Civil War Vocabulary Words

A very large farm.
A person who fought to end slavery.
President of the Confederacy (the South) during
the Civil War.
United States President during the Civil War. He
wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and
worked to reconstruct the country after the war.
The North’s strategy during the Civil War to cut
off supplies from the South by blocking their
A law requiring men to register for military
Money owed after a war.
An above-ground series of escape routes for
slaves traveling from the South to the North
to gain their freedom.
People who led runaway slaves to freedom on
the Underground Railroad.
A former slave, she made over 19 journeys
from the South to the North helping slaves
Songs sung by slaves and members of the
Underground Railroad to encourage hope, defy
slave-masters, and send secret messages.
The time period when the United States was
rebuilt after the Civil War.
A newly free slave.
An office established in 1865 by Congress to
help former black slaves and poor whites in
the South after the Civil War.
Lincoln's plan for Reconstruction, which stated
that a southern state could rejoin the United
States once 10 percent of its voters swore an
oath of loyalty to the Union.
An official pardon for people who have been
convicted of political crimes.
Laws passed by Southern states in 1865 and
1866, after the Civil War, that restricted
African Americans' freedoms and
opportunities (such as jobs and education)
Acts passed by the Radical Republicans (who
took charge of Reconstruction) that put strict
requirements in place if a southern state
wanted to rejoin the Union.
Republicans who favored drastic and
sometimes harsh measures against the
southern states in the period following the
Civil War.
To charge a politician with misconduct or crimes.
A person from the northern states who went to
the South after the Civil War to profit from the
A secret society of white Southerners in the
United States; used threats and violence to
suppress black people.
A farmer who rents a piece of land from the
owner and pays him back with a portion of
the crop he harvests.
A tax that had to be paid every time a person
voted. Poll taxes were used after the Civil War
to prevent free blacks, who often could not
afford to pay them, from voting.
A test of someone’s ability to read and write
that had to be passed before voting; used to
keep freedmen and the poor from voting.
A law that stated that if your grandfather was
allowed to vote (as of 1867), then you can
vote, too, without having to pass a literacy
Legal separation of races (for example, in
schools, bathrooms, or trains)
Racial segregation laws enacted between 1876
and 1965 in certain U.S. states; greatly
restricted the rights and opportunities for
free black citizens.
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