Chapter 17

Reconstruction, 1863-1877

© 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved.

Wartime Reconstruction
• Problem of Black equality, even most northern states denied it • Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (1863)
– 10% of 1860 voters swear loyalty oath to U.S. and agree to end slavery, state could begin reconstruction process – Some Republicans opposed because not enough protection for freed slaves

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Radical Republicans and Reconstruction
• Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner: Radical Reconstruction leaders
– Give freed slaves land of Confederates – Give freed slaves right to vote

• Louisiana’s reconstructed government rejected by even non-Radical Republicans • Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill (1864)
– Lincoln’s veto

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Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction
• Tennessee Democrat who was the only southern senator to stay in office after secession • Radical Republicans wanted punitive Reconstruction and Black enfranchisement

Johnson’s Policy
• Presidential proclamations
– Amnesty Proclamation – Formation of new state governments in South

• Radical opposed, many supported Johnson • Moderate Republicans

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Southern Defiance
• Thirteenth Amendment – many Southern states balked at ratifying • Neo-confederate violence against Blacks • Presