Published on June 29, 2009
The Civil War & Southern Society During the war Southern railroads destroyed Large estates broken up or destroyed in many places Agricultural economy uprooted Landscape scarred by battle in many placesAfter the War Southern Economy destroyed: Slave-owners lost $4 billion worth of slave “property” 4 million enslaved people emancipated South had no capitalWould take nearly a generation to reach pre-war levels. Pre-war levels of production would not be reached until:1. 1879 for cotton 2. 1880 for tobacco 3. 1893 for sugar (mainly in Louisiana) 4. Never for Rice (in S.C. & GA) or Hemp (KY)
Southern railroads destroyed
Large estates broken up or destroyed in many places
Agricultural economy uprooted
Landscape scarred by battle in many places
Slave-owners lost $4 billion worth of slave “property”
4 million enslaved people emancipated
South had no capital
Would take nearly a generation to reach pre-war levels. Pre-war levels of production would not be reached until:
Richmond at War’s End
Reconstruction, 1865-1877 Reconstruction dealt with 2 political issues: 1. What to do about 4 million freedpeople. 2. How to readmit Southern states to Union. Contested Plans of Reconstruction 1. Lincoln’s 10% Plan 2. “Presidential” Reconstruction 3. “Congressional” (aka “Radical”) Reconstruction Reconstruction Resisted in the South 1. Through discriminatory laws (“Black Codes”) 2. By Vigilante Violence 3. By Economic Coercion 4. Due to Northern Indifference
Presidential Reconstruction Johnson contended that power over Reconstruction lay with the executive branch. Moved to readmit former Confederate states while Congress was out of session in summer of 1865. Johnson’s “Proclamation of Amnesty”: Like Lincoln’s Plan: 1. Southern voters take oath of allegiance to Constitution & President & to swear support of emancipation laws. (Lincoln required 10%; Johnson’s plan did not.) 2. They would receive a pardon & be allowed to reenter Union as voting citizens. 3. Exclusions: Civil, diplomatic & military officials of Confederacy; those who committed crimes against black Union soldiers But Johnson’s Version: 1. Also excluded large landholders whose property values > $20,000. 2. Appointed provisional Unionist governors to call constitutional conventions of loyal voters. 3. States to call conventions to invalidate secessionist ordinances; invalidate slavery; repudiate Confederate debt; & ratify 13th Amendment.
Effects of Presidential Plan 1. Southern state conventions drafted new constitutions & held elections. 2. Johnson pardoned 13,000 Confederate leaders during the summer of 1865. 3. Southern states drafted a series of laws, known as the Black Codes, that conceded on emancipation but discriminated against African-Americans. 4. Southern states held elections & voted for local, state & national offices. 5. Republican-led Congress convened in the winter of 1865, it encountered a contingent of recently elected Southerners, waiting to be seated in Congress. 6. Many newly elected Southern congressmen were ex-Confederates—former army officers & officials of the C.S.A.; even the former CSA Vice-President, Alexander H. Stephens. 7. Houses of Congress refuse to seat the Southern delegates. 8. Fight between Congress & the President was on.
Critics of Presidential Plan
Radical Reconstruction, 1866-1876 Radical Republicans attempted to fundamentally reshape Southern race relations by guaranteeing black political , legal, social & economic rights. Key “Radical” Republicans Legislation 1. 13th Amendment (1865) 2. Civil Rights Act (1866) 3. Freedman’s Bureau Bills 4. 14th Amendment (1866/1868) 5. Military Reconstruction Act (1867) 6. 15th Amendment (1869/1870) 7. Laws to Harass Johnson 8. Enforcement Acts
Military Reconstruction Act
A World Turned Upside Down Under Military Reconstruction Act, the first biracial constitutional conventions & popular elections in world history. Marred by violence. Union military stationed in the South to police & protect the polls. 1867 Conventions 256 black delegates sent to the various state conventions, with blacks represented in every one. Southern Reconstruction Governments 1. Established public institutions like schools, asylums & hospitals 2. Reformed Criminal Law 3. Changed Lien Laws 4. Changed Tax Structures
Louisiana ConstitutionalConvention of1868
Election of 1868
Reconstruction Governments Between 1868 & 1876, Republicans controlled or participated Southern legislatures. Republican Party comprised of: 1. Northern Republicans—both white & black—who came South (“carpetbaggers”) 2. Southerners who joined GOP (“scalawags) 3. Freedmen Thousands of black candidates were elected at the local level & 600 at the state & federal level: 1. 2 U.S. Senators elected 2. 14 U.S. Congressmen. 3. A handful of state treasurers 4. 6 Lieutenant Governors 5. 1 Secretary of State. 6. Only once did blacks hold a majority (lower house of S.C. 1868-1870) 7. Thousands of local offices: mayors, sheriffs & deputies, registrar of voters, aldermen, postal clerks, school board members, tax assessors, justices of the peace
Black Members of Congress
Reconstruction: Facts & Myths Critics Contend 1. These were tax-and-spend governments 2. Republican governments were corrupt 3. Black legislators were incompetent 3. Black legislators were intent upon social leveling Legislative Achievements 1. Public Schools, Hospital & Asylums Established 2. Lien Laws Passed on Behalf of Poor Farmers & Farm Laborers 3. Progressive Tax Codes Enacted 3. Desegregation of Streetcars, Hotels & Restaurants 4. Repeal of Black Codes to Allow Land Ownership.
Klan Violence Klan’s Goals 1. Undermine Reconstruction Governments. 2. Reestablish control over the black labor force. 3. Restore racial subordination. 4. Police social etiquette. The Klan became so brazen in its attempts to destroy Republican Party that Grant declared martial law in several states in 1871. The military rounded up leaders & members. Trials , Congressional hearings & convictions resulted. The Klan was essentially destroyed. Vigilante violence did not end. White racists began to intimidate black voters & their white political allies openly, in the form of Democratic “rifle clubs.”
Northern Sympathy Northern public opinion was sympathetic to freedmen for quite some time. But Southern white persistence gradually wore down Northern resolve. President Grant refused requests to send troops to put down vigilantism Mississippi in 1875, for example, noting that to do so might lose the close election for Governor of Ohio in 1876. “What good is winning Mississippi,” he asked, “if we lose Ohio?”
Northern Change of Opinion (ca. 1875)
“Redemption” Southern Term to Refer to the Take-back of Government by Southern Whites. Happened on a State-by-state Basis, but was Completed by 1877 Republican Party & Governments Destroyed & Driven from the State One-party, White Democratic Party Rule Established.Redemption accomplished through: 1. Economic Coercion 2. Racist appeals to superiority of whites & inferiority of blacks 3. Vigilante Violence Ku Klux Klan formed in 1866 in Pulaski, TN (Basically an extra-legal arm of the Democratic Party)Other names for the “Klan” A. North Carolina: “White Brotherhood,” “Invisible Empire” & “Constitutional Union Guard”B. Louisiana: “Knights of White Camelia,” “Swamp Fox Rangers,,” the “Innocents,” “Seymour Knights,” & “Hancock Guards”C. Mississippi: “Washington Brothers,” “Knights of the Black Cross,” “Heggie’s Scouts” & “Robinson Clubs.”
Southern Term to Refer to the Take-back of Government by Southern Whites.
Happened on a State-by-state Basis, but was Completed by 1877
Republican Party & Governments Destroyed & Driven from the State
One-party, White Democratic Party Rule Established.
Compromise of 1877
Meaning of Freedom ~ Family
Meaning of Freedom ~ Worship
Meaning of Freedom ~ Education
The More Things Change Map of Louisiana Cotton Plantation
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