Topic # 4: Reconstruction
Triumph of Race, Politics, and
Reconstruction Begins
 Reconstruction- the period in U.S. history
immediately following the Civil War
Goal was an easy peace to shorten war
– Allow Southern states to rejoin the Union.
– Main goal was not necessarily to end slavery, but
to unify the United States.
Lincoln’s 10% Plan
– States could be readmitted into the Union when
10 percent of voters had taken an oath of
allegiance to the U.S.
– States must pledge their allegiance to
– When the Southern States formally abolished
slavery (constitution) they would be recognized
Who Controls Reconstruction:
Congress or President?
Wade-Davis Bill: program proposed for the
Reconstruction of the South written by two
Radical Republicans
– Senator Wade of Ohio and Representative Davis of
– Plan much more strict than Lincolns plan
– In order for Southern States to be readmitted, they
must take an oath saying they never supported the
Confederacy during the Civil War.
– Required new State Constitutions that banned
Lincoln’s Response
Wade-Davis Bill was passed in the Senate and
the House.
– Lincoln steps in
Pocket Veto: legislative maneuver that allows
the President to indirectly veto a bill.
– Lincoln uses the pocket veto and the Wade-Davis
Bill is never made a law
Lincoln’s plan was based on forgiveness and
Lincoln quote: “Malice towards none Charity for
Assassination of a Hero
Ford Theatre- April
14, 1865- “Our
American Cousin”
John Wilkes Booth
A Confederate
sympathizer murders
Lincoln during play
Assassination of
Lincoln left questions
unresolved when
Andrew Johnson
became president.
Lincoln’s Second Inaugural
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with
firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the
right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in;
to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him
who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow,
and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and
cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves,
and with all nations.
The Freedmen
13th Amendment was passed in 1865
– made former slaves freedmen
– the Black Codes still prevented voting rights
– led to questions about voting rights for African
American males
Freedmen faced several problems:
– couldn’t read or write
– owned no land
– had no money to buy land
– jobs were scarce
Freedman’s Bureau
Freedmen's Bureau- established in the War
Department on March 3, 1865.
– Aid former slaves through education, health
care, and employment.
– Assumed custody of confiscated lands or
property in the former Confederate States.
– Built Schools- many of whom are
“Historically Black Colleges” in the South.
– Very important in the advancement of
Civil Rights!!!
Freedman’s Bureau Schools
Reconstruction EQ’s #1
1. Define Reconstruction. Who won the major
event that was going on prior and during
2. Compare and Contrast Lincoln’s plan for
Reconstruction with the Wade-Davis Bill.
3. Define Pocket Veto. How did Lincoln utilize
the pocket veto?
4. Explain the circumstances surrounding the
assassination of President Lincoln. Who was
the assassin? Where did it take place?
Radical Republicans
Radical Republicans: opposed to slavery
during the war, and supported equal rights for
freedmen (the newly freed slaves)
Goals of Radical Republicans:
– Ensuring the right to vote for freedmen
– Passage of the Reconstruction Acts
– Harsh treatment of ex-Confederates
Radical Republicans opposed Lincoln’s TenPercent plan
Believed that the next President, Andrew
Johnson, was their man (not the case)
Andrew Johnson
Democrat from Tennessee
Initially supported by
Radical Republicans
Johnson’s Plan
– similar to Lincoln’s
– Led to southern elections
that voted in former
confederate leaders.
– Led to the Black Codes
– Now enemy to Radical
– Plan viewed as too lenient
A Unified Congress?
New southern state govts. elected
representatives to Congress (former
Confederate leaders)
Dec. 1865, Congress meets
– Republican majority refused to seat the new
southern reps.
– Joint Committee of Reconstruction: was set up
to investigate new Southern state governments.
