Reconstruction- ss5H2 The student will analyze the effects of Reconstruction on American life. Vocabulary



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Reconstruction Study Guide Answer Key
Reconstruction- SS5H2 The student will analyze the effects of Reconstruction on American life.
Vocabulary:

  1. Reconstruction (p. 196) – The time period after the Civil War during which the South rejoined the Union, 1865-1877

  2. freedmen – former slaves who had been freed by the 13th amendment

  3. Radical Republicans – Senators and Representatives who wanted to protect the rights of African Americans, part of Congress

  4. Freedmen’s Bureau – provided food, clothing, shelter and medical care to the former slaves and poor whites. They set up hospitals and schools and found jobs for many.

  5. amendment – an addition or change to the Constitution

  6. Jim Crow Laws – forced the separation of races passed in the Southern states

  7. subversive –trying to undermine the efforts of others

  8. resistance – acts that resist, or go against, the efforts of others

  9. Klu Klux Klan – a secret organization that threatened, beat, and even killed African Americans to keep them “in their place”. They even attacked people who helped African Americans. In 1871, African Americans asked for protection from this group.

  10. political-related to politics or the workings of the government

  11. pardon-“forgiveness” from a criminal act

  12. region – an area that shares common physical and economic features, like the South or North

  13. plantation – the farmland owned by an owner and worked by slaves

  14. sharecropping – the type of farming system set up on plantations after slaves were freed. It kept the landowner rich and the sharecroppers poor because they were always in debt to the landowner.

  15. agriculture - farming

  16. carpetbagger – A person from the North that came to the South during Reconstruction trying to help, often accused of trying to make money off the Southland.

  17. scalawag –Southerners who supported Northern and Republican viewpoints during Reconstruction.

  18. economy – the system that is used to make money/earn a living

  19. urbanization – movement away from agriculture (farming) to industry (factories/city life)

  20. Black Codes –

  21. Transcontinental railroad – made traveling and shipping faster and easier. It linked California to places east of the Mississippi River.

  22. Exodusters – African American settlers

  23. Sodbusters – Great Plain farmers



Study Questions:

  1. What were the different goals/aims for Reconstruction?

    1. Abraham Lincoln (p. 197) – Preserve the Union and end the Civil War as quickly as possible. He promised an easy Reconstruction in order to persuade southern states to surrender. Lincoln promised that if 10% of the people of a state would pledge their allegiance to the United States of America and ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, they could form a new state government, elect representatives to Congress and fully participate in the Union again.

    2. Andrew JohnsonWhen Vice President Andrew Johnson became president he continued Lincoln’s basic policy. However, Johnson’s aim was also to humiliate the southern elite. He required southerners who owned large amounts of property to ask for a presidential pardon. Johnson wanted the elite southerners to acknowledge his power, but he granted pardons easily. While Congress was not in session, Johnson allowed southern states to form new state governments.

    3. Congress (Radical Republicans) (p. 197) – Ensure that the Civil War had not been fought in vain and that the freed slaves would indeed be free. They refused to allow the former Confederates elected as senators and representatives by the southern states to take their seats in Congress. They passed a bill extending the Freedman’s Bureau so that it could continue to protect the rights of the freedman against the Black Codes.

    4. African Americans (freedmen)Reunite with their families and enjoy the freedom that had been denied to them for so long under slavery. Many left their plantations, but most soon returned to the land that they knew. They married and established strong communities in the South. African Americans formed their own churches where they could worship freely. Many African Americans sought an education in the freedom schools they or others had established. Some established businesses. They voted and held elective office during Reconstruction.

    5. SouthernersBring an end to the war, but they did not want their society to change. They were willing to recognize the end of slavery, but were not willing to grant rights to the freedmen. Southern states passed laws known as Black Codes that replaced the slave codes and kept the freedmen in positions of social, political and economic inferiority. Southerners used violence and threats to intimidate their former slaves. Southerners also elected former Confederates to Congress.




  1. How did Lincoln’s assassination affect his original plans for Reconstruction? (p. 197)

The rights of the freed slaves were not as protected. Black Codes were allowed by Johnson and would not have been allowed by Lincoln. Southern states were allowed to form new state governments without pledging allegiance to the union or enforcing the 13th amendment.

  1. What rights were given by the following amendments? (p. 200)

    1. 13th- outlawed slavery

    2. 14th- granted former slaves citizenship and said all citizens must be treated equally

    3. 15th- gave African American MEN the right to vote

*Remember FREED CITIZENS CAN VOTE!

  1. How did Southern governments try to limit the rights given by the new amendments? Be specific. (p. 198, 208)

They made laws called the Black Codes that limited the rights of African Americans to vote by implementing poll taxes and literacy tests, own land, travel, etc.

  1. What other resistance did African-Americans face after the amendments were passed?

Intimidation and violence by subversive groups such as the KKK, lynchings/hangings, keep African-Americans “in their place,” after Reconstruction ended, Jim Crow laws were put into place to keep the races socially separate (segregated).

  1. What was the purpose of the Freedmen’s Bureau, and who did it help? (p. 198)

They gave former slaves and poor whites food, clothing, medical care, education and schools, and some protection from the hostile white environment in the South. They helped freedmen find jobs.

  1. How did Reconstruction affect the Plantation System? (p. 207)

The Plantation system was ruined. Plantation owners no longer had slaves to work their plantations, so they divided up their plantations into shares and began letting sharecroppers farm their land.

  1. How did Reconstruction cause more urbanization (movement from farms to factories)? (p. 202-203)

Because the Plantation system was ruined by the war, and the demand for cotton decreased, more people started seeking jobs elsewhere. Slowly, factories began opening up in the South, and people also moved to the North to find jobs in factories.

  1. How did Reconstruction affect the following populations?

    1. Former Plantation Ownersset up systems of sharecropping

    2. Poor White People became sharecroppers, or some got land from the Freedmen’s Bureau; many also moved to the north and the west, and they were given a political voice.

    3. Former Slaves became sharecroppers, or some got land from the Freedmen’s Bureau; many also moved to the north and the west




  1. How did the end of Reconstruction affect the lives of African-Americans?

Subversive groups rose to power because the Federal troops left the South. Jim Crow laws kept African Americans segregated, socially inferior, from voting, economically poor by the sharecropping system, and they were denied opportunities to own land.


  1. Why did Congress go to trial to have Andrew Johnson impeached?

Johnson refused to carry out the laws that protected the rights of African Americans (former slaves). He allowed Black Codes and Jim Crow laws to exist.


  1. How was sharecropping similar to slavery?

Sharecroppers were kept poor and in debt to the land owners.


  1. What did the court case Plessy V. Ferguson establish?

States could allow separate accommodations on trains, in schools, and other public places as long as they were equal. Upheld the doctrine, separate but equal.


  1. African Americans asked Congress for protection against what group? Why?

KKK. They used fear and violence to prevent them from exercising their rights.


  1. What was the transcontinental railroad? What organization helped to construct it?

A railroad system that linked the East and the West. Congress gave the companies land and money to construct it.


  1. How were the Chinese workers on the Central Pacific Railroad treated?

They were discriminated against and paid less than other workers.


  1. Describe the Great Plains.

Flat and dry.


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