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A PEOPLE & A

NATION

EIGHTH EDITION

Norton • Katzman • Blight •

Chudacoff • Paterson • Tuttle •

Escott • Bailey • Logevall

Chapter 16:

Reconstruction:

An Unfinished

Revolution,

1865–1877


Ch.16: Reconstruction, 1865–1877

• Dramatic social/political/legal changes

• President & Congress clash over process

and nature of Reconstruction

• New amendments to the Constitution

• Yet, key developments block full potential

of Reconstruction

• Return of Democratic control to South,

emergence of KKK, failure to redistribute

land, & eventual northern indifference

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I. Lincoln’s 10% Plan (1863)

• Debate on restoring Union begin during war

• Fearing guerrilla war after South’s defeat,

Lincoln favor leniency with swift process

• Propose pardons for most confederates, and

reunion once 10% took loyalty oaths

• Radical Republicans in Congress want longer,

harsher Reconstruction to transform South

• Argue secession end South’s status as states

• Revert to “ unorganized territories”

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II. Congress, 13th Amendment, &

Freedmen’s Bureau

• Radicals propose slow readmission and denial

of vote/citizenship to Confederate leaders

• Lincoln pocket-veto 1864 Wade-Davis Bill

• Citizens (incl. women) petition to end slavery

• President & Congress cooperate on 13th

Amendment (1865) to abolish slavery

• Agree on Bureau (1865) to help/protect former

slaves (1ST US aid to individuals)

• Bureau also help some whites, but war leave

tremendous southern enmity toward North

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III. Meanings of Freedom

• Ex-slaves celebrate freedom (Decoration Day)

• Act with caution because of white hostility/

power

• Most end up working for former masters

• But relocate homes & try to control their labor

• Tremendous efforts to reunite families and to

live together as family & community

• Create all-black settlements to avoid white

interference & allow personal freedom

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IV. Freedpeople’s Desire for Land &

Education

• Recognize land necessary for independence

• Most whites reject land redistribution

• Johnson return much land to planters

• US Gov’t sell some coastal lands (SC &

GA), but lots too big for ex-slaves to afford

• Ex-slaves devote time & money to education

• Freedman’s Bureau & northern reformers

help

• Start black schools & colleges in South

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V. Black Churches

• Secret slave churches move into open

• Become central to black communities

• Most become either Methodist or Baptist

• Establish independent branches

• Lack of land & white refusal to rent land,

push freedpeople to sharecropping

• An ex-slave provide labor to raise crop

• At harvest split crop with land owner

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VI. Sharecropping

• Ex-slave use his part of crop to pay for

earlier loans from landlord/merchant

• Ever-increasing debt develop for exslave

as his portion of crop fail to pay for

loans

• Southern farmers, incl. sharecroppers,

grow cotton, but cotton prices decline

(late 1800s)

• Many white yeomen become

sharecroppers because lose land

through debt

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VI. Andrew Johnson

• In TN politics, Johnson (Democrat)

champion yeoman farmers against

planter elite

• Refuse to follow TN into secession

• Lincoln pick him for 1864 ticket

• Reject secession, but adamant on limited

government, states’ rights, white

supremacy

• Control Reconstruction in 1865 because

Congress in recess

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VII. Johnson’s Racism, Leniency, &

Pardons (1865)

• Rejecting black suffrage, Johnson refuse

to force southern states to extend the

vote

• Initially bar planters from voting/politics

• But when planters take control of new

state conventions, Johnson accept them

• Pardon planters & restore their land

• Johnson want their support for 1866

elections

• Declare Reconstruction over (Dec. 1865)

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VIII. Black Codes

• North upset by return of planter control

and their defiance (slow to repudiate

secession)

• Northern frustration grow when southern

governments merely revise old slave laws

• Place numerous restrictions on ex-slaves

• To North, South seem unrepentant

• Congress refuse to recognize southern

governments & challenge Johnson’s

leniency

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IX. Congressional Reconstruction

Plan

• Despite divisions, Congress assert its

authority to shape Reconstruction policy

• Northern Democrats support Johnson

• Conservative Republicans favor action,

but not extensive activism pushed by

Radicals

• Radicals (a minority) want to help former

slaves (vote/land) and democratize South

• Moderate Republicans in between

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X. Congress vs. Johnson (1866)

• Johnson’s refusal to compromise push

conservatives & moderates toward Radicals

• Numerous attacks on blacks (riots in

Memphis, New Orleans) also influence

Congress

• Override veto to continue Freedman’s

Bureau & pass first civil rights act

• Congress also draft new amendment

• A compromise between different

Republicans

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XI. The 14th Amendment (Ratified

by States, 1868)

• Confer citizenship on all people, plus

“due process of law”& “equal protection

of laws”

• Void Confederate debt and bar its

leaders from state/national office; uphold

US debt

• Encourage (but not require) suffrage for

black males (ignore female suffrage)

• To get full representation in US House,

South must give vote to black men

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XII. Johnson (1866) &

Reconstruction Act of 1867

• President tour North to argue against

14th

• Northerners reject him; re-elect

moderates & radicals with mandate to

continue activity

• 1867 Act replace “Johnson governments”

