Chapter 12: Reconstruction American History

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Chapter 12: Reconstruction American History. Plans begin to unfold. The president and Congress grappled with the difficult tasks of Reconstruction , or rebuilding the country after the Civil War plans began right after the Civil War began
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Chapter 12: ReconstructionAmerican HistoryPlans begin to unfold
  • The president and Congress grappled with the difficult tasks of Reconstruction, or rebuilding the country after the Civil War
  • plans began right after the Civil War began
  • In 1863, Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
  • offered general amnesty, or pardon for all Southerners who took loyalty to the U.S. and accepted Union proclamation on slavery
  • The Radical Republicans, in opposition to Lincoln’s policies, had three goals:
  • prevent leaders of Confederacy from returning to power
  • wanted Republican Party to be an institution in the South
  • Help African Americans gain the right to vote
  • Wade-Davis Bill
  • Moderate Republicans caught in the mix between the radicals and Lincoln came up with a plan that supported both sides
  • Wade-Davis Bill
  • Required majority of white male Southerners to swear allegiance to the Union
  • Confederate state would then hold a constitutional convention to establish a new state government
  • Each convention would then abolish slavery, reject all debts, and deprive all Confederate officials and military leaders of the right to vote or hold office
  • Lincoln blocked the bill with a pocket veto, or waiting until the session of Congress expired without signing the bill
  • felt bill was counterproductive
  • Freedman’s Bureau
  • Lincoln realized that the South was in chaos from the thousands of homeless, unemployed, and hungry
  • Lincoln also realized that thousands of freedmen, or freed slaves, were coming into the North
  • During the war, General Sherman used all abandoned plantations to help freed African Americans
  • Refugee crisis led to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or the Freedman’s Bureau
  • Bureaus helped feed and clothe refugees of the war, find employment for African Americans on plantations, negotiate pay wages with Southern employers, and educated former slaves in the North
  • Johnson’s Plans for Reconstruction
  • Johnson took over as President when Lincoln was assassinated
  • was hot tempered, but believed in moderate principles
  • In 1865, Johnson implemented his own restoration plan
  • Offered pardon to all Confederates
  • excluded former military officials and Confederates with property valuing more than $20,000
  • Those who were excluded from the pardon had to apply directly to Johnson for a pardon, for he believed these people caused the war
  • Each state had to revoke its secession and ratify the Thirteenth Amendment
  • Black Codes
  • New Southern legislatives passed a series of laws known as black codes
  • severely limited African rights in the South
  • Africans were required to enter into an annual working contract
  • African children had to join apprenticeships and could be subjected to beating during these apprenticeships
  • Set specific work hours and required Africans to get licenses for non-agricultural jobs
  • Radicals take control
  • Many moderates joined the radicals and developed the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, developing their own plan for rebuilding the Union
  • passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, granting all Americans, except Native Americans, citizenship, and gave Africans the right to own land
  • passed the Fourteenth Amendment, granting citizenship to all people born and naturalized in the United States and that no person should be deprived of “life, liberty, and property”, or “equal protection of the laws”
  • passed the Military Reconstruction Act, dividing the South into five military districts and had to hold another constitutional convention to ratify a constitution deemed acceptable by Congress
  • Johnson impeached
  • By preventing Johnsons from bypassing Grant or firing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, both supporters of Republican ideals, Congress passed these two acts:
  • Command of Army Act: all orders of the president had to go through headquarters of the general of the army
  • Tenure of Office Act: Senate had to approve any removal of office who appointment required Senate consent
  • Johnson fired Stanton anyway, and was impeached, or charged with high crimes and misdemeanors for not abiding by the Tenure of Office Act
  • was put on trial, but was acquitted and kept his place in office, but had little power due to the impeachment
  • Election of 1868
  • Johnson finished his term and did not seek re-election
  • Republicans nominated Ulysses S. Grant for President
  • won elected, and gained major support from Africans in the South
  • With the President on their side, Congress passed the Fifteenth Amendment
  • Declared the right to vote shall not be denied by any “race, color, or previous conditions of servitude”
  • Carpetbaggers and Scalawags
  • Many Northerners moved to the South and were elected into government positions
  • Carpetbaggers
  • were seen as intruders trying to exploit the South
  • some wanted to help, while others did want to take advantage of the war-torn South
  • Southerners also hated scalawags, or white Southerners working with Republicans and supported Reconstruction
  • some were farmers, some were Democrats, and most were businessmen
  • Republican Reforms
  • African Americans begin to take government positions
  • held different types of positions in all facets of government
  • angered Southerners, claiming “Black Republicanism” was taking over the South
  • Republicans made reforms in the South
  • repelled all black code laws
  • established state hospitals and institutes for orphans, the mentally ill, and the hearing and visually disabled
  • established a system of public schools
  • rebuilt roads, railways, and bridges
  • Reforms cost money, however
  • officials implemented heavy taxes
  • corrupt officials committed grafts, or illegally gaining money through politics
  • African American communities
  • Once freed, African Americans desired to get an education
  • incorporated African Americans in public schools
  • built schools for African American children
  • institutions offered advanced academics for African Americans
  • African Americans also established their own churches
  • housed social gatherings, events, and schools
  • African Americans began several organizations established to help communities
  • Resistance from the South
  • Organizations began to erupt to counteract the Black Republicans
  • Ku Klux Klan
  • started by former Confederate soldiers
  • Goal was to drive out the Union and carpetbaggers and regain the South for the Democratic Party
  • terrorized African American and Republican communities
  • Republicans and African Americans formed groups to protect themselves from these organizations
  • confrontations all turned out violent
  • Enforcement Acts
  • To combat the violence in the South, Grant and Congress passed three Enforcement Acts
  • One made it a federal crime to interfere with a person’s right to vote
  • Two made federal marshals in charge of federal elections
  • Three was the Klu Klux Klan Act, outlawed the activities of the Klan
  • Republican Party splits
  • Republican-controlled Congress continued to enforce Reconstruction and expanded on programs it introduced during the Civil War
  • kept tariffs high, tightened banking regulations, repaid debts with gold, and increased federal spending on railways, port facilities, and the postal service
  • Kept in place taxes on alcohol and tobacco: sin taxes
  • Democrats and Liberal Republicans disagreed with these motions, stating they were used only to make the wealthy more rich
  • nominated Horace Greeley for president, promising to remove Union troops from the South and pardon nearly all Confederates
  • still lost to Grant
  • Scandals and Panics rock the White House
  • Grant’s second term was plagued with scandals and a financial panic
  • One scandal involved Secretary of War William Belknap, who accepted bribes from merchants operating in army posts in the West
  • Another, called the “Whiskey Ring” scandal, a group of government officials and distillers cheated the government by filing false tax reports
  • Panic of 1873: when large banking firm of Jay Cooke & Company declared bankruptcy, smaller banks closed and the stock market plummeted
  • Democrats take control, but illegally
  • In the mid-term elections in 1873, Democrats took much of the seats in Congress, giving them power
  • committed election frauds and appealed to Southern farmers, stating that the South had a struggle between African Americans and whites
  • From Grant’s damaged reputation, the Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes, while Democrats nominated Samuel Tilton for president
  • Compromise of 1877
  • From the election, Tilton won the majority of votes, but 20 electoral votes could not be accounted for
  • came from three states that Republicans controlled: Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida
  • Had been so much election fraud on both sides, no one could tell who the votes went to
  • To help solve this issue, Congress appointed a 15 man panel
  • 8 were Republican, who voted for Hayes to have the votes
  • Southern Democrats sided with the Republicans, stating they helped Hayes win and the Democrats accepted this vote
  • Compromise of 1877
  • The New South emerges
  • Southern leaders called for the creation of the “New South”, since the South could not be like it was before the war
  • With deals from Northerner financiers, portions of the South’s economy became industrial
  • African Americans began to return to plantations to either work for wages or become tenant farmers, or work for rent
  • some tenant farmers became sharecroppers, or people who paid rent using the crops they grew
  • got equipment from furnishing merchants, or country stores, who supplied credit and issued crop liens, or taking of crops to pay for debts acquired by credit
  • the crop liens system led many to debt peonage, or inability to move off of land due to the debts they had acquired
  • could not pay off debt or declare bankruptcy
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