Reconstruction



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RECONSTRUCTION


  1. Problems after the war

      1. Andrew Johnson becomes president after Lincoln’s assassination in 1865.

      2. May 1865 – Proclamation of Amnesty

        1. pardon to all former Confederates who took an oath of loyalty to the US

        2. returned their property (excluded those with over over $20,000 in property)

        3. Those with over $20K in property had to ask individually for a pardon

      3. Congress furious over pardons – rejected new Congressmen from the southern states

      4. New southern legislatures passed “black codes” that limited rights of blacks in the South – trying to keep conditions similar to slavery

II Plans for Reconstruction

  1. Presidential Reconstruction (Lincoln’s plan) The Wade Davis Bill - the original plan for reconstruction was vetoed by Lincoln]

    1. Treat the South like children who need to be punished then bring them back into the Union

    2. Would readmit the state to the Union if 10% of their 1860 population swore allegiance to the Union

    3. Congress thought this too lenient

      1. Wanted to destroy political power of the South

      2. Wanted citizenship and rights for Af-Am

  2. Johnson’s plan

    1. Each state had to call a constitutional convention to repeal its order to secede and ratify the 13th amendment abolishing slavery.

    2. Congress voted to reject the new Southern governments and congressmen

  3. Congressional Reconstruction ( also referred to as Military Reconstruction) The act which started this was the Military Reconstruction Act (Radical Reconstruction)

    1. Pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866

      1. All persons people born in the US are citizens EXCEPT Native Americans

      2. Blacks can now own property

      3. They are treated equally in courts

      4. US Govt. can sue anyone who violates these rights

      5. THIS LAW WAS IGNORED BY THE SOUTH WHICH LED TO THE PASSING OF THE 14th AMENDMENT

    2. Pass 14th Amendment giving citizenship to anyone born in the US or naturalized in the US– says you cannot deny life, liberty or property without due process of law – Andrew Johnson was against this amendment

    3. Reconstruction Act of 1867 divides Confederacy into 5 military regions

(In 1868 Grant is elected president and with his formal military career he takes over reconstruction)
. III Readmission of states to the Union

  1. 1866 Republicans win back control of Congress

  2. March 1867 pass Military Reconstruction Act

    1. 5 military regions

    2. A general in charge of each one

    3. TN only state not split because they had already ratified the 14th amendment

    4. All states had to write new constitutions

    5. All states required to ratify the 14th amendment

    6. All males had to be given the right to vote

    7. Once all this was done the state could elect representatives to Congress

IV Congressional activity



  1. The Army Act - required all presidential orders to go through the headquarters of the General of the Army

  2. Passed Tenure of Office Act – required Senate to approve removal of any govt. official whose appointment had required Senate approval

V Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

A. Over his challenge to the Tenure of Office Act

B. He wanted to get rid of Lincoln’s Secretary of War Stanton who agreed with Radical Reconstruction

C. Johnson went ahead and fired Stanton in violation of the law

D. House of Representatives voted to impeach him for failing to uphold the Ten. Of Office Act and trying to undermine the Reconstruction program.

E. Senate fails to convict him but he is done for as president
VI Grant’s presidency


  1. 15th amendment passed – said the right to vote cannot be denied to anyone because of race, color, or former condition of servitude

Grant believed the president’s role was to carry out laws so Congress gained a lot of power because he never established his own policies.

  1. Made the office of president weak and ineffective which allowed Congress to pass the Military Reconstruction Act

  2. Congress also expanded programs to promote commerce and industry

    1. Kept tariffs high

    2. Tightened up banking regulations

    3. Increased spending on railroads, port facilities, and postal system

    4. Kept “sin taxes” – tax on alcohol and tobacco

  3. South reacts

    1. State conventions are taking place with Af-Am participating for the first time

    2. Af-Am also run for political office at local, state, and national levels

    3. Republicans become powerful

      1. Repeal black codes

      2. Made more state offices elected

      3. Established public schools

      4. Paid for reforms by borrowing money and imposing higher property taxes

      5. “Graft” was a problem – they were taking payoffs

      6. Education was improving - Af-Am colleges and universities started (Howard University in DC was one of them)

VII Southern resistance



  1. KKK – resented what they called “Black Republican” govts. and any other black organization

  2. The goal of the KKK was to drive out the Unions troops, carpetbaggers, and bring the Democratic Party back into power

  3. Used terror and fear as methods

  4. Republicans and blacks formed their own militias to fight back.

  5. 3 “Enforcement Acts” were passed to stop the KKK

    1. 1 made it a crime to interfere with a citizen’s right to vote

    2. 1 put federal marshals in place to supervise elections.

    3. 1 made the KKK activity illegal

VIII Election of 1872



  1. Grant v Horace Greely (newspaper publisher)

  2. Grant wins

  3. 2nd term full of scandal

    1. Whiskey Ring Scandal

    2. Filed false tax reports

    3. One man involved was Grant’s private secretary

  4. Panic of 1873

    1. Jay Cooke and Co. had bad investments

    2. Led to a wave of fear

    3. Small banks closed, businesses went under, increased unemployment

  5. He isn’t running again

IX Changes are coming



  1. 1874 Democrats regain control of Congress

  2. 1876 Rutherford B. Hayes wins presidency against Samuel Tilden in 1876

    1. Neither man won a majority of the vote

    2. Congress appoints a commission to decide the outcome

    3. Commission says Hayes wins and Congress agrees with the decision

    4. This is known as the Compromise of 1877

    5. Congress agreed with the commission so the South would agree to Hayes being president – Congress also agreed to pull the troops out of the South

    6. This ended Reconstruction in the South.




  1. The “New South”

    1. Southerners realize they need to industrialize

    2. Money comes from the North to build railroads (Northerners who come south are called “carpetbaggers”)

    3. (Southerners who supported the northerners were called “Scalawags”)

    4. Southern industries include iron and steel, tobacco, and cotton mills (textiles)

    5. Freed Af-Am –

      1. many of them returned to the plantations to work for wages

      2. Some became tenant farmers – paid rent for the land they worked

      3. Some became sharecroppers – gave owner of the property part of their crops for use of the land. – They bought seed, equipment etc from “furnishing merchants” who charged them high interest

      4. Law allowed for a “crop lien” to pay debts – merchant could take part of their crops to satisfy debts

      5. Led to “debt peonage” – they couldn’t pay their debts and leave



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