According to the historian Eric Foner, what thrived in the Reconstruction South?
For what purpose was the historical meeting at Charleston Clubhouse convened on January 14, 1868? Why have some referred to this session as “America’s Second Revolution”? Will this “Second Revolution” succeed? Explain.
The newly formed Reconstruction state legislature began its 1st session to write a new state constitution.
It marked an attempt to create a genuine fair-minded interracial society and an integrated/assimilated culture.
No. The Reconstruction legislatures were toppled and replaced by “Redeemer” governments that were controlled by former Confederates and white supremacists.
Fear, intimidation, poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, gerrymandering, etc. effectively disenfranchised freedmen who were fearful for their lives and jobs.
The new era of an interracial society didn’t occur and Reconstruction failed—laws were changed and most freed persons lost their freedom.
Social harmony/equal justice didn’t exist; rather, the South became a legally segregated society (upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy vs. Ferguson).
The Old Guard in the South took back power.
Approximately how many new schools did black boys and girls in the South attend within five years after the end of the Civil War? How many new black colleges were opened within that same time period? Name for of those institutions mentioned in the article.
4,000 new schools
Nine black colleges
What was the purpose of the Civil Rights Act of 1875? What happened in 1883 when this law was challenged in the U.S. Supreme Court?
It prohibited discrimination in hotels, theaters, and amusement parks.
It sought equal and exact justice to all, regardless of race, color, or political/religious persuasion.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional.
Describe the outlook and condition of small farmers in the South in the years immediately following the Civil War.
It was a terrible time for them
Cotton prices dropped
Poor weather and bad harvests
They were sorrowful and angry over the loss of their sons in the war
They were exhausted, broke (poverty stricken) and couldn’t purchase workers, farm equipment, seeds
Most black farmers didn’t even have land
When/why was the first racially mixed jury formed in the South?
1867 to try Jefferson Davis
Why was Jefferson Davis such a hated man in 1865? What happened to Davis after the Civil War?
Southerners needed someone to blame for their defeat and he was the President of the C.S.A.
Northerners viewed him as a traitor.
Andrew Johnson believed Davis should be hanged.
After the war, Davis was imprisoned at Fort Monroe in VA, but his case never went to trial because, upon his release/bail by Radical Republicans, he jumped bail (which was paid by 2 leading Abolitionists) and fled to England.
Why was Jefferson Davis back in his home state of Mississippi in 1872?
To get his old plantation back.
Even though his Ursino plantation now belonged to Mary Virginia Montgomery (a former slave of Jefferson’s brother Joseph for 14 years), as it was purchased by her father, Benjamin Montgomery and then bequeathed to her by him upon his death, Davis was able to get it back due to the fact that Reconstruction had failed.
What was unique or exceptional about the community at Davis Bend?
It was an independent community comprised almost entirely of blacks.
Why did Joseph Davis’s sale of two of his plantations to Benjamin Montgomery have to be secret?
Because Mississippi law prohibited blacks from owning land.
What supposedly made Joseph Davis a “model slave owner” of an “ideal” plantation?
He allowed his slaves to run their own affairs, to earn money (after they did their slave work for him) and to learn to read/write.
Why couldn’t Benjamin Montgomery’s invention of a boat propeller be patented by Congress?
A U.S. Attorney ruled that slaves could not patent inventions because slaves weren’t citizens—nor could slaves assign their inventions to their owners for patenting.
What were the colored citizens of Frankfort, KY petitioning Congress for on March 25, 1871?
To protect their rights to life, liberty, property, the franchise, etc. from organized bands and the KKK.
“To enact some laws that will protect [them] and that will enable [them] to exercise the rights of citizens.”
What was sharecropping? How/why were freed persons kept under a condition/status of dependency within this system?
A new form of farming developed in the South after the Civil War in which a landowner supplied land, tools, and seed to a landless farmer who then gave the owner one third or one half of all he grew.
After they paid the landowner, the sharecroppers usually had almost nothing left for themselves.
What Greek hero was “general” Grant compared to? What label was given to Grant to suggest he wasn’t an effective President? Did he deserve either label? Explain.
General Grant was compared to Ulysses, while President Grant was referred to as “Useless”.
Grant wasn’t prepared for politics—he was too trusting of the men around him; many of whom were not trustworthy.
Corruption marred Grant’s administration.
How/why did Congressional Reconstruction end?
Most Northerners grew discouraged and left or were threatened themselves (some were lynched); same held true for those Southern whites who spoke out against the injustice or who tried to be fair.
Political corruption the nation’s attention.
Northerners were tired of hearing about the need for a just society in the South (they had their own problems including racial injustice/inequality).
Many listened when hate groups blamed immigrants and blacks for the nation’s problems.
The disputed election of 1876—Hayes promised to pull U.S. troops out of the South if he became President.
In what way(s) did the old Southern guard take power back following Reconstruction?
The Old Guard disenfranchised freedmen through fear, intimidation, poll taxes, literacy tests, grandfather clauses, gerrymandering, etc.
The Old Guard prevented blacks from receiving a decent education.
Southern blacks were dispossessed of their land(s).
