Unit 5: 1848-1877

Abbie Aguilar 1/4/16

Reconstruction: 1863-1877

The damage inflicted by the previous four years of the Civil war left the North and South in ruins. African Americans had to adjust to new freedoms granted by the ending of the war and Southern states had to reconcile with the Northern states in order to be reentered into the Union.

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Reconstruction Policies

Lincoln's 10 Percent Plan (Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction-1863)

Simple, yet put the unionists in charge rather than the secessionists.
  • Full presidential pardons granted to most confederates who took an oath of allegiance to the Union and the U.S Constitution and accepted the emancipation of slaves.
  • A state government could be reestablished and accepted as legitimate by the U.S President as soon as at least 10 percent of the voters in the state took the loyalty oath.

Johnson's Reconstruction Policy

Johnson's policy mirrored Lincolns' 10 percent plan with a few additions :
  • It provided for the loss to vote and hold office of all former leaders and office holders of the confederacy and confederates with more than $20,000 in taxable property.
  • The president also retained the power to grant "pardons" to disloyal individuals.
These additions to Lincoln's previous plan resulted in the quick admittance of former confederates back into office.

Congressional Reconstruction Policy (Reconstruction Acts of 1867)

  • Placed the South under military occupation
  • Divided South into 5 different military districts, each under control of the Union Army
  • To readmit itself, an ex-confederate state had to ratify the 14th amendment and place guarantees in its constitution for granting the right to vote to all males regardless of gender.

14th and 15th Amendments

14th (1868)
  • declared that all persons born or naturalized in the U.S were citizens
  • obligated the states to respect the rights of a U.S citizen and provide them with "equal protection of the laws" and "due process of law".
15th (1870)
  • Prohibited denial of suffrage by states to any citizen on the basis of race, color, or previous servitude.

Political Cartoon

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This political cartoon demonstrates the 15th amendment by showing insects flying around, "bothering" or "pestering" an African American about voting. On the wings of the insects are the abbreviations of the states that voted against the ratification of the 15th amendment.

"Scalawags" and "Carpetbaggers"

The term carpetbagger refers to Northerners who moved to the South during Reconstruction. Carpetbaggers moved to the south during the reconstruction era to purchase land or lease plantations in hope that they would profit from the cotton they grew. At first, the south welcomed them, viewing their motives as an attempt to help get the South back on their feet. However, the South later viewed them as northerners attempting to make profit from their misfortune. Scalawags were white Southerners who were interested in the economic development for their state and peace between the sections.

The Klu Klux Klan

The Klu Klux Klan consisted of several white supremacists, brought together under the leadership of ex-Confederate general, Nathaniel Bedford Forrest. The goal of this group was to frighten and intimidate blacks and white reformers. Actions taken by the Klu Klux Klan included burning of black-owned buildings, and flogging and murdering freedmen to keep them from exercising their voting rights. In order to stop these inhumane acts, Congress passed the Force Acts of 1870 and 1871.

Force Acts of 1870 and 1871

These acts:

  • Banned the use of terror, force or bribery to prevent any person of any race from voting.
  • Banned the KKK entirely
  • Demanded military force to help enforce these laws.
Reconstruction and 1876: Crash Course US History #22

Corresponding Themes

1. POL-2.0

The Freedmen's Bureau emerged from reconstruction, being the first kind of primitive welfare agency used to provide food, clothing, medical care, and education to freedmen and to white refugees. Through this, Americans showed unity through their actions.

2. CUL-4.0

During the Reconstruction Era, African Americans began entering the work force, which many Americans were not used to. Over time, citizens of America have changed their views of African Americans and rightfully given them the respect deserved.