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Civil War Reconstruction

7th Grade US History Class

Geoff Cleveland

on 20 February 2018

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Transcript of Civil War Reconstruction

Imagine: You are a young soldier who has been fighting in the Civil War for many months. Now that the war is over, you are on your way home. During your journey, you pass plantation manor homes, houses and barns that have been burned down. No one is doing spring planting in the fields. As you near your family's farm, you see that fences and sheds have been destroyed. You wonder what is left of your home and family
"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace...."
- Abraham Lincoln
Second Inaugural Address
Offered the South a pardon for all illegal acts in supporting the rebellion
To receive a pardon, Southerners had to do two things
Swear an oath of loyalty to the United States
Had to agree that slavery was illegal
Once 10% of voters in the Southern State made these pledges, then the state could be readmitted to the Union
"The people of the North are not such fools as to... turn around and say to the traitors, 'all you have to do is...take an oath that henceforth you will be true to the Government.'"
The Wade-Davis Bill
50% of voters would have to sign a loyalty oath before a state could return to the Union
Anyone who voluntarily fought for the Confederacy was barred from voting for political representatives.
March 1865: With direction from Abraham Lincoln; Congress creates the Freedmen's Bureau to provide emergency relief to people displaced by the war
Heavy emphasis put on education for African Americans
With a limited budget; 900 agents helped distribute food to the poor, provide education, assist in legal matters, and help African American War Veterans gain employment
1869: More than 150,000 African Americans attended school
Slavery Ends
13th Amendment
January 31, 1865: Lincoln and Congress propose the 13th Amendment (adopted December 6, 1865)
The amendment made slavery and forced labor illegal throughout the United States
Vice President Andrew Johnson is sworn in as President after Lincoln is assassinated
Johnson's Plan
Each state had to ratify the 13th Amendment
Each state had to declare that secession was illegal
However; Southern States could organize their own state governments which saw many former Confederate leaders elected as representatives and senators
Under the Presidency of Andrew Johnson, Southern States started to implement BLACK CODES
Black Codes were laws the limited the freedom of African Americans
African Americans could not vote or serve on juries
If unable to pay a fine, African Americans might be hired out by the Sheriff to any white person who paid the fine
African Americans could not own guns
They were not allowed to rent property outside of major cities
Required to sign work contracts and if found unemployed they were arrested and forced to work one year without pay
14th Amendment
Despite opposition by President Johnson, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 (later to become the 14th Amendment)
1. It defined all people born or naturalized within the United States, except Native Americans, as citizens
2. It guaranteed citizens the equal protection of the laws
3. It said that states could not "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law"
4. It banned many former Confederate officials from holding state or federal offices.
5. It made state laws subject to federal court review
6. It gave Congress the power to pass any laws needed to enforce it
1867: Reconstruction Act
Congress votes in the Reconstruction Act of 1867 to remove all Southern State Governments that refuse to ratify the 14th Amendment
Congress sends troops to make sure that each state writes a new Constitution and allows African Americans to Vote


15th Amendment
1869: It barred all states from denying African American males the right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
1866: A group of white southerners in Tennessee created the Ku Klux Klan
This secret society opposed civil rights for African Americans
The Klan used terror against African Americans
whip, shoot, torture, or hang African American voters
African Americans Lose Rights
Southern States introduce voting laws
Poll tax to be paid before a person could vote
A literacy test required African Americans to read a part of the Constitution and explain it
Grandfather Clause: Allowed people to avoid the literacy test if his father or grandfather had been eligible to vote on January 1, 1867
Jim Crow Laws
Enforced separation of races
1896 Plessy v. Ferguson: Segregation is allowed if "separate but equal" facilities are provided.
Sharecropping: The Cycle of Poverty
A sharecropper is a laborer who works the land for the farmer who owns it, in exchange for a share of the value of the crop
1. Planting the Crop
Landowners give the sharecropper land, seed, and tools in exchange for a share in the crop. Sharecroppers buy goods and supplies from the landowner on credit
2. Harvesting the Crop and Settling Accounts
The Sharecropper gives the landowner his crop. Landowner sells it and gives the tenant his share, minus the amount owed at the company store
3. Cycle of Debt
After a year of hard work, the sharecroppers often owed more than they had earned and had no choice but to offer the landlord a greater percentage of next year's crop
There was much opposition to educating African Americans...especially educating them for free
The Bureau was able to distribute 15 million rations to African Americans and open 3,000 schools including some universities
They firmly believe in White Supremacy and White Nationalism
Comes from the Greek language and means "circle"
So a "circle" or band of brothers

Segregation applied to public schools, public places, and public transportation
Segregation applied to restaurants, restrooms, and drinking fountains as well
Workplaces also practiced segregation when hiring
"Black" Schools were underfunded
Full transcript