reconstruction
What were the effects of Congressional Reconstruction?
The End of Reconstruction
What finally led to the end of the Reconstruction?
Congress passes anti-Klan legislation
Financial Panic begins depression
Supreme court rules that the 15th amendment does not give everyone the right to vote.
Federal Troops leave the south
EFFECT: Reconstruction ends!
Lincoln assassinated; Johnson becomes president
Fourteenth Amendment - states that all people born or naturalized in the US were citizens, had the same rights, and were to be granted "equal protection of the law".
EFFECT: Former Slaves Become Citizens
Effect: Johnson pardons White Southerns
Fifteenth Amendment - stated that citizens could not be stopped from voting "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude".
EFFECT: African American Men Get to Vote
EFFECT: Southern states stop African Americans from voting.
After the Civil War ended, the nation began a process of rebuilding Southern society and the Government. This period is know as Reconstruction. Questions arose as to how to go about this process. In this unit, we will explore the following questions:
•Who would direct the process of Reconstruction? The South itself, Congress, or the President?
•Should the Confederate leaders be tried for treason?
•How would the south, both physically and economically devastated, be rebuilt? And at whose expense?
•How would the south be readmitted and reintegrated into the Union?
•What should be done with over four million freed slaves? Were they to be given land, social equality, education, and voting rights?
- Johnson was harder on Planter aristocracy.
-Wealthy planters were to write a formal letter to Johnson to beg for clemency.
- Johnson had no sympathy for the wealthy. He identified with poor whites due to his poor upbringing and wanted to protect them against wealthy plantation owners.
- Poor whites felt threatened by having to compete for work with freed slaves.
- Southerns were relieved by Johnson's Reconstruction policy.....northerners were surprised. Why?
- in 1864, Radical republicans passed the Wade-Davis Bill. It required
- that more than 50 percent of white males in each state take an "iron clad" oath of allegiance before a state could call a congressional convention:
- and that the state constitutional conventions abolish slavery.
- confederate officials or any one who "voluntarily" took arms against the united states were banned from serving in Congress.
- Lincoln vetoed the bill and this is where the issue of Reconstruction stood the night Lincoln was shot.
- Black codes were laws passed by Southern states to limit the freedoms of former slaves.
- the were simply updated versions of laws that had governed Southern states before the war. Ex of Black Codes: African Americans: 1) had to have written proof of employment. If not they could be arrested or imprisoned. 2) were forbidden to meet in unsupervised area or to carry guns. 3) public facilities were to be segregated
Lack of support for freed slaves
Congress States its intentions
- When congress met again in December 1865 they at first refused to seat the Southern representatives.
- Congress used it's Constitutional right to decide if it's members were qualified to hold office.
- It set up a committee to study conditions in the South and whether it's states should have representatives. This let Johnson know that Congress planned to play a major role in Reconstruction.
- Republicans and Democrats differed on opinions of states' rights as did Republican among themselves.
Civil Rights for African Americans
- Under pressure from Republicans, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This stated all Natural born or Naturalized citizens have equal rights (except Native Americans).
- Johnson vetoed the bill.
- 2/3 of Congress voted to override the veto and the bill became a law.
- Republicans wanted this equality to be protected under the constitution. In 1866, the 14th amendment stated that all citizens receive "equal protection of the laws".
- Johnson refused to support the 14th amendment as did every other former confederate state, except Tennessee.
- Moderate and Radical Republicans were outraged and passed the Reconstruction act of 1867 which divided the Southern states into 5 military districts.
- It stated that until these Southern states did the following that they would not be readmitted into the Union:
1) Approve NEW state constitutions given all adult men the right to vote.
2) ratify the fourteenth amendment.
What caused the failure of Presidential Reconstruction?
What were the goals of Congressional Reconstruction?
After the Reconstruction Acts were passed, Southern voters chose delegates to draft new state constitutions. The Delegate, all republicans, came from three groups:
White Republican poor farmers who were upset with the wealthy planters for starting what they referred to as a "rich man's war". Democrats called these delegates Scalawags for going along with Radical Reconstruction.
