Reconstruction is the time period in the United States after the Civil War.
Reconstruction attempted to give meaning to the freedom that former enslaved African Americans had achieved.
The Reconstruction policies were harsh and created problems in the South.
Reconstruction policies & problems
Southern military leaders could not hold office.
African Americans could hold public office.
African Americans gained equal rights as a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which also authorized the use of federal troops for its enforcement.
Northern soldiers supervised the South.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was established to aid former enslaved African Americans in the South.
Southerners resented Northern “carpetbaggers” who took advantage of the South during Reconstruction.
Southern states adopted Black Codes to limit the economic and physical freedom of former slaves.
The 13th, 14th & 15th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America address the issues of slavery and guarantee equal protection under the law for all citizens.
The 13th Amendment bans slavery in the US and all of its territories.
The 14th Amendment grants citizenship to all persons born in the US & guarantees them equal protection under the law. (Due Process)
The 15th Amendment ensures all citizens the right to vote regardless of race, color or previous condition of servitude.
These three amendments guarantee equal protection under the law for all citizens.
The actions of Abraham Lincoln, Robert E. Lee, and Frederick Douglass created lasting impacts.
His reconstruction plan called for reconciliation.
Preservation of the Union was more important to him than punishing the South.
Robert E. Lee
Urged Southerners to reconcile with Northerners at the end of the war and reunite as Americans when some wanted to continue to fight.
He became the president of Washington College, which is now known as Washington and Lee University.
Fought for the adoption of constitutional amendments that guaranteed voting rights.
Was a powerful voice for human rights and civil liberties for all.
Jim Crow Laws
Jim Crow Laws are laws that were passed in the southern states almost immediately after reconstruction ended in 1877. The laws were passed to discriminate against African-Americans and to segregate them from white society. Even though other groups were also affected by the Jim Crow Laws, The American Indian for example, the Laws were directed at the African-Americans.
Jim Crow Laws were characterized by unequal opportunities in housing, work, education and government. That means that because of the Jim Crow Laws African-Americans could not live where they wanted to, they had to go to different schools than the white children, they were not able to get good jobs, and they were not always able vote or run for office and participate in the government.
African-Americans responded differently to Jim Crow. The two best examples of this are Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois.
Facts you gotta know!
1. Discrimination against African-Americans continued after
Jim Crow laws institutionalized a system of legal
(that means that laws made discrimination & segregation legal)
Jim Crow laws were passed to discriminate against African-
4. African Americans differed in their response to
discrimination and Jim Crow.
5. Plessy v Ferguson was the Supreme Court case that made
“Separate but Equal” legal.
1. Is separation based on race. (what color you are)
Directed primarily against African-Americans, but other groups were kept segregated as well. (primarily means mainly)
Jim Crow Laws
1. Made discrimination practices legal in many communities
2. Were characterized by unequal opportunities in the
1. Booker T. Washington
He believed that African-Americans could
achieve equality through Vocational Education.
He also accepted social separation.
IN OTHER WORDS
Booker T. Washington thought that African-Americans
could get equal rights if they learned a trade. He also was
okay with the races being separated socially as long as
they had equal rights when it came to housing, work,
education and government.
2. W.E.B. DuBois
He believed in full political, civil and
social rights for African-Americans.
IN OTHER WORDS
W.E.B. DuBois thought that everyone should be equal.
He wanted it to happen right away, he did not think anyone
should have to “gain” equal rights, it should be equal, period.
The Great Plains
The highlighted part of this map shows the area known as the Great Plains. In 1862, the United States opened up the Great Plains to settlers through the Homestead Act. This gave people 160 acres of land for about $10.00 if they would live on the land and farm it for 5 years. The government did this so that people would move there.
Physical Features and Climate of the Great Plains
(what the Great Plains looked like and what the weather was like)
1. The Great Plains were flatlands that gradually rose from
east to west. (The Rocky Mountains were in the west, that is why the land
2. The land was eroded by wind and water.
3. There was low rainfall.
4. There were frequent dust storms.
The description above doesn’t make the Great Plains look like a nice place to live. It was very hard to survive there. Besides all of the stuff above, the Great Plains didn’t have lots of trees, so there wasn’t much wood to make houses or fences with. The land on the Great Plains was hard and would easily break the wooden plows the farmers used. There wasn’t much rain so it was hard to make things grow. Before the Civil War, people thought of the Great Plains as a treeless wasteland. Then things started to change. There were new inventions, and people made adaptations to their lives and tools to make life easier on the Plains. Some of the inventions and adaptations people made are listed on the next page.
New opportunities and technological advances led to westward migration following the Civil War.
1. Barbed Wire – This made it easier to make a fence because you didn’t need as much wood.
2. Steel Plows – This made the plow better by making the part that goes in the ground out of steel. Now it would not break.
3. Dry Farming – This has the farmers let part of their field rest every year, that way it would have two years to soak up the moisture from the little bit of rain.
4. Sod Houses – This made it easier for the farmers to build houses. They used sod to make their houses.
5. Beef Cattle - The farmers and ranchers got the idea for this from the buffalo. They were looking for an animal that could live well on the Plains and longhorn cattle were close to the buffalo that had lived on the
Plains for thousands of years.
6. Wheat Farming – This came from Russian Immigrants. The type of wheat seeds they brought with them did not need lots of water.
7. Windmills – This helped farmers pump water out of the deep wells they had to have to reach the water underground.
8. Railroads – This was a new technology and made it easier for the people to get supplies in and out of the Plains. It also made transportation easier. The best example is the Transcontinental Railroad that connected the east and west parts of the country.
Facts you gotta know!
1. During the 19th century, people’s perception and use
of the Great Plains changed.
2. Technological advances allowed people to live in
more challenging environments.
3. Because of new technologies, people saw the Great Plains
not as a “treeless wasteland” BUT AS “a vast area to
Reasons for Westward Expansion
1. Opportunities for land ownership.
The Homestead Act gave many people a chance to own their own land.
2. Technological advances, including the Transcontinental Railroad.
Technology made life on the Great Plains easier. The railroad made it easier to get
things into and out of the Great Plains
3. Possibility of wealth created by the discovery of gold and silver.
Gold was discovered in the Black Hills of the Dakotas, and silver in Colorado.
Some people went west hoping to get rich.
These guys just wanted to have fun!
5. A new beginning for former slaves.
The Civil War and slavery was over, many former slaves went west to start over.
Other Cultural Conflicts
Know the following:
Two groups of immigrants that were discriminated against were the Irish and the Chinese. Both of these groups worked on the Transcontinental Railroad.
Indian policies and wars
US government wanted to place American Indians onto reservations. The Indians did not want to go to the reservations. This caused much of the conflict between the US government and the American Indian as the government forced the relocation from traditional lands to reservations.
There were assimilation attempts and lifestyle changes such as the reduction of the buffalo population and Indian boarding schools.
The Battle of Little Bighorn. The Sioux Indians led by Sitting Bull killed General Custer and all his troops. Also known as Custer’s Last Stand. The Sioux Indians won the battle.
Chief Joseph. Chief of the Nez Perce Tribe. His tribe tried to make it to Canada rather than be sent to a reservation. The US Calvary stopped them 40 miles from the border. Chief Joseph surrendered and made a famous speech……
“……..Hear me my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick
and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no
Geronimo was the last American Indian to hold out against the US government. Geronimo was an Apache warrior.
The American Indian population was reduced through warfare and disease. An example is the Battle of Wounded Knee where 300 Lakota Souix were massacred by the US cavalry in December of 1890.
The American Indians homelands were reduced through treaties that were broken.
American Indians were not considered citizens until 1924.
After the Civil War life in America started to change. The biggest change was that America was turning from an agricultural nation into an industrial nation. That means that even though farms were still an important part of American life more people were starting to live in the cities and work in factories instead of living in the country and working on farms. Mechanization was one reason this change was taking place. Mechanization is when a machine does the work that people once did. The best example of this is the reaper. The reaper was a machine that cut grain (wheat). It could do the work of six men. So, if you owned a farm, it made more sense to use the reaper than to pay six men to do the work. This cut down on the amount of jobs on the farms. At the same time this was happening on the farms, factories that were being built in the cities were creating jobs. (that’s called industrial development) All the factories that were being built were making lots of stuff that people wanted to buy. That gave Americans access to consumer products. (consumer products are the stuff people buy) One of the ways people found out about all the stuff that was being made was mail order catalogs.
Facts you gotta know!
Between The Civil War and WWI, The United States was transformed from an agricultural nation to an industrial nation.
