Reconstruction Era (5), 1844 - 1877

Richard Shearer, January 4th 2016

Wade-Davis Bill (1864)

The Republicans in Congress disliked Lincoln's lenient 10% plan. Congress thought that it would allow a reconstructed state government to fall under the domination of those disloyal to the Union.

Congress made the Wade-Davis Bill, which much stricter than Lincoln's plans. The bill:


  • Required 50% of the voters of a state to take a loyalty oath
  • Permitted only non-confederates to vote for a new state constitution.


Lincoln refused to sign the bill, vetoing it.

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was a temporary solution to the issue of African American rights and citizenship.


  • The Act declared that all African Americans were United States citizens.
  • The Act also attempted to provide a legal shield against the operation of the Southern State's Black Codes.


Eventually, Congress established the Fourteenth Amendment as a permanent solution to the issue.

CUL-4: African Americans gained more power due to the Civil Rights Act of 1866. They were finally identified as United States citizens. The African Americans were also protected from Black Codes and given more power.

Tenure of Office Act (1867 - 1887)

The Tenure of Office Act was established over Johnson's vetos.


  • The law prohibited the president from removing a federal official or military commander without the approval of the Senate.
  • The purpose of the was strictly political.


Congress wanted to protect Radical Republicans in Johnson's cabinet.

POL-1.0: Andrew Johnson's stubbornness in office and his ability to remove certain people of the cabinet was a threat to Radical Republicans in the cabinet. Congress decided to reduce the president's power by removing his ability to fire the members of the cabinet. This Act would cause some controversy and eventually lead to the presidency losing more power.

Scalawags / Carpetbaggers

The Democrats decided to bestow these nicknames onto their hated Republican friends.



  • "Scalawags" were southern Republicans. They were usually former Whigs who were interested in economic development for the state. They also supported peace between the sections.
  • "Carpetbaggers" were Northern newcomers. Some were investors who wanted to set up a new business, and some were teachers. Some simply went to the South to plunder.

Panic of 1873

The railroad industry was the main industry in 1873, which hired many people and gave many people jobs. However, in 1873, the overbuilding of railroads lead to widespread business failures and depressions.

Along with this, hard money had became less popular with many citizens, and greenback paper money was demanded. This lead to the price of silver falling. In 1874, however, Grant decided to side with bankers and creditors that supported hard-money.

Panic of 1873