• Under military supervision, black men

gain suffrage; Confederate leaders not

allowed in politics; & South must accept

14th

• Radicals unable to confiscate planter land

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XIII. Land Redistribution;

Constitutional Crisis

• Radicals recognize land necessary for

former slaves to be truly independent

• Moderates & conservatives reject taking

private property from planters

• Severely limit independence of ex-slaves

• Congress pass controversial laws to

restrict Johnson’s interference

• Limit power over army, Tenure of Office

Act

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XIV. Impeachment of Johnson;

Election of 1868

• Besides many vetoes, Johnson remove

military officers who support Congress

• For first time Congress try to remove a

president for “high crimes”/abuses of

power

• Most senators vote to remove Johnson,

but Radicals miss 2/3 majority by 1 vote

• Grant (Republican) win; Democrats

conduct openly racist campaign

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XV. President Grant; 15th

Amendment (1869–1870)

• Vacillate in supporting Reconstruction

• At times use troops to quell white violence

• Demobilization leave few troops in South

(“military rule” = myth)

• Radicals push 15th to protect black male

suffrage, but it not guarantee right to vote

• North want ability to deny suffrage to

women & other groups (Chinese)

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XVI. White Resistance; Black Voters

& Republicans

• Whites, especially planters, resist change

• Black Codes = key e.g.

- refuse to let slaves leave;

- prevent blacks from getting land;

- violence

• Black communities celebrate suffrage,

help create Republican party in South

• Southern Republicans combine

northerners who move south, native

whites, & freed-men

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XVII. Triumph of Republican

Governments

• New southern constitutions (1869–70) more

democratic w/ reforms (public education)

• Republicans, including some blacks, win

election to new governments in South

• Republicans, esp. blacks, advocate leniency to

ex-Confederates

• Realize whites = majority & planters own best

land

• Not disfranchise planters or take their land

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XVIII. Republican Policies; The Myth

of “Negro Rule”

• Promote industry with loans, tax

exemptions

• Establish public schools

• White Republicans reject integration

• Debate among African American

Republicans

• White southerners claim blacks dominate

new governments; claim = myth

• 400 participate, but blacks not hold office

in proportion to share of populace

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XIX. Carpetbaggers, Scalawags,

Corruption

• Southerners attack Republicans w/ label

“Carpetbaggers” for migrants from North

• Ignore that most migrants want to help

South

• Discredit southern white Republicans as

“Scalawags”

• Most = yeoman farmers pursuing class

interests, not racial equality

• Both parties engage in corruption, but

Democrats tar Republicans with it

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XX. Ku Klux Klan (start in TN, 1866)

• Rapid spread of terrorist organization =

deathblow to Reconstruction in South

• Attack Republican leaders (white & black)

• Harassment, beatings, rape, arson,

murder

• Planters organize KKK units to regain

power with return of Democratic Party

control

• Most significant mistake of Republicans

in DC and in South = no land

redistribution

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XXI. Retreat from Reconstruction

• North lose interest in Reconstruction (1870s)

as undergo rapid industrialization, etc.

• Always more interested in suppressing

rebellion than helping blacks

• Democrats “redeem” southern governments

with KKK violence and grow stronger in North

• Congress pass KKK laws; little enforcement

• Northerners reject idea US Government should

protect civil rights

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XXII. Liberal Republican Revolt

(1872)

• Oppose continued US intervention in

South

• Bolt party w/ their own nominee (Greeley)

• Grant win, but his tepid support for

Reconstruction decline

• Congress pardon most ex-confederates

(Amnesty Act, 1872)

• Corruption scandals also weaken Grant

and Republicans; Democrats take House

(1874)

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XXIII. Shift in Northern Attention

away from South

• Rapid industrialization & immigration

monopolize Northern concerns

• Panic of 1873 start 5 years of contraction

• Accelerate class tensions (debtor vs. creditor)

• In West, whites use violence & discriminate

against Indians, Hispanics, & other non-whites

• Nationwide, greater focus on race

• North also debate further territorial expansion

(Alaska & Midway Islands, 1867)

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XXIV. Judicial Retreat from

Reconstruction

• Inactive after Dred Scott & during war,

Supreme Court reassert itself post-1865

• Slaughter-House (1873) deny that 14th

makes US Gov’t protector of civil rights

• Narrow 14th with stress on state power

• Bradwell (1873) dismiss claim that 14th

outlaw gender discrimination

• Court later uphold restrictions on suffrage

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XXV. Disputed Election of 1876;

Compromise of 1877

• Tilden (Democrat) win slightly more

popular votes, but need 1 more electoral

vote to win

• 19 votes in dispute (fraud)

• Voting by party, congressional

commission give 19 votes to Hayes

(Republican)

• Democrats accept outcome in return for

promise of federal aid & troop removal

• African Americans anxious about future

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Summary: Discuss Links to the

World & Legacy

• Global response to Grants’ Tour (1877-79)

• Grant as celebrity & symbol of USA on

world stage

• Grant’s motive?

• How “Lost Cause” a legacy of

Reconstruction?

• How did southern whites (e.g., ex-

Confederates, UDC) seek to shape

historical memory?

• Downplay slavery; emphasize states rights

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