American history I: final exam review



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The Thirteenth Amendment (Ratified Dec. 6, 1865)

  • Officially ended slavery throughout the United States

  • Ratification of the 13th Amendment became one of the requirements for Confederate states to be readmitted to the Union

  • Black Codes

  • Southern states began passing laws to limit the rights of the newly freed African-Americans

  • Blacks were required to enter into annual labor contracts with white landowners

  • Black children were forced to enter into apprenticeships

  • Blacks were required to buy special licenses to work in non-agricultural jobs

  • Blacks could not meet together after sunset, own weapons, or live inside town limits

  • Blacks convicted of vagrancy could be imprisoned and “rented out” as laborers to landowners

  • Johnson’s “Restoration” Plan

  • Sometimes called “Presidential Reconstruction”

  • Pardoned all former citizens of the CSA who took an oath of loyalty, EXCEPT former Confederate government officials, military officers, and those with property worth more than $20,000; excluded individuals could still apply directly to the President for pardons

  • Required Confederate states to ratify the 13th Amendment and reject all Confederate debts to be readmitted to the Union

  • Johnson put his plan into action while Congress was out of session for the summer

  • Fallout from Johnson’s Action

  • Southern states rapidly met the terms of Johnson’s plan and began to return their previous senators and congressmen to seats in Congress

  • Congress, however, rejected these states’ readmission (except for Tennessee, which had become strongly Republican) and refused to seat their congressmen

  • The Radical Republicans quickly moved to take Reconstruction out of the President Johnson’s control

  • Radical Republicans’ Response

  • “Congressional Reconstruction”

  • Created the Congressional Joint Committee on Reconstruction to oversee the readmission of Southern states to the Union

  • To ensure Republican control of Southern governments, they moved to give African-Americans full citizenship rights, including suffrage

  • Required that a majority of a state’s population swear allegiance to the U.S. before readmission

  • Military Reconstruction

  • In March 1867, Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act

  • The act divided the South into 5 military districts, each to be administered under martial law by a Union general backed by Union soldiers

  • The act also required all Southern states to write a new constitution and ratify the 13th AND (newly proposed) 14th Amendments before they could apply for re-entry into the Union

  • Civil Rights Act of 1866

  • Awarded citizenship rights to all persons born in the U.S. (except Native Americans)

  • This meant that freedmen could now own property and file cases in federal court

  • The Act also gave the federal government the authority to take legal action against anyone who violated those rights

  • Vetoed by Pres. Johnson, but Congress overrode the veto

  • Congress worried that the Supreme Court might declare the law unconstitutional

  • The Fourteenth Amendment

  • To protect the Civil Rights Act from the Court, Congress decided to transform it into a Constitutional Amendment

  • Made all persons born in the U.S. into citizens, with all the protections of the Constitution

  • Banned Confederate officials and officers from holding public office

  • Canceled any debts owed by the Confederate government

  • Ratified by the states in 1868

  • Texas v. White (1869)

  • Supreme Court under Chief Justice Salmon Chase ruled that the secession of the Southern states had been unconstitutional, so any debts incurred by the Confederacy were illegitimate and did not have to be paid back

  • The ruling also clarified the supremacy of the federal government over state governments and makes any future attempts at secession illegal

  • U.S. Purchases Alaska (1867)

  • Sec. of State William Seward completed the purchase of Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, pushing another European power out of North America

  • Critics questioned the purchase, mocking it as “Seward’s Folly” or “Seward’s Icebox,” but after the discovery of gold in the 1890s (and later oil in the 20th century) it became apparent that Seward had made a great decision

  • Johnson’s Fading Power

  • Johnson saw his authority as president slipping away as Congress took control of Reconstruction

  • He was also a Democratic president stuck with a Republican cabinet of Lincoln’s choosing, many of whom were openly working with the Radical Republicans in Congress against Johnson

  • Johnson Fights Back

  • Johnson tried to fire Sec. of War Edwin Stanton who was friendly with the Radical Republicans

  • Johnson’s action violated the recently passed Tenure in Office Act, which required Congressional approval to fire any public official whose appointment is subject to approval by Congress

  • Radical Republican Congress had passed the Act specifically to prevent Johnson from firing their allies in the executive branch

  • Johnson Impeached

  • In 1868, The House of Representatives voted to impeach (charge with a crime) Johnson for violating the Tenure in Office Act

  • Per constitutional law, Johnson was put on trial in the Senate, but ultimately escaped conviction by 1 vote after pledging to moderate Republicans that he would no longer resist Congress’ control of reconstruction

  • Johnson’s Presidency Ends

  • Even though he had survived impeachment, Johnson’s presidency was over – the Democratic Party refused to nominate him as their presidential candidate in 1868 and he left office after completing the term Abraham Lincoln had been elected to in 1864