Southern blacks were denied equal justice/fair trials.
What was a poll tax?
A head tax—that is, a tax you pay just because you’re a person.
Method used to deny the vote to blacks, since most blacks couldn’t afford to pay the tax.
What “idea” was born during the Civil War according to the historian, Eric Foner? Why, according to Farmer, did 1877 mark “a decisive retreat” from this idea?
The idea that a powerful nation state could/should protect the fundamental rights of American citizens (difference between negative and positive rights).
1877 marked the end of Reconstruction.
Murder/execution (usually by a mob) without due process of the law.
Policy of racial separation enacted through state and local laws (declared legal by the U.S. Supreme Court in Plessy vs Ferguson).
According to the historian, Edward L. Ayers, in The Promise of the New South, how/when did Congressional Reconstruction formally end in the following states?
In general, if/when a majority of conservative/reactionary Democrats and/or white supremacists/aristocratic planters and anti-Reconstructionists (the Old Guard) took over state governments.
North Carolina 1870
Men with guns actually made black lawmakers leave the state.
South Carolina 1876 (see # 29)
According to Ayers, when/what was Reconstruction’s “final gasp”?
1877: Congress declared victory for Democrats in contested elections in Louisiana and Florida
Who was Jim Crow?
A fictitious clown character from the North who believed in separating the races who went South following Reconstruction.
Throughout the 1830s and '40s, the white entertainer Thomas Dartmouth Rice (1808-1860) performed a popular song-and-dance act supposedly modeled after a slave. He named the character Jim Crow. Rice darkened his face, acted like a buffoon, and spoke with an exaggerated and distorted imitation of African American Vernacular English. In his Jim Crow persona, he also sang "Negro ditties" such as "Jump Jim Crow."
Rice was not the first white comic to perform in blackface, but he was the most popular of his time, touring both the United States and England. As a result of Rice's success, "Jim Crow" became a common stage persona for white comedians' blackface portrayals of African Americans.
In what way(s) did white supremacy hurt the South?
It resulted in poor leadership while limiting opportunities for all Southerners.
Most big industries and immigrants stayed away from much of the South.
Southern industry consisted of foundries, carpentry shops, and small manufactories.
Southern economy still dependent on mono-crops such as cotton and tobacco.
Wages in the South were depressed.
The South was the poorest section of the nation.
Education in the South was poor.
In what way(s) was Reconstruction successful?
It marked a big push toward civil rights and equality (“liberty and justice for all…”)
It was a first step toward creating a fair-minded interracial society in the U.S. (particularly the South).
It produced the Reconstruction Amendments.
Who was the first leading Confederate to support the idea of votes for blacks?
How/why can Wade Hampton be considered a white supremacist?
He didn’t believe in racial equality; rather, he possessed a paternalistic view toward freedpersons predicated on the idea that he had a fatherly responsibility toward freed persons.
He owned approximately 3,000 slaves.
His vision of fairness didn’t include equality.
In what way(s) did the gubernatorial victory of Wade Hampton in South Carolina in 1876 mark the end of Reconstruction in the state?
1876: In exchange for Southern acceptance of his election victory in the disputed general election as well as the Southern promise that blacks would be treated fairly, Rutherford B. Hayes pledged (upon assuming office) that he would pull federal troops out of the South.
Without these troops, D. H. Chamberlain (the Republican-backed gubernatorial candidate who contested Hampton’s election) could not control the thugs and “Redshirts,” nor could he effectively challenge Hampton’s election.
Chamberlain’s administration was ousted following Hayes’s orders to pull federal troops out of the South.
Like most Southern Democrats and former Confederates (secessionists, states’ rights advocates, white supremacists, former slaveholders, etc.), Hampton was adamantly opposed to Reconstruction.
For his part, Hampton didn’t want those who had opposed his beloved Confederacy telling him what to do.
Who were “Redshirts”?
Groups of white supremacist thugs who attempted to influence the 1876 gubernatorial and state elections in South Carolina with threats/acts of violence, terror, and intimidation.
What occurred in South Carolina in the 1890s that resulted in the disenfranchisement of blacks?
Race haters seized control of power following the gubernatorial victory of Benjamin Tillman (a bigot).
Who were “redeemers”?
Conservative Southern Democrats who were determined to bring back as much of the old South as possible.
State by state, they drove the Republicans from power.
Compare the Republican and Democratic platforms during the period of Reconstruction using a T chart.
Supported an active government to address/meet black needs and to improve conditions for freedpersons (e.g. establish welfare institutions and programs)
For empowering blacks (e.g. suffrage/holding political office)
Proponents of government support/funding of railroads, business, public schools, welfare institutions and programs, prisons, orphanages, etc.
Support higher taxes to fund the aforementioned programs and initiatives.
Determined to bring back as much of the old South as possible.
Not concerned with meeting or addressing the needs of freed persons (such welfare programs would be too costly)
Against empowering freed persons (opposed to giving freedmen the right to vote or hold political office)
Opponents of government support/funding of railroads, business, public schools, welfare institutions and programs, prisons, orphanages, etc.
Support lower taxes