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Théa Ringelstein

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of Reconstruction


- North did not trust South
- 'New' Southern Congressmen included Confederates
- Fear that Southerners could dominate political scene
Presidential Reconstruction:
1865 - 1867
President Johnson, (Lincoln's successor), was a firm supporter of the State powers
returned property
( 7,000 by 1866)
believed States should decide how to treat their former slaves
what is it?
"refers to the actions and activities of both black and white Americans in the period immediately after the Civil War. It involved the transformation of Southern political, economic, and social institutions in a manner consistent with the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, which collectively established black freedom and equality"-http://encyclopedia.jrank.org

Professor William Dunning (early 20th c): the new gov. under black reconstruction represented the worst elements in Southern society.

Black Southerners gained some political power:
were elected to local, state and national office before 1877
2 black senators
15 black representatives elected to Congress

Problems of Reconstruction
- Basic issue of bringing the seceded states back into the Union.
- Ex-Confederate states claimed that they were never legally out of the Union.
- The Republicans claimed that they had seceded even though they originally said that they could not secede.
260,000 Confederate casualties : over 1/5 of the adult white male population of the South, left it in shock
Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery, made post-war reconstruction of Southern society inevitable
Emancipation Proclamation allowed freed slaves to join the Union Army - thousands fled North, described by General Butler as "contrabands". 37,000 African-American Union Army casualties.
No agreement over rights for former slaves
south returning to pre-war state
'Black Codes':
1865 & 1866
Restrictions upon:
ownership of property
ownership of guns
admittance to public places
parks, schools, facilities
Freedman's Bureau vetoed
Reconstruction 1865-1877
Aftermath of Emancipation and the Thirteenth Amendment, 1865
freed slaves left plantations to search for their lost family members
blacks built churches - the first institution fully run by African-Americans. Central component of their concept of freedom
escalated violence in the South as plantation owners re-established control over their newly freed workers
Identity of African Americans- Church and Education in the South
Instability after the Civil War
no longer participated in biracial congregations controlled by whites
conducted religious ceremonies, but also
housed schools
social events
political gatherings
sponsored benevolent and fraternal societies. Black ministers also came to play a major role in Reconstruction politics.
First Baptist African-American church constructed in 1948, with Rev. James Holmes preaching to nearly 4,000.
Reconstruction laid the foundation for
public schooling
in the South for both balck and white citizens.
Pre-Civil War, only N.C. in the South had a comprehensive system of education for white children. During Reconstruction, public education came to the South.
led to creation of the USA's first black colleges: Howard University in Washington, D.C. 1867, Fisk University in Tennessee 1880, and Hampton Institute in Virginia 1868.
over 3,000 schools established by African Americans
Freed people were assaulted and murdered for
attempting to leave plantations
disputing contract settlements
seeking to enter white-controlled churches
refusing to step off sidewalks to allow white pedestrians to pass.
Riots of white mobs e.g. Memphis 1866,
attacked whole black communities, with help of local police.
Symbols of freedom such as the churches (12) & schools (4) were targeted and burned, as well as private homes.
121 African-Americans killed or injured, 2 white casualties
How were they going to restore a feeling of loyalty to the Union?

How was the war-torn economy of the South going to be rebuilt?

How were newly freed slaves going to be able to practice their freedom?

Black Reconstruction
4 million slaves were freed
1870s- blacks = white
affected the South rather than North

Congressional Reconstruction
Northern whites who settled in the South
Southern whites who supported the Republican Party
to profit from the instability of the South

Areas of Reconstruction:

- Instability after the Civil War
- Presidential Reconstruction
- Response to the destruction of slavery: Identity and Violence
- Congressional Reconstruction
- Black Reconstruction
- Problems of Reconstruction
Aims of Congress
Congress at the time was not enthusiastic about black suffrage, but wanted to ensure that the basic rights of ex-slaves were protected.
Civil Rights Act
included: rich planters, merchants, industrialists or self-sufficient farm

voted Republican

opposed the confederacy

though they did not support full racial equality

- Introduced to guarantee minimal rights to blacks
- All people born in the USA are national citizens
- Asserted the right of the Federal Government to intervene in state affairs
- It became law in April 1866
The Fourteenth Amendment
- Proposed by Congress in 1866
- Embodied the Civil Rights Act
- Failed to get the approval of 75 per cent of states, necessary to become law
- Wasn't adopted until 1868
1866 Mid-Term Elections
- Provided Johnson with the opportunity to strengthen his position
- He supported the National Union Convention
- Election results were a disaster for Johnson and a triumph for the Republicans
- Republicans had a majority in Congress, meaning they now took over the Reconstruction process
Efforts to weaken
- Congress tried to get Johnson impeached
- The Republicans wanted to impeach him for 'high crimes and misdemeanors'
- One vote short of the two-thirds majority needed to impeach him
The Fifteenth Amendment
'The right to vote should not be denied on account of race, colour or previous conditions of servitude.'
Lincoln's Assasination
14th April 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shot President Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.
This came only five days after General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, ending the American Civil War.
Full transcript