Reconstruction in South Carolina Notes Page: 3-4.5 Reconstruction was a period of time after the end of the Civil War, when the federal government (national) protected the rights of newly freed slaves.
This time period ended when the elite of the antebellum period regained control of the government, and freedmen were no longer allowed all of their freedoms_.
Reconstruction did NOT deal with rebuilding the Southern economy, but with of reconstructing the Southern society and government.
This was so African Americans could have a role as _freecitizens, and Southern States could be involved in the national government again.
Notes Page-3-4.7 Lincoln and the national government never recognized that South Carolina had seceded from the Union. Lincoln's first plan for Reconstruction did not work because Confederate leaders were still in powerand they did not protect the rights of newly freed slaves.
South Carolina ratified the 13thamendment granting slaves their freedom.
SC leaders also passed Black Codes.
*Black Codes are laws that restricted the rights of the
freed slaves so that they were free in name only.
The second Reconstruction plan was passed by Congress, brought federal military intervention to the state and stripped the power from the former Confederate leaders.
SC also had to write a new state constitution that recognized these rights of freed slaves.
Many African Americans were elected to serve in the convention that wrote the new constitution.
Later some African Americans served in the state legislature.
The elite from SC rejectedthis national interference and the political role African Americans were now allowed to play in the state government.
SC whites accused these people of trying to take advantage of the plight of the state after the war.
Although some may have been corrupt, many so-called scalawags and carpetbaggers made a positive contribution to the state.
Racial tensions increasedas African Americans gained rights and opportunites.
Many whites refusedto participate in the state government, as long as African Americans were able to vote and hold office.
Some people from SC tried to intimidate freedmen by burning their homes and churches so they would not vote or exercise their rights; because they resented the freedmen.
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK)was active in South Carolina, particularly in the upcountry.
Some African Americans and supporters were killed by the KKK.
The new state constitution required the establishment of the public education system.
This was a positive result of Reconstruction for former slaves and poor whites who did not have access to education before the Civil War.
However, public education made racial tensions increase because whites did not want to go to school with African Americans.
Two segregated schools systems were create as a result.
These segregated schools were not equal. Economic changes after the war were slow to take hold.
Fertile land and a suitable climate for agriculture meant that cotton would continue to be a dominant crop.
Tenant Farmers or Sharecroppers provided the labor.
However, farmers got caught in the cycle of debt and poverty. Entrepreneurs began to build textile mills in the state.
*Entrepreneurs are people who start their own business.
The availability of natural resources, such as swift flowing rivers, impacted the state's recovery.
Textile mills used water power to run the machines that turned cotton into cloth.