Chapter Seventeen Reconstruction, 1863—1877 Part One: Introduction Reconstruction, 1863–1877 What does this painting indicate about the task of Reconstruction? Chapter Focus Questions What were the competing political plans for reconstructing the defeated Confederacy? How difficult was the transition from slavery to freedom for African Americans? What was the political and social legacy of Reconstruction in the southern states? What were the post-Civil War transformations in the economic and political life of the North? Part Two: American Communities From Slavery to Freedom in a Black Belt Community? In Hale County, former slaves showed sense of autonomy. One planter described how freed people refused to do “their former accustomed work.” Former slaveholders had to reorganize their plantations. Slaves worked the land as sharecroppers, rather than hired hands. Freed people organized themselves politically These acts of autonomy led to a white backlash. The Defeated South The South had been thoroughly defeated, its economy lay in ruins. The presence of Union troops further embittered Southerners. The bitterest pill was the changed status of African Americans. Abraham Lincoln’s Plan Lincoln promoted a plan to bring states back into the Union. Amnesty was promised to those swearing allegiance. State governments could be established if 10 percent of the voters took an oath of allegiance. Lincoln pocket veto to kill plan passed by Congressional radicals Redistribution of land posed another problem. Congress created the Freedman’s Bureau Thirteenth Amendment passed. Andrew Johnson and Presidential Reconstruction Andrew Johnson, the new president, was a War Democrat from Tennessee. He had used harsh language to describe southern “traitors” . He blamed individuals rather than the entire South. He granted amnesty to most Confederates. He appointed provisional governors who organized new governments. By December, Johnson claimed that “restoration” was virtually complete. The Radical Republican Vision Radical Republicans wanted to remake the South in the North’s image. Stringent “Black Codes” outraged many Northerners. In December 1865, Congress excluded the southern representatives. Congress overrode Johnson’s vetoes of a Civil Rights bill. Fearful that courts might declare the Civil Rights Act unconstitutional, Congress drafted the Fourteenth Amendment. Republicans won the Congressional elections. MAP 17.1 Reconstruction of the South, 1866–77 Dates for the readmission of former Confederate states to the Union and the return of Democrats to power varied according to the specific political situations in those states. Congressional Reconstruction and the Impeachment Crisis The First Reconstruction Act of 1867 enfranchised blacks South divided into five military districts. Johnson replaced Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. In violation of the Tenure of Office Act, Johnson fired Stanton. The House impeached Johnson; Senate vote fell one vote short. The Election of 1868 By 1868, eight of the eleven ex-Confederate states were back in the Union. Republicans nominated Ulysses Grant for president. The Republicans attacked Democrats’ loyalties. Democrats exploited racism to gather votes. Republicans won with less than 53 percent of the vote. Reconstruction and Ratification Mississippi, Texas, and Virginia had to ratify 14th and 15th Amendments. National citizenship included former slaves. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The states ratified amendments and rejoined Union in 1870. Woman Suffrage and Reconstruction Women’s rights activists were outraged that the new laws. linkage between the rights of women and African Americans forged split. Radical group fought against the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment. Moderate group supported the amendment. Part Four: The Meaning of Freedom Moving About First impulse to define freedom was to move about. Many who left soon returned to seek work. Others sought new lives in predominantly black areas. Former slaves enjoyed freedom of no longer having to show deference to whites. The African American Family Freedom provided the chance to reunite with lost family. African Americans fulfilled appropriate gender roles more closely . Males took on more authority in the family. Women continued to work outside the home. African American Churches and Schools Emancipation allowed ex-slaves to practice religion. African-American communities pooled their resources to establish churches. Education was another symbol of freedom. By 1869 over 3,000 Freedman’s Bureau schools taught over 150,000 students. Black colleges were established as well. Land Labor After Slavery Most former slaves hoped to become self-sufficient farmers. No land redistribution. Freedman’s Bureau evicted thousands of blacks that settled on confiscated lands. Most planters expected blacks to work for wages in gangs. Sharecropping came to dominate the southern agricultural economy. Sharecropping and Living Patterns Sharecropping represented a compromise between planter and former slave. Sharecroppers set their own hours and tasks. Families labored together on adjoining parcels of land. The Origins of African American Politics Former slaves organized politically. Five states had black electoral majorities. The Union League became the political voice of former slaves. Leaders, drawn from the ranks of teachers and ministers, emerged to give direction. Part Five: Southern Politics and Society Southern Republicans South back into the Union with a viable Republican Party. Achieving this goal required active Federal support to protect the African-American voters upon which it depended. Pleased some Northerners Republicans also drew strength from: carpetbaggers scalawags The result was an uneasy alliance. Reconstructing the States State conventions drafted constitutions and instituted political and humanitarian reforms. The new governments insisted on equal rights, but accepted separate schools. The Republican governments did little to assist African Americans in acquiring land. Rights of black laborers to bargain freely was protected. Republican leaders envisioned promoting northern-style prosperity and gave heavy subsidies for railroad development. These plans frequently opened the doors to corruption and bankruptcy. White Resistance Many white southerners believed Republicans were not a legitimate political group. Paramilitary groups like the Ku Klux Klan used terror to destroy Reconstruction . Congress passed several laws to crack down on the Klan. Civil Rights Act of 1875 outlawed racial discrimination in public places. Redemption Democrats gained strength in the North Northern Republicans abandoned the freed people and their white allies. Conservative Democrats (Redeemers) won control of southern states. Between 1873 and 1883, the Supreme Court weakened enforcement of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. MAP 17.3 Southern Sharecropping and the Cotton Belt, 1880 The economic depression of the 1870s forced increasing numbers of Southern farmers, both white and black, into sharecropping arrangements. Sharecropping was most pervasive in the cotton belt regions of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and east Texas. “King Cotton” The South grew more heavily dependent on cotton. The crop lien system provided loans in exchange for a lien on the crop. As cotton prices spiraled downward, cotton growers fell into debt. Merchants became the elite in the South. The South emerged as an impoverished region. Part Six: Reconstructing the North The Age of Capital Republicans believed no class conflict allowed for social mobility. A violent railroad strike in 1877 shattered that harmony. Postwar years saw a continued industrial boom. Industries concentrated into the hands of a few big businesses. Several Republican politicians part of Crédit Mobilier scandal. Liberal Republicans and the Election of 1872 The Republican Party underwent dramatic changes because: the old radicals were dying or losing influence party leaders concentrated on holding on to federal patronage a growing number of Republicans were appalled by the corruption. The Liberal Republicans: were suspicious of expanding democracy called for a return to limited government proposed civil service reform. opposed continued federal involvement in Reconstruction In 1872, Horace Greeley challenged Ulysses Grant for the presidency. The Depression of 1873 In 1873, a financial panic triggered the longest depression in American history. Prices fell, unemployment rose, and many people sank deeply in debt. Government officials rejected appeals for relief. Clashes between labor and capital. The Election of 1876 Map: The Election of 1876 As the election of 1876 approached, new scandals in the Grant administration hurt the Republicans. The Democrats nominated Samuel J. Tilden of New York, a former prosecutor. Democrats combined attacks on Reconstruction with attacks on corruption. The Republican nominee, Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio, accused Democrats of treason and promised to clean up corruption. Crisis and Resolution Tilden won more votes than Hayes, but both sides claimed victory. In three southern states two sets of electoral votes were returned. An electoral commission awarded the disputed votes to Hayes. Hayes struck a deal that promised money for southern internal improvements and noninterference in southern affairs. The remaining federal troops were removed from the South. The remaining Republican governments in the South lost power. Part Seven: Conclusion Reconstruction , 1863–1877 Media: Chronology MAP 17.2a The Barrow Plantation, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1860 and 1881 (approx. 2,000 acres) These two maps (see next slide), based on drawings from Scribner’s Monthly, April 1881, show some of the changes brought by emancipation. In 1860, the plantation’s entire black population lived in the communal slave quarters, right next to the white master’s house. In 1881, black sharecropper and tenant families lived on individual plots, spread out across the land. The former slaves had also built their own school and church. MAP 17.2b The Barrow Plantation, Oglethorpe County, Georgia, 1860 and 1881 (approx. 2,000 acres) MAP 17.4 The Election of 1876 The presidential election of 1876 left the nation without a clear-cut winner. Decorating the Graves of Rebel Soldiers, Harper’s Weekly, August 17, 1867. After the Civil War, both Southerners and Northerners created public mourning ceremonies honoring fallen soldiers. Women led the memorial movement in the South which, by establishing cemeteries and erecting monuments, offered the first cultural expression of the Confederate tradition. This engraving depicts citizens of Richmond, Virginia, decorating thousands of Confederate graves with flowers at the Hollywood Memorial Cemetery on the James River. A local women’s group raised enough funds to transfer over 16,000 Confederate dead from Northern cemeteries for reburial in Richmond. SOURCE:The Granger Collection (4E1090.99). Photography pioneer Timothy O’Sullivan took this portrait of a multigenerational African American family on the J.J. Smith plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, 1862. Many white plantation owners in the area had fled, allowing slaves like these to begin an early transition to freedom before the end of the Civil War. SOURCE:Corbis/Bettmann. Office of the Freedmen’s Bureau, Memphis, Tennessee, Harper’s Weekly, June 2, 1866. Established by Congress in 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau provided economic, educational, and legal assistance to former slaves in the post–Civil War years. Bureau agents were often called upon to settle disputes between black and white Southerners over wages, labor contracts, political rights, and violence. While most Southern whites only grudgingly acknowledged the Bureau’s legitimacy, freed people gained important legal and psychological support through testimony at public hearings like this one. SOURCE:Library of Congress. The Fifteenth Amendment, 1870. The Fifteenth Amendment, ratified in 1870, stipulated that the right to vote could not be denied “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” This illustration expressed the optimism and hopes of African Americans generated by this Consitutional landmark aimed at protecting black political rights. Note the various political figures (Abraham Lincoln, John Brown, Frederick Douglass) and movements (abolitionism, black education) invoked here, providing a sense of how the amendement culminated a long historical struggle. SOURCE:Courtesy of the Library of Congress. Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815–1902), the two most influential leaders of the woman suffrage movement, ca. 1892. Anthony and Stanton broke with their longtime abolitionist allies after the Civil War, when they opposed the Fifteenth Amendment. They argued that the doctrine of universal manhood suffrage it embodied would give consitutional authority to the claim that men were the social and political superiors of women. As founders of the militant National Woman Suffrage Association, Stanton and Anthony established an independent woman suffrage movement with a broader spectrum of goals for women’s rights, and drew millions of women into public life during the late nineteenth century. SOURCE:The Susan B.Anthony House,Rochester,NY. An overflow congregation crowds into Richmond’s First African Baptist Church in 1874. Despite their poverty, freed people struggled to save, buy land, and erect new buildings as they organized hundreds of new black churches during Reconstruction. As the most important African American institution outside the family, the black church, in addition to tending to spiritual needs, played a key role in the educational and political life of the community. SOURCE:Wood engraving.The Granger Collection (4E1090.98). W. L. Sheppard, “Electioneering at the South,” Harper’s Weekly, July 25, 1868. Throughout the Reconstruction-era South, newly freed slaves took a keen interest in both local and national political affairs. The presence of women and children at these campaign gatherings illustrates the importance of contemporary political issues to the entire African American community. SOURCE:Library of Congress. The Ku Klux Klan emerged as a potent political and social force during Reconstruction, terrorizing freed people and their white allies. An 1868 Klan warning threatens Louisiana governor Henry C. Warmoth with death. Warmoth, an Illinois-born “carpetbagger,” was the state’s first Republican governor. Two Alabama Klansmen, photographed in 1868, wear white hoods to hide their identities. SOURCE:(a)University of North Carolina Southern Historical Collection;(b)Rutherford B.Hayes Presidential Center. Chinese immigrants, like these section gang workers, provided labor and skills critical to the successful completion of the first transcontinental railroad. This photo was taken in Promontory, Utah Territory, in 1869. SOURCE:The Denver Public Library,Western History Collection. “The Tramp,” Harper’s Weekly, September 2, 1876. The depression that began in 1873 forced many thousands of unemployed workers to go “on the tramp” in search of jobs. Men wandered from town to town, walking or riding railroad cars, desperate for a chance to work for wages or simply for room and board. The “tramp” became a powerful symbol of the misery caused by industrial depression and, as in this drawing, an image that evoked fear and nervousness among the nation’s middle class. SOURCE:The Picture Bank,Frank &Marie-Therese Wood Print Collection. This 1871 painting by Richard Norris Brooke depicts Confederate soldiers at the end of the Civil War, furling the rebel battle flag for the last time. In the postwar Reconstruction years, the Ku Klux Klan adapted it as a symbol of white supremacy and resistance to Federal authority. AP Wide World Photos.