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Arkansas History: Chapter 7

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Jamie Stearns

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of Arkansas History: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: Rebuilding the State;
Rebuilding the Nation

People to Know
Elisha Baxter
Joseph Brooks
Powell Clayton
Joseph C. Corbin
Augustus Garland
Ulysses S. grant
William Grey
Rutherford B. Hayes
Andrew Johnson
Isaac Murphy
Gen. Edward O.C. Ord
Charlotte Andrews Stephens
Places to Know
Little Rock
Pine Bluff

Freedmen-former slaves
crop lien-contract that allowed a planter or farmer to borrow money by agreeing to give the lender part of their crop.
sharecropper-a farmer who pays the rent on his land with a share of his crop.
carpetbagger-a northerner who to or stayed in the South after the Civil War for political or financial gain.
scalawag-southern Unionist
impeach-to formally charge a government official with improper conduct.
disenfranchise-to take away someone's voting rights or privileges.
perseverance-the ability to continue despite problems and difficulties.
segregate-to seperate people because of race or class.
Photo Analysis
Look at the photo.
What do you think this painting is about?
Describe what you think the people in the painting are thinking and feeling. Give examples.
How do you think the soldier in the middle is feeling?
Once the war was over, why do you think people continued to fight and feel angry toward one another?
Reconstruction in Arkansas
Lincoln had been working on Reconstruction plans well before the Civil War was over with.
Arkansas citizens could become part of the Union again if they had signed the "Oath of Allegiance to the Union. Their property and political rights would be restored.

Of course, many citizens refused to sign the loyalty oaths but there were still plenty of those who did sign.

Many of those in Congress did not agree with Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan. His plan for reinstating the rebellious states differed because he did not think they should suffer penalties.
Lincoln's Reconstruction
Lincoln felt that most southerners were forced into war by politically powerful slave owners.
He thought a strong government could bring the rebellious states back to their proper place with the Union.
Many disagreed and thought the Confederates should be punished for starting a war that resulted in death and suffering.
These differences caused a bitter political battle between the president and the Congress.
Unfortunately, before they could reach a compromise, Lincoln was shot on April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth.
Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction
Vice President Andrew Johnson become president after Lincoln's death.
His Reconstruction policies were very much like that of Abraham Lincoln's.
He pardoned all but the highest ranking Confederates and gave back their right to vote and run for office.
He also required southern states to ratify, or accept, the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery nationwide.
Republicans still disliked Johnson's plans as much as they did Lincoln's.
Return of the Southern Democrat
Even though General Lee surrendered in April of 1865, the Confederate forces did not surrender until late May.
Unionists were afraid that the Confederate soldiers would return to Arkansas and would openly oppose the new government.
Most voters had taken the Union loyalty oath, but the Supreme Court ruled the oath unconstitutional.
Arkansas Democrats began reorganizing and eventually won back every seat in the General Assembly.
Laws were soon passed called black codes which restricted the rights of free slaves.
By 1866, former Confederates were in positions of power once again.
A New Kind of Slavery
Slavery may have been abolished, but Democrats found a way to create a new type of slavery.
Planters who owned the land also wanted to have power over the laborers that they hired.
Because former slaves, or freedmen couldn't afford to buy their own land, they became wage laborers for white landowners. Many times this wasn't much better than slavery.
The freedmen struggled to earn enough money to become independent. Many eventually left farming and found new opportunities in Arkansas cities.
Crop Liens
One of the greatest challenges Arkansas faced during the Reconstruction was a shortage of money.
This meant that planters had to agree to give their laborers a share of the crop because there wasn't enough money to pay them.
The laborers didn't have enough money, so they had to borrow from banks or lenders.
The contracts that the landowners signed was a crop lien. Crop liens gave lenders a legal claim to a portion of the crop.
After the harvest, planters were expected to pay lenders first then their laborers. Landowners ended up with little to no money and fell deeper and deeper into debt.
Poor black and white sharecroppers, were also trapped in increasing cycles of debt.
Sharecroppers rented portions of land from planters. Sharecroppers were responsible for planting, working, and harvesting what they grew on their portion of the land. They were also required to give planters a share of the harvest as rent.
Many of these sharecroppers had liens with merchants as well. They also had little to live on after paying lenders and landowners.
The poverty and debt people endured during this time was hard to escape.
Freedmen's Bureau
Towards the end of the Civil War, Congress created an agency called the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands. Most just called it the Freedmen's Bureau. Their primary job was to protect and help freedmen, but they aided poor whites and refugees as well.
During the Reconstruction, they created schools for black children, fed the poor, and established hospitals.
Carpetbaggers and Scalawags
An unpopular group of white northerners came to Arkansas during the Reconstruction period and they were nicknamed "Carpetbaggers". Some were former Union soldiers who stayed in the south after the war ended. Many came as teachers hoping to help freed slaves adjust to their new way of life. Democrats especially disliked the carpetbaggers.