Carpetbaggers were white northerners who rushed to the South after the war. Many Southerners accused carpetbaggers of only seeking wealth and political power.
African American Delegates
About half of these delegates were free before the war. The group consisted of teachers and other skilled workers.
New Southern Governments
Johnson is Impeached
The new state constitutions gave all males the right to vote. By 1870 voters in all states approved their constitutions and as a result all states were allowed to send representatives to Congress
- During Reconstruction, almost 700 African Americans served in Southern State Legislation and 16 served as Southern US congressmen.
- Johnson fought many changes made by Radical Republicans.
-In 1867, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, which prohibited the President from firing government officials without Congressional approval.
- in February 1868, he fired his Secretary of War over a dispute over Reconstruction.
- 3 days later the House of Representatives impeached him.
- The case moved to the Senate for a trial. He won his case by one vote, keeping him in office until the election of 1868 later that year.
Protecting African American Rights
Protecting African-American Rights
- In 1868 former Union general Ulysses S. Grant won the presidency by a very large margin of 214 - 80 Electoral votes.
- Many African Americans were threatened by the Klan to not vote for Grant. Despite these threats, most former slaves braved the polls and voted for Grant.
The Fifteenth Amendment
- After Grant's win, Radical Republicans were afraid that Southern states might try to keep African Americans from voting.
- In addition, some non-Southern states were keeping African Americans from voting.
- to protect their right to vote, Radical Republicans proposed an amendment.
- In 1870 the 15th amendment giving all races and colors the right to vote.
Grant fights the Klan
in 1871, Grant asked congress to pass a tough law against the Klan after an African American congressman from South Carolina received death threats.
- Congress approved the bill and as a result thousands of Klansmen were arrested.
- As a result, the 1872 election was much more peaceful and fair in the South. Grant won a second term.
- During Grant's 2nd term. support for Republicans and pro- African American rights weakened.
- This was due to scandal in Grant's administration.
- He appointed many relatives to important government positions that were greatly unqualified.
- Many of them took bribes and it quickly became public.
- due to this many republicans broke away from the party and formed the Liberal Republican Party.
- This split in the Republican party caused them to weaken and be less able to impose tough Reconstruction in the South.
The Panic of 1873
- In 1873, political corruption and quarreling among parties gave way to more serious problems in the US.
- Several Eastern banks ran out of money due to making bad loans. As a result people got scared and started withdrawing all of their money from banks, causing banks across the US to close.
- The stock market crashed and an economic depression set in.
The depression lasted 5 years, causing 18, 000businesses to go under and leaving half a million previously workers unemployed.
- Many began to lose interest in reconstruction and were more concerned with the economy.
Scandal in the
Civil Rights Reversal
- In 1876, the US Supreme court Case US vs Reese, the Supreme court ruled in favor of white Southerns who tried to keep African Americans from voting.
- The court stated that the 15th Amendment did not give everyone the right to vote. it simply prohibited states for discriminating voting rights based on race or color.
- It stated that it did not stop states from keeping citizens from voting based on other reason..
- As a result states began imposing poll taxes and unfair literacy tests to restrict their vote.
1876 Presidential Election
Democrats chose Samuel Tilden
Republicans chose Rutherford Hayes
- The Election's result forced a compromise between the two parties.
- This happened when three key southern states (South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida) were too close to call in the election. Both sides claimed victory.
Compromise of 1877
- Due to this conflict in the election, Republicans and Democrats formed a committee to make a deal
- Under the compromise of 1877, Republican Rutherford Hayes became President, but the terms of the compromise were a blow to the Republican Reconstruction in the South.
Terms of the Compromise:
The government would remove Federal troops from the south.
- The government would provide land grants and loans for railroads linking the South to the West Coast.
- Southern officials would receive federal funds for construction and improvement projects.
- Hayes would appoint a Democrat to his cabinet.
- The Democrats promised to respect African American rights.