  • The Presidency of Ulysses Grant (Republican, 1869 – 77)

  • Won election easily, despite having no political experience

  • Extremely popular president but reputation tarnished by the many scandals in his administration

  • The Fifteenth Amendment (Ratified in Feb. 1870)

  • The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

  • Carpetbaggers & Scalawags

  • Carpetbaggers = Northerners who moved into the South during Reconstruction, either to help or to take advantage of new opportunities

  • Scalawags = Southerners who supported the Republican Party and Reconstruction

  • Both groups were very unpopular in the South

  • African-Americans in Politics

  • “Black Republicans”: many were educated blacks from the North who went South and ran for political office

  • Thousands of freedmen took government jobs

  • 16 would serve in Congress during the Reconstruction Era

  • Reforms help African-Americans

  • Black Codes repealed

  • Built state hospitals, orphanages, mental institutions

  • Rebuilt roads, railroads, bridges

  • Built public schools – 200,000+ freedmen attended and attendance rates for black children was 40% (High for time)

  • Paid for through high property taxes

  • Increasing Racial Violence in South

  • Many Southern whites resented the Republican governments and the newly won rights of the freed slaves

  • Struck out violently, but usually anonymously, by burning houses, schools, and churches and by lynching black leaders and white carpetbaggers and scalawags

  • Ku Klux Klan (Founded in 1866)

  • Original goal was to drive out carpetbaggers and restore control of state governments to the Democratic Party

  • Grew to terrorize African-Americans because of their support for the Republican governments

  • Engaged in acts of terror, including lynchings (illegal hangings)

  • The Enforcement Acts

  • 3 Congressional Acts

  • 1) Made it a federal crime to interfere with a citizen’s right to vote

  • 2) Placed federal elections under the supervision of federal marshals

  • 3) The Ku Klux Klan Act: outlawed the activities of the KKK and similar groups – led to 3000+ arrests, but only 600 convictions

  • Grant’s Troubled Presidency

  • Split in Republican Party over taxes and spending

  • Scandals in customs collection, postal contracts, and with Grant’s Secretaries of the Interior, War, & Navy as well as his Attorney General and personal secretary

  • The Whiskey Ring: over 100 members of Grant’s administration were taking part in a scheme to steal millions of dollars in taxes on whiskey; although not personally involved, Grant interfered in the investigation and trials to protect his friends

  • Panic of 1873

  • Bad investments caused the collapse of one of US’ biggest private banks

  • This triggered the failure of smaller banks and thousands of small businesses, putting many out of work

  • This plus scandals destroyed Grant’s popularity and hopes for a third term as president

  • Election of 1876

  • Democrats nominated Samuel Tilden, a “law-and-order” former governor of NY

  • Republicans declined to run Grant again and instead ran Rutherford B. Hayes, governor of Ohio

  • Election was so close that Congress had to decide who was president

  • Compromise of 1877

  • Supposedly, Southern Democrats pledged to support Hayes as president if the Republicans promised to remove federal troops from the South and end Reconstruction

  • No “formal” agreement was ever recorded, but once Hayes took office, Reconstruction was ended!

  • The Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes (Republican, 1877-81)

  • Reconstruction Ends

  • With the withdrawal of federal troops and the final readmission of all former Confederate states, the South was once again free to begin discriminating against the freedmen

  • The “New South”

  • The idea that the South needed to abandon its reliance on cash crops like cotton and tobacco and industrialize

  • New railroads were built

  • Steel industry, cotton mills, and cigarette factories all opened

  • Still, most Southerners remained in farming

  • Sharecropping & Tenant Farming

  • Tenant farmer: rented land from a large landholder for a set cash fee

  • Sharecropper: rented land from a large landholder for a percentage of their crop

  • Both systems kept most blacks and many poor whites deeply in debt and with no hope of ever owning their own land

  • Jim Crow” Laws

  • Laws designed to prevent freedmen from voting:

  • Literacy tests – must be able to read to vote

  • Poll taxes – must pay a fee to vote

  • Grandfather clauses – can’t vote unless your grandfather was eligible to vote

  • The “Solid South”

  • Southern states would continue to vote – and vote Democrat -as a block in presidential elections for decades to come, blocking Republican initiatives for reform

  • Settling the West

  • How Did Settlers Move West?