Southern Unionists, or "Scalawags", were also unpopular with Arkansas Democrats. They supported the Freedmen's Bureau and the Republican government. They were constantly threatened or intimidated. Democrats viewed them as traitors and treated them worse than the carpetbaggers.
Conflicts and Difficulties
Other problems affecting the state were drought, flood, and crop failure due to insects. Thousands were struggling to overcome poverty.
Arkansas Democrats also voted to reject the 14th Amendment, which gave citizens "full and equal benefit of the law" regardless of race. The amendment also denied high ranking Confederate officials the right to hold state or federal office.
Tennessee was the only state to adopt the amendment.
Problems between President Andrew Johnson and Congress got worse and leaders voted to impeach him.
Luckily for Johnson, one vote kept him from having to leave office.
Congressional Reconstruction
Congress took over the job of southern Reconstruction. They created Military Reconstruction Act, which divided the Confederate states into 10 districts. A military officer was placed over each district. General Edward O.C. Ord was in charge of the military district of Arkansas and Mississippi. This act required all Confederate states to write a new constitution that included the 14th amendment. Military was given the
power to conduct voter registration for qualified males or deny registration to those disloyal to the Union.
Constitutional Convention
The Arkansas's Democratic General Assembly was replaced by men who were loyal Republicans. The new constitutional delegates were carpetbaggers, scalawags, freedmen, and a few Conservative Democrats. They began drafting a new constitution that would bring Arkansas back into the Union.

Methodist Minister, Joseph Brooks believe that the state should adopt a constitution that would give equal rights to freedmen. His voice reminded people of a brindletail bull and because of this his supporters were called "Brinkdletails."
Debating Reconstruction
Would you have supported or argued Lincoln's Reconstruction Plan?
Why would you have argued the plan?
What would you propose be the new plan?
How different do you think the country would be if Lincoln hadn't been assassinated?
Crop Lien
One of the greatest challenges Arkansas faced during the Reconstruction was a shortage of money.
This meant that
planters had to agree to give their laborers a share of the crop because there wasn't enough money to pay them.
The laborers didn't have enough money, so they had to borrow from banks or lenders.
The contracts that the landowners signed was a crop lien. Crop liens gave lenders a legal claim to a portion of the crop.
After the harvest, planters were expected to pay lenders first then their laborers. Landowners ended up with little to no money and fell deeper and deeper into debt.
Constitution of 1868
Arkansas's fourth state constitution gave all eligible males the right to vote, serve on a jury, and to run for political office. The governor was given more power to appoint positions within state government and to serve a four-year term instead of a two-year term.
It also brought new privileges for Arkansas citizens, such as free public schooling and a state university.
A total of eight African American delegates represented the black communities. James Mason, a black delegate from Chicot County, went on to become a county sheriff. William Grey was another important black delegate.
Of course, some southerners were unhappy with the racial mixture of delegates. They called the gatherings the "black and tan convention".
The constitution gave the black citizens political freedom but disenfranchised or denied voting rights to high ranking Confederates.
Union Leagues
Union leagues were typically white, middle class northerners but soon southern Unionists and freedmen in Arkansas began forming their own Union Leagues. This gave them a place to discuss politics freely with others. Union Leagues and the Freedmen's Bureau helped 20,000 black citizens register to vote.
Add a Fact
Find a partner.
Come up with one statement or fact about the chapter so far.
Once everyone has written down their fact, we will share our facts. Trick to this activity is that you have to remember all of the group's facts before you too. Make sure you are paying attention!!!!
Powell Clayton
Powell became one of the youngest governors of Arkansas at the age of 34. He came to Arkansas as a Union Calvary officer during the Civil War. He fought at the battles of Wilson's Creek, Helena, Pine Bluff, and in the campaign to capture Little Rock.
Clayton and other Republicans planned to make important changes in Arkansas.
He hoped to create a strong Republican party, uphold equal rights for the black population, and stop violent acts across the state.
They also wanted to build levees, construct railroads, and encourage immigration.
Violence in Arkansas
After Clayton was elected, violence across the state began to increase.
Clayton's speeches were interrupted and he was followed on the street.
Southern Democrats were not allowed to participate in Arkansas politics and this cause hateful and violent acts across the state. A secret society in Pulaski, Tennessee, formed called the Klu Klux Klan (KKK).

They promoted the rights of whites over the blacks. They would harrass and cause fear in the hearts of freedmen, carpetbaggers, and scalawags.

Before long, the Klu Klux Klan was all over Arkansas. Hooded KKK members intimidated black voters, hindered Republican elections, and disrupted state and local governments.
Klu Klux Klan Then and
The Militia War
As the election of 1868 approached, men were being shot cold for refusing to support the Democratic candidates while others were whipped or told that they would be killed if they showed up to vote. Clayton requested federal help, but his request was denied.