Postwar changes in farm and city life
Mechanization, the reaper, had reduced farm labor needs
and increased production. (mechanization is machines doing the work
humans once to do.)
2. Industrial development in the cities created increased labor
needs. (the more factories that were built, the more jobs there were.)
3. Industrialization provided access to consumer goods.
(mail order catalogs made it possible for goods to reach far away from the
In order to make all this work, there needed to be a way to get things from one place to another easily. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad helped this happen.
Advances in Transportation
Stuff you gotta know!
1. Advances in transportation linked resources,
products and markets.
That means that the Transcontinental Railroad helped get raw materials
from the mines to the factories to make the products, and then get the products to the markets to sell them.
Manufacturing areas were clustered near population centers.
That means that the factories were built near where lots of people lived.
Transportation of Resources
1. Moving natural resources (lead & copper) to eastern factories
2. Moving iron ore deposits to sites of steel mills.
3. Transporting finished products to national markets.
resources leave The railroads take The factories use The railroads then
the mines the resources to the resources to take the products
the factories make products to markets around
Examples of Manufacturing Areas
1. Textile Industry New England
2. Automobile Industry Detroit
3. Steel Industry Pittsburgh
Examples of Big Business
Captains of Industry
John D. Rockefeller Andrew Carnegie Henry Ford Corneliua Vanderbilt
Oil Steel Automobiles Railroad
Inventions that added to great change and industrial growth
1. Electric lighting and other uses for electricity
2. Telephone service
Alexander Graham Bell
Reasons for immigration
1. Hope for better opportunities
Many people around the world come to the US for a better life.
2. Escape from oppressive governments
Oppressive means cruel, not all governments in the world are fair.
3. Religious Freedom
People want to worship their own way. Not all countries in the world
allow people to do that. People come to America so that they can worship as they want.
Some people just want to have fun.
Rapid industrialization and urbanization led to overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods and tenements.
Industrialization is the build up of industries/factories.
Urbanization is the build up of cities.
What this means is that the factories were being built so quickly and people were moving into the cities so quickly that it caused some problems. One of those problems was overcrowded immigrant neighborhoods and tenements. A tenement is a run down apartment building that has way to many people living in it. These neighborhoods were called ghettos. Another problem was political corruption. That means the government was not doing the right things. An example of this is political machines. Political machines were both good and bad. One way they were good was that they helped some immigrants find a place to live and a job. The bad part was that they stole from the cities they worked for and many times they cheated during elections. They were basically bullies.
Reasons that cities developed
1. Specialized industries including steel in Pittsburg &
meatpacking in Chicago.
2. Immigration from other countries.
(most of these people settled in the cities)
3. Movement of Americans from rural areas to urban areas
in search of job opportunities.
Factors resulting in the growth of industry
(How come industries got big?)
1. Access to raw materials and energy (Transcontinental Railroad)
2. Availability of work force (immigrants and Americans moving from farms)
3. Inventions (people could work longer and faster, communication was better)
4. Financial Resources (It takes lots of money to run industries. The captains
of industry were really really rich)
asically, you just need to look at the reasons listed to remember this. There was plenty of stuff (the raw materials) there was an easy way to get the stuff to the factory (The Transcontinental Railroad) there were plenty of people to hire to work in the factories (the farm workers and immigrants) and there are some new inventions that make work easier and the people running many businesses had lots of money they were more than willing to invest so that they could make more money.
Reasons for the rise and prosperity of big business
(What helped the big businesses make money?)
1. National markets created by transportation advances.
(The Transcontinental Railroad made this possible by taking products all over the country so they could be sold.)
2. Captains of Industry
(They had lots of money to invest in industry and they wanted more money
so, they were willing to spend their money in order to make businesses get
(Businesses had to advertise so that people would know what they had to sell)
4. Lower-cost production
(because of things like the Transcontinental Railroad & assembly line it didn’t
cost as much to make things. So, the businesses made more money)
Challenges for Cities
1. Tenements and ghettos
Political Corruption (political machines)
Population changes, growth of cities, and new inventions
produced interaction and often conflict between different
Population changes, growth of cities and new inventions
produced problems in urban areas.
Efforts to solve immigration problems
1. Settlement Houses like Hull House that was founded by
Jane Addams. Jane Addams
2. Political Machines that gained power attending to the needs
of immigrants. (helping find jobs & housing)
Political Machines were both good and bad,