  • Wagon Trails

  • Oregon Trail: Missouri to Oregon

  • California Trail: Missouri to Northern California

  • Santa Fe Trail: Missouri to New Mexico

  • Mormon Trail: Missouri to Salt Lake City, Utah and then on to Los Angeles, California

  • Bozeman Trail: Missouri to Montana

  • Wagon Trains

  • Usually, groups of settlers hired professional trail guides, but sometimes they simply followed guidebooks and maps

  • Groups were usually made up of about 20-40 wagons per “train”

  • Wagons covered about 15 miles/day for 5-6 months

  • Wagons were circled at night to corral animals, not for protection against Indian attacks

  • Attacks by Native Americans were rare; more trade took place than fighting

  • Trains had to get through mountains before the first snow, or else … disaster

  • The Donner Party

  • 87 settlers, including children

  • Donner and his companions decided to take a new, untested route to California through the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but became trapped by winter snows

  • After eating all of their supplies and animals, 39 members of the party starved to death; the rest resorted to cannibalism – eating their dead friends and family to survive

  • Yankee Clippers

  • Those with more money, or with large shipments of cargo, could take a quicker, but still risky, trip by sea to California

  • Yankee Clippers traveled around the southern tip of South America, and had to navigate rough seas and stormy weather; many were lost at sea

  • Why Did Settlers Move West?

  • Religion: The Mormons

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  • Started in New York, but were the victims of persecution over their religious practices, including polygamy (allowing men to have multiple wives)

  • The group moved to Ohio, then Missouri, then Illinois, where founder Joseph Smith was murdered in 1844

  • The Mormons finally settled near the Great Salt Lake in Utah (which they called Deseret) in 1847

  • Brigham Young (1801 – 1877)

  • President of the Mormon church from 1847 -1877

  • Led the Mormons west to Utah to escape persecution

  • Founded Salt Lake City, Utah as the Mormon capital; later served as Utah’s first territorial governor, until federal troops removed him in 1858 following the Utah War (Pres. James Buchanan believed the Mormons were plotting a rebellion against the U.S.)

  • Mining

  • Colorado – Silver (over $1 billion, led to development of Denver as a major city)

  • The Dakotas – gold in the Black Hills

  • Montana – copper

  • Mining created “boom and bust” cycles where towns would be built in a short period of time and then abandoned (ghost towns) when the mines were exhausted

  • Gold Rushes

  • California in 1849

  • Pikes Peak, Colorado in 1858

  • Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in the 1860s

  • Gold rushes triggered surges of settlers (mostly men) looking to get rich quick

  • 49ers & Sutter’s Mill

  • After the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill, over 300,000 gold-seekers called “49ers” flooded into California

  • This led to the rise of San Francisco as a major city, but also to tensions with Native American tribes and to environmental damage

  • The Comstock Lode

  • Major silver vein discovered by Henry Comstock in 1859

  • Virginia City, NV went from zero to a population of 30,000 then crashed when the lode ran out in 1898 (today, pop. = only about 1500 people)

  • Comstock himself traded away his fortune (he sold his stake in the $1 billion+ mine for just $11,000) and later committed suicide

  • Land: The Great Plains

  • The Great Plains were explored by Major Stephen Long in 1819, who described the area as the “Great American Desert”

  • With no wood and no water, many believed that the area was useless for settlement and farming – but some still tried to make it work

  • Life on the Great Plains was difficult

  • No trees for wood, so houses were built from sod – bricks of tough grass and dirt; settlers also burned sod and dried dung for heat and cooking

  • With little surface water available, settlers had to drill deep wells (300 ft+)

  • Temperatures: Summer = 100° +, winter = 0° or less

  • Prairie fires, swarms of grasshoppers, tornadoes, blizzards, thunderstorms – all were obstacles to overcome

  • The Pre-emption Acts

  • Many settlers who went west just picked a spot and built a farm – they did not have any legal claim to the land; this is called “squatting.”

  • The Pre-emption Acts protected squatters by guaranteeing them the right to claim land before it was surveyed by the U.S. government (who technically owned all public land) and buy up to 160 acres for $1.25/acre

  • The Homestead Act (Passed in 1862)

  • A $10 fee laid claim to 160 acres of public land, but the occupant only received title after living there for 5 years

  • Anyone could file a claim, (except former Confederate soldiers), so immigrants and freed slaves began to flood the west

  • In total, over 1.6 million homesteads were awarded

  • The Morrill Land-Grant Act (Passed in 1862)

  • All states were awarded 30,000 acres of federal land for each member of the state’s Congressional delegation

  • States could use or sell that land to fund the creation of colleges which would teach agricultural and military skills

  • Colleges started under the Morrill Act include Auburn, UConn, Florida, Georgia, Purdue, Iowa St., Kansas St., Kentucky, LSU, Maryland, MIT, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio St., Penn St., Clemson, Tennessee, Va. Tech, & NCSU