1866: Civil Rights Issues
Committee met in spring 1866
1. Hatred for the Union
2. Love for the Confederacy
3. Existence of Black Codes – laws that
prevented rights of African Americans
Civil Rights Act of 1866: gave African
Americans U.S. citizenship but not right to
– Johnson vetoes, Congress overrides
Freedmen’s Bureau: up for renewal
– Johnson vetoes, Congress overrides
A Guarantee of Citizenship
Congress proposed 14th Amendment (1866) to
guarantee rights of African Americans forever
– extended equal citizenship to all
– denied states the right to deprive anyone of life,
liberty, or property w/o due process
– promised all citizens equal protection of the laws
Voting Rights at Last
– two years later the 15th Amendment was ratified
it gave African American males the right to vote
in all states
– some women campaigned for their suffrage too
Military Reconstruction Act: 1867
Republicans gained majority in Congress in
1866 elections
Military Reconstruction Act: southern states
were put under military supervision until they
were readmitted
Southern States—except Tn.—would write new
constitutions w/ Universal Adult Male
Suffrage: all males could vote.
States had to ratify 14th amendment
Gave Army power to register voters and to
disqualify “disloyal persons” from registering.
Reconstruction EQ’s #2
1. Describe Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction
Plan. To which plan was it most comparable?
Who were the Radical Republicans?
Describe 3 of their goals.
Of the 3 Reconstruction plans, which plan
would the Radical Republicans support?
Describe the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments
to the U.S. Constitution.
Discuss why 1866 could be viewed as “the
year of civil rights.” Explain key events.
Struggle for Power
By 1870, Southern states were readmitted
Some had to ratify 15th amendment
Radical Republicans believed Johnson
hindered their efforts toward Reconstruction
– Needed to be removed from office
– Intentionally violated the Tenure of Office Act
– Impeachment report was prepared the same day
Johnson was impeached by the House
Avoided removal from office by one vote
– Power/influence was gone
– Congress won the right to control Reconstruction
Southern Politics Change
Freedmen could participate in southern politics
Former Conf. officials could not
- two groups of whites were significant:
Carpetbaggers: Northerners who went South
during Reconstruction
– some sought personal gain only
– others tried to help (ministers, teachers, etc.)
Scalawags: white Southerners who supported
the federal reconstruction plan
– Make money or gain political office
– Republican rule was best for the South
Southern Radicalism
Congressional reforms & increase of African American
rights prompted anger/resentment from southerners
– believed economic growth was being hindered
– resented freedmen’s rights to vote/hold office
– wanted to end influence of carpetbaggers,
scalawags, & African Americans
– Ku Klux Klan: Committed acts of terrorism against
African Americans and Republicans.
Congress reacted by passing legislation
– 3 Enforcement Acts passed to prevent violence
– Decrease of KKK activity
– threat of violence still remained
A Changing Political Landscape
1867, Radical Republicans were at their peak
1870 all southern states had rejoined the Union
Republicans struggled to hold on to power
Tried to hold power by electing Grant president
in 1868 & 1872
– War hero for the Union
– Presidency undermined by scandal
– Not much energy left for Reconstruction
Radicals gradually began to lose power in the
South over the next 10 years
1876 Presidential Election
Rep. nominated Rutherford B. Hayes
Dem. nominated Samuel J. Tilden
Tilden won the popular vote but . . .
– electoral votes were disputed in four states- FL, SC,
– both sides had used fraud & intimidation at the polls
– resulted in two different sets of electoral votes
Special electoral commission decided the
Republican votes were the real ones
Commission made Hayes the new president
Hayes names Southerner to cabinet
– Army withdrawn from south
A Compromise
Dem. refused the decision until a compromise
was reached- Comp. of 1877 - Rep. promised:
1) Dem. could take over govts. in LA, SC, & FL
2) to remove remaining troops from the South
3) to provide federal aid for rebuilding the South
– Dem. promised to treat blacks fairly & to protect
their rights
A New South Emerges
– Industrialization in the South; economies struggle
– Planters must work for themselves
– Poor farmers had 2 choices.
The New South
Tenant Farmers: Farmer who resides on and
farms land owned by a landlord.
Sharecroppers: a landowner allows a tenant to
use the land in return for a share of the crop
produced on the land.
Jim Crow Laws established legalized
segregation in the south
Court case Plessey vs Ferguson said
separate but equal was ok
Mandated segregation in all public facilities
The End of Reconstruction
Reconstruction ended in 1877 w/ Compromise
of 1877
Dem. controlled govts. throughout the South
South had still not recovered economically
Racism still existed & would continue to be a
problem- KKK
Women’s Rights??
3 amendments had been ratified
African American participation in politics
Universal Manhood Suffrage
“Boy, You ain’t a votin’ here”!
Acts of Terrorism