Lecture 17, Reconstruction - Union County Vocational

Chapter Seventeen
Part One:
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
In Hale County, former slaves showed sense of
One planter described how freed people refused to
do “their former accustomed work.”
Former slaveholders had to reorganize their
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
By December, Johnson claimed that “restoration” was
virtually complete.
The Radical Republican Vision
Radical Republicans wanted to remake the South in the North’s
Stringent “Black Codes” outraged many Northerners.
In December 1865, Congress excluded the southern
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
South divided into five military districts.
Johnson replaced Secretary of War Edwin Stanton.
In violation of the Tenure of Office Act, Johnson fired
The House impeached Johnson; Senate vote fell one vote
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
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
linkage between the rights of women and African
Americans forged split.
Radical group fought against the passage of the Fifteenth
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
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
No land redistribution.
Freedman’s Bureau evicted thousands of blacks that
settled on confiscated lands.
Most planters expected blacks to work for wages in
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
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
Pleased some Northerners
Republicans also drew strength from:
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
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
Civil Rights Act of 1875 outlawed racial
discrimination in public places.
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
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:
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
Several Republican politicians part of Crédit Mobilier
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
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
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
In three southern states two sets of electoral votes were
An electoral commission awarded the disputed votes to
Hayes struck a deal that promised money for southern
internal improvements and noninterference in southern
The remaining federal troops were removed from the
The remaining Republican governments in the South lost
Part Seven:
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
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.
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