  • The Oklahoma Land Rush

  • As available land in the west began to disappear, pressure built to open the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to land-hungry settlers

  • In 1889, Congress agreed to open the Territory

  • April 22, 1889: Thousands gathered on the border to race to claim a share of 2 million acres; some (called “Sooners”) snuck into the territory early to lay claim to the best land

  • Ranching

  • Spanish had introduced cattle to the region in the 1600s; herds had been left to roam free and had evolved into the tough, lean Texas Longhorns

  • Most cattle ranching took place in New Mexico & Texas

  • Early ranchers took advantage of the Open Range , the vast open grasslands of the Great Plains owned by the government

  • During the Civil War, beef prices soared due to a kill off of Eastern cattle to feed troops

  • Railroads built in the 1860s allowed more western cattle to be moved east to meet beef demands

  • Cattle were driven north out of Texas to railheads in Abilene & Dodge City, KS and Sedalia, MO using routes such as the Chisholm Trail

  • Cowboys were a mix of former Confederate soldiers, Hispanics, and freed slaves

  • Opportunity: Women

  • Women were heavily outnumbered by men, so they had greater opportunities

  • Women could own property & businesses, became influential community leaders

  • Most were farmwives, some worked as cooks or laundresses, still others worked at “hurdy-gurdy” houses (brothels)

  • A few were even adventurers, such as Annie Oakley and Calamity Jane Burke

  • Opportunity: Immigrants

  • Thousands of Irish immigrants flooded the Midwest in the 1840s through the 1870s

  • Thousands of Chinese immigrants arrived in California to escape civil war at home and seek job opportunities

  • Both groups would play a key role in building the West’s railroads

  • Opportunity: African-Americans

  • Played a major role in the development of the West

  • Worked on the railroads

  • Worked as cowboys

  • Settled in as farmers

  • Served as soldiers in the Indian Wars

  • Buffalo soldiers”

  • 4 all-black regiments of the US Army created in 1866 to serve in the West

  • Nicknamed “buffalo soldiers” by the Native Americans they fought against for their dark, curly hair and fierce fighting ability, both of which reminded Indians of the buffalo

  • The Indian Wars

  • 1st Treaty of Fort Laramie

  • In 1851, eight Native American groups agreed to specific limited geographic boundaries in return for the U.S. government promising to honor those boundaries forever

  • Settlers Move Into the Great Plains

  • Settlers, however, ignored the treaties and the federal government had no way to enforce the boundaries

  • The Plains Indians were slowly forced to move further west of the Mississippi, while settlers in California and Oregon began pushing the West Coast tribes back towards the east

  • Natives began to be deprived of their hunting grounds

  • Occasionally, Indian groups would resist or retaliate against settlers

  • The Buffalo

  • The Plains Indians relied on the buffalo as their primary source of food, clothing, & shelter

  • As more settlers entered the plains, the buffalo began to disappear

  • Settlers killed the animals to protect their crops

  • Professional hunters killed many for their hides which were used for both clothing and industrial purposes

  • Sport hunters killed many just for entertainment

  • Railroad companies hired sharpshooters to kill buffalo to keep them from blocking or damaging the tracks

  • The U.S. Army killed many to deprive the Indians of food, forcing the Natives onto government reservations

  • Dakota Sioux Uprising

  • The Dakota Sioux had agreed to stay on a reservation in Minnesota; in return, the government had agreed to make annual payments to the Indians on the reservation

  • Corrupt traders and reservation officials, however, often cheated the Indians out of their annuities

  • In 1862, Congress delayed paying the annuities due to the Civil War, resulting in widespread hunger among the Dakota Sioux

  • Chief Little Crow asked the traders to sell the Sioux food on credit until the annuities were paid by the government

  • The traders refused; one replied “let them eat grass or their own dung”

  • In desperation, the Sioux took up arms

  • Little Crow tried to limit the violence, but angry Indians killed hundreds of white settlers before federal troops arrived

  • Military courts sentenced 307 Dakota Sioux to death for their roles in the uprising, but President Lincoln later reduced the number to just 38

  • Outraged, many of the Sioux left Minnesota and took refuge in the unsettled Dakota Territory

  • Sand Creek Massacre (1864)

  • The government forced the Cheyenne Indians to surrender territory, violating the 1st Treaty of Ft. Laramie

  • The Cheyenne retaliated by attacking settlements in Colorado

  • Colorado’s governor ordered the Cheyenne to surrender or face serious consequences

  • Cheyenne under Chief Black Kettle arrived at Ft. Lyon to negotiate a peace treaty

  • U.S. forces attacked the unsuspecting Cheyenne at Sand Creek, killing about 270, including women and children in retaliation for the Cheyenne’s earlier attacks on settlers
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