Violence in the state erupted again when formed Union general, Ulysses S. Grant was elected president. Governor Clayton declared martial law in 10 Arkansas counties and eventually adding four more to restore order across the state.
Many of the militiamen committed crimes of their own by intimidating women and children, taking food and livestock, and plundering homes and businesses.
These men weren't in uniform, so it was hard to determine who they were.
Citizens were able to restore law and order, arrested Klansman, and chased law breakers from the state. The Republicans and Freedmen's Bureau were blamed by the Arkansans for these abuse.
Think about how politics has changed or not changed since the days of Reconstruction.
Compare today's Republicans and Democrats to those during the Reconstruction. You can use your notes and your electronic device. Are their ideals the same as before? What Have they improved, gotten worse, or statyed the same?
Republicans in Trouble
Republicans were also growing tired of problems surround the militia war and Governor Clayton's policies.
A new group was formed called the Liberal Republicans. They hoped to end corruption, lift voting restrictions for Confederate supporters and weaken the powers of the governor. They were anxious to rid the state of Governor Clayton.

Lt. Governor James Johnson become one of the early leaders of the Liberal Republicans. He wanted to have Governor Clayton impeached because Clayton would not let Johnson take over as governor once Clayton was appointed to a U.S. Senate seat.

The next Arkansas governor was Ozra Hadley, the Senate president and a loyal Clayton supporter.
The Brooks- Baxter War
By 1872, Republicans weren't interested in supporting Orza Hadley and decided to switch their support to Elisha Baxter. Liberal Republicans chose Joseph Brooks as their candidate.
On election day, suspicious voting results from several counties were thrown out.
lisha Baxter was declared the winner and during his acceptance speech, he promised "an immediate enfranchisement of those person who are now denied a voice in the selection of their rulers."
Baxter gave important government positions to people from all parties, including Democrats. They also won every available seat in legislature.
Baxter also began cutting government funding for railroads and Republicans began backing Joseph Brooks instead.
A judge proclaimed Brooks the rightful governor of Arkansas. He and his supporters marched into the State House to remove Baxter.
Supporters for both sides poured into the streets ready to fight. Cannons and crates of weapons were brought in. Tension was so high that people were afraid a war would break out.
5o men were killed in skirmishes around the state.
A Call for Help
An entire month of violence passed before President Ulysses S. Grant stepped in to help. In a telegram, he told citizens he support Governor Baxter. Grant appointed Brooks postmaster of Little Rock. When Brooks accepted, the fighting stopped.
The Convention of 1874
By 1874, Republicans were realizing that the government was falling into the hands of the Democrats. Confederate voting restrictions had been lifted and Democrats were calling for a new state convention, where the fifth constitution would be written. Democrats soon controlled more than 75 percent of the state's legislative seats and the convention.
The new draft provided civil rights for all Arkansas citizens but it also changed nearly every Republic policy. It weakened the powers of the governor, returned the governor's term to two years and the ability the state's ability to tax citizens.
Once again, the state was in control of men from pre- Civil War.
Redeemer Democrats
Democrats who returned to power saw themselves as "Redeemers". They believed their goal was to redeem the South from the violence and corruption of the Reconstruction era. Augustus H. Garland was one of these men.
Garland had been a lawyer and Whig politician before the Civil War and also opposed secession. When Lincoln requested troops to the battle of Fort Sumter, Garland chose to fight with the Confederates.
Garland later becomes the 11th governor of Arkansas and the first Democrat to be elected since the Reconstruction.
With Democrats in control, Reconstruction was over.
Compromise of 1877
The presidential election of 1876 brought a lot of conflict and corruption and leaders were unsure of how to resolve the issue. Democratic candidate Samuel J. Tilden had more electoral votes than Republican Rutherford B. Hayes but electoral college votes were in dispute from four states. Both parties were claiming victory
. Congress appointed a committee to investigate the dispute.
hree months later a compromise was proposed. The total electoral votes would be given to Hayes
but there had to be a total withdraw of US troops from the South.
The deal known as the Compromise of 1877 formally ended Reconstruction but it didn't end the problems in the south.
The Reconstruction Legacy
Despite the violence, corruption and lost opportunities of the Reconstruction in Arkansas, many positive things were accomplished across the state.
Changes were made to education; public schools for both black and white students were started. Religious groups like the Quakers started more than 50 schools for black children. By 1870, more than 600 new schools had been established.

The first university of Arkansas was established. It was called the Arkansas Industrial University known today as the University of Arkansas.
Republican leaders worked to strengthen the state economy by expanding railroads, building levees, and creating a system to pay off debt.
African Americans still battled poverty, abuse, and discrimination.
Charlotte Andrews Stephens
She was born a slave in Little Rock.
During the Reconstruction, at 15 years old Charlotte was hired as the first black teacher at the Union School in Little Rock.
** Video on Carpetbaggers
Full transcript