Reconstruction Lesson 2: Sharecropping to the kkk

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Lesson 2: Sharecropping to the KKK

5-1.2 Explain the effects of Reconstruction, including new rights under the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments; the actions of the Freedmen’s Bureau; and the move from a plantation system to sharecropping.

5-1.3 Explain the purpose and motivations of subversive groups during Reconstruction and their rise to power after the withdrawal of federal troops from the South.

  1. Sharecropping: a system of farming in which one person farms another person’s land in exchange for a small part of the crops.

  2. Dred Scott Case: a court case from before the Civil War that stated that African Americans could never be American citizens. This case was overturned by the 14th Amendment

  3. Ku Klux Klan: a white terrorist group, mostly located in the south, that attempted to scare African Americans to keep them from using their rights

  4. Terrorism: the act of using fear or violence to force others to do what you want.

  1. The 13th Amendment freed the slaves everywhere in the United States.

  1. Consequently, during Reconstruction, the rights of African Americans were protected by the federal government.

  1. The 14th Amendment overturned the Dred Scott decision and recognized the citizenship of African Americans.

  1. The amendment affected African Americans in all parts of the United States, not just in the South.

  1. Southern states refused to ratify the amendment and so Radical Reconstruction was imposed.

  1. The 15th amendment declared that the right to vote of a male citizen could not be infringed upon based on “race, creed or previous condition of servitude.”

  1. Although the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments were designed to protect the rights of African Americans, they were only effective so long as the Southern states were forced to follow them.

  1. Once Reconstruction ended, there was nothing to protect the rights of African Americans. Although African Americans had constitutional rights as a result of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, these were often violated by hate or terrorist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.

  1. The initial reaction of freedmen to emancipation ranged from exhilaration to fear.

  1. The goal of African Americans during Reconstruction was to reunite with their families and enjoy their freedom.

  1. Many left their plantations, but most stayed in the areas that they knew.

  1. Instead of fleeing the south, they married and established strong communities there.

  1. African Americans formed their own churches where they or others could worship freely.

  1. Many African Americans sought an education in the freedom schools that were established.

  1. Freedmen started businesses, they voted, and even held elective offices during Reconstruction.

  1. During the Civil War and shortly after, some land was taken away from white landowners and given to freed slaves. However, the federal government returned most of lands because they respected the rights of the white landowners.

  1. Freedmen entered into agreements with white landowners to trade their labor for crops in an arrangement known as sharecropping.

  1. The Freedman’s Bureau provided food, clothing, medical care, education and some protection from the hostile environment in the South.

  1. The Bureau helped many freedmen find jobs. However, African Americans were not able to become successful economically because they didn’t have any land of their own.

  1. The most important contribution of the Freedman’s Bureau, however, was the establishment of over 1,000 schools throughout the South.

  1. During the Reconstruction period several discriminatory groups developed in order to intimidate the freedmen; the most infamous of these was the Ku Klux Klan.

  1. The goal of the KKK was to use violence, intimidation, and voter fraud to keep African Americans from exercising their rights.

  1. Public lynchings became common methods of intimidating African Americans who did not ‘know their place.’

  1. The rights gained by African Americans after the Civil War were constantly violated by terrorist groups like the KKK.

  1. The Ku Klux Klan was made up of working class whites as well as businessmen, lawyers, judges and politicians.

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