The Reconstruction

Nicole Gaethke

The three Civil Rights Amendments

The 13th Amendment:

The 13th Amendment was passed in December of 1865. This amendment abolished slavery.

The 14th Amendment:

The 14th Amendment was ratified in July of 1868. The purpose of this amendment was to provide citizenship and equal protection to the freed people. The southern states would be punished if they denied the right to vote to the black citizens.

The 15th Amendment:

The 15th Amendment was approved in February of 1870. It intended to guarantee federal voting and give African American men the right to vote. This amendment did not give rights to women, who were therefore infuriated.

Plans for Reconstruction

President Lincoln:

Lincoln's plan is also known as the 10% plan because when 10% of the voting population took an oath of loyalty and established a government, then reconstruction would started . He wished to replace majority rule with "royal rule" instead. He did not consult the Congress and pardoned all but the highest ranking military and civilian Confederate officers. The Wade Davis Bill was passed that allowed 50% of the voters to swear they never voluntarily aided the rebellion. He hoped to end all bitterness and for the reconstruction process to move very rapidly.

President Johnson:

President Johnson was very racist and was against the wealthy, or commonly known as a democrat. He agreed with Lincoln's statement that the states never legally left the union. He believed that amnesty would be given to all but the Confederate civil and military officers. Those with property that valued over $20,000 had to accept minimum conditions on slavery, secession, and state debates. Governors were in charge of the Constitutional Conventions. Johnson's plan limited rights to certain specific leading Confederates as well as bringing planter aristocrats back to power. Johnson wanted the South to dominate over the Republican party.


On March of 1867 Congress passed the Reconstruction Acts. This act divided the south into five military districts. This only included the states that had not yet been readmitted to the Union. Ten southern states then decided to ratify the 14th Amendment. The Congress overpowered Johnson's vetoes and reinstated the Freedmen's Bureau Bill and The 1866 Civil Rights Acts.

Radical Republicans:

The Radical Republicans were a group that hoped to fix problems left after the war. They were led by carpetbaggers and scalawags. They worked together to help rebuild the south. Much of the progress made in the south is credited to the Radical Republicans. They restored education, roads, and improved agriculture and society.

The Black Codes

The Black Codes were formed by the former confederacy. The Black Codes limited the rights and liberties of the blacks. Blacks were unable to do what the whites are able to. They were very similar to what had formally been known as the slave codes. Because the blacks had been emancipated, the codes guaranteed stable labor supply. It began to force many of the freed people to become sharecroppers. Sharecroppers are tenant farmers that rent land and share crops. They wanted to restore the emancipation system of races. The North tried to fight against the codes during the Reconstruction.

Racism and Discrimination

A large percentage of the whites were very racist and discriminated harshly against the African Americans. The 15th Amendment allowed African American men to vote. In order to vote, they must pass a literacy test, one of which many educated, white American men were unable to pass. The African Americans were very uneducated and many did not have the ability to read or write. The Ku Klux Klan, a secret society of former confederates, sought out to create heavy violence among the African Americans. The government passed the Enforcement Acts, also known as the "KKK Act", to help protect the African Americans against this violence. In order to prohibit discrimination and provide equal use, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 was taken into effect. The African Americans tried to protect their new found rights by starting businesses, taking part in society, and getting involved in politics and government. They put themselves out there to become more well-known.

The End of the Reconstruction

The purpose of the Reconstruction was to reunite our country as one. It intentions were to fix the problems and issues each side had with one another and to get the south back on track. They hoped to fix the south both economically and socially. It was hoped that the nation could function without the use of slavery. The Reconstruction Era ended in 1877 by the Compromise of 1877. It had settled the dispute of the 1876 presidential election. They agreed that Rutherford B Hayes was become president and that federal troops would be removed from the South.

How the Reconstruction Affects Us Today

The Reconstruction still affects us today because the amendments are still in effect. There is still no slavery, African American voting rights, and equal citizenship. Our nation remains as a whole instead of two separate regions like prior to the Reconstruction Era. Schools have become desegregated and there has been equal opportunities.


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