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Reconstruction & Southern Response

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by

Valerie Spencer

on 19 January 2017

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Transcript of Reconstruction & Southern Response

Reconstruction & Southern Response
“Strange Fruit”
Written by Abel Meeropol
(publishing as Lewis Allan)
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant south,
e bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
en the sudden smell of burning flesh.
Here is the fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bier crop.
Southern Defiance
Black Codes: designed to keep freedmen in slave like conditions
Requiring contracts
Discouraged from renting property
Couldn't own guns
Kept freedmen dependent on plantations
Ku Klux Klan: "Social Club" set on terrorist tactics to intimidate Blacks (and other minority groups)
Founded by former Confederate soldiers
Threats
Violence
Murder (Lynchings)
Congress is furious with Johnson!
Vetoed everything congress passed
Eventually bills against Black codes pass
Civil Rights Act passes
Impeach President Johnson
Violating the Tenure Office Act
(War Secretary Stanton)
Lose by 1 vote
Additional Legislative Measures
Congressional Response
13th Amendment: Ends Slavery
14th Amendment: Grants citizenship & equal protection under the law
15th Amendment: Grants suffrage to freed slaves
Changes in Government
Partners for Economic Rebirth
Scalawags: Southerners who sought help/aided the Union
Viewed as traitors in eyes of former Confederates
Carpetbaggers: Northerners who moved south to take advantage of opportunities
African Americans in Government
State Legislatures
Delegates measure from 25% to majority of representatives
Largest group of voters in South - African American Republicans
Over 700 serve during Reconstruction
Congress
16 African Americans serve
Hiram Rhodes Revels - takes MS Senate seat
(Same state Jefferson Davis had held a Senate seat)
Military Districts
Remaining Challenges
Threats at the polls to African Americans and supporters
Enforcement Acts: Handed out penalties for those denying citizens the right to vote
Land:
Johnson returns Southern property
Southern Homestead Act: set aside 45 million acres govt land for African American Families
Few had money or supplies to take advantage
Sharecropping: freedman allowed to grow and receive a "share" of crops from land owner
Tenant Farming: Could grow crops of choice
Voting: The Mississippi Plan
Collapse
Support fades:
Stevens & Sumner - dead
Apparent to both sides measures are failing
President Grant: Elected in 1869
Corruption
Credit Mobilier Scandal:
Company set to build transcontinental RR
Charged Americans $23 million "extra"
Members of Congress paid off
Whiskey Ring
Govt officials paid off to overlook liquor taxes
Election of 1876
Disputed Election
Compromise of 1877:
Hayes receives presidency
North withdraws troops from the South
New South: South returns to the way it was
Solid South: South will remain Democratic and vote as a block until 1970's
Hiram Rhodes Revels:
First African American elected to Congress
James Longstreet
Nathan Bedford Forrest
KKK - "Grand Wizard"
The Civil Rights Act of 1866: granted citizenship and the same rights enjoyed by white citizens to all male persons in the United States "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude."

Congress sets up 5 military districts
Reconstruction Acts:
Must ratify 14th amendment
Write new state constitutions
Must guarantee freedmen the right to vote
Must from governments that include African Americans
Additional laws passed regarding right to vote
Pass the Tenure of Office Act
Billie Holiday
Republican
Democrat
Full transcript