Chapter 17 Section 3 & 4
The South and
African Americans in Government
• Shortly after the Civil War, African
Americans played an important role in
politics both as voters and elected
African Americans in Government
• Between 1869-1880,
16 African Americans
served in the House of
Representatives and 2 in
the Senate.
Hiram Revels
• An ordained minister
who recruited African
American soldiers during
the Civil War.
• Was elected to the U.S.
in 1870.
Blanche K. Bruce
• A former escaped slave
who taught in a school
for African Americans.
• Was elected to the U.S.
in 1874.
• White southerners who supported
Republican reconstruction efforts.
• Others southerners called them this
name meaning “scoundrel”.
• Northern whites who moved
to the south after the war,
many times in search of
cheap land.
• Called this because they
usually carried their
belongings in a cheap bag
made from carpet fabric.
Resistance to Reconstruction
• Most white Southerners opposed any
effort to give African Americans rights.
The Ku Klux Klan
• Organization that used fear and
violence to deny rights to freed men
and women.
• Killed thousands of African Americans
and their white supporters.
The Ku Klux Klan
• Burned African American
homes, schools, and
• They had strong support
from planters and
Democrats across the
The Ku Klux Klan
• In 1870 and 1871 Congress passed
several laws to allow the federal
government to fight the Klan.
• African Americans with help from the
Freedman’s Bureau built many
schools throughout the South.
• African Americans and white students
generally would attend different
• Only very few schools were
integrated, including white and
African American students.
• African Americans still had a difficult
time purchasing any land of their own.
• In this system a landowner rented a
plot of land to a sharecropper, along
with a crude shack, some tools and
seed and maybe a mule.
• The sharecropper worked the land
and in return would give a landowner
a share of his harvested crops.
• Landowners collected a large share
of the harvest and it became little
better than slavery for the
End of Reconstruction
• During Grant’s
presidency, or
Northerners began to feel
it was time for the South
to take care of their own
End of Reconstruction
• Old radical leaders began to
disappear from politics. Thaddeus
Stevens died in 1868.
• Southern Democrats began to jump
on the declining interest in
The Republicans Split
• Reports of corruption, dishonest or
illegal activities, in Grant’s
administration caused some
Republicans to question radical
The Republicans Split
• The Liberal Republicans were
formed, seeking peaceful
reconciliation with the South and
Southern whites.
Amnesty Act
• In 1872, Liberal Republicans passed
this law which pardoned most former
Confederates which allowed for
nearly all Southern whites to vote and
hold political office again.
Amnesty Act
• Democrats soon gained control of all
the state governments.
• In states where African Americans were
in the majority and would have voted
Republican, the Klan made sure they
were not allowed to vote through
Weakening Republican Party
• Scandal after scandal rocked Grant’s
administration causing many to doubt
Weakening Republican Party
• Panic of 1873-was an economic
downturn which caused small banks
to close and a stock market crash.
Businesses shut down and thousands
were out of work.
• Blame fell on the Republican Party.
Election of 1874
• Democrats gained seats in the
Senate and won control of the House.
• For the first time since the Civil War,
the Democrats controlled a part of the
federal government.
Rutherford B. Hayes
• Governor of Ohio, he is elected
president in 1876.
• He was a moderate Republican
who appealed to the Liberal
Republicans and Democrats
because of his soft views on
Reconstruction declared over
• Shortly after taking office, Hayes
traveled through the South.
• Hayes’ announced his intention of
allowing Southerners to handle racial
Reconstruction declared over
• Basically sending the message that
the federal government would no
longer attempt to reshape Southern
• Democrat controlled state
government now could bring in new
laws to regulate African Americans
with no fear of federal interference.
Voting Restrictions
• The 15th Amendment had stated that
no one could be denied voting rights
based on race, but Southern
Democrats found ways to get around
the law.
Poll Tax
• Voters had to pay a small fee in order
to vote, most African Americans could
not afford the fee, thus they could not
Literacy Test
• Voters had to read or explain
difficult sections of the state or
federal constitution in order to
• Most African Americans had
little education, thus they could
not vote.
Grandfather Clause
• Stated that if your father or
grandfather had voted in
previous elections then you
could as well if you failed the
literacy test.
• This ensured that even
uneducated whites could still
Jim Crow Laws
• These laws required segregation, or
the separation of the races, in almost
every public place in the South.
• The Supreme Court upheld these
laws in Plessy vs. Ferguson case of
Jim Crow Laws
• They ruled that segregation was legal
as long as there access for everyone
and facilities were equal. Separate
but equal law.
Jim Crow Laws
• Facilities were never equal. Southern
governments spent far more money
on white only schools and facilities
than those for African Americans.
• These laws were enforced well into
the 1900s up until the 1960s.
Reconstruction Impact
• The Southern economy did recover
thanks to resources such as iron and
Reconstruction Impact
• For a short time African Americans
were given equal rights but they were
quickly taken away.
• Social injustices would last for more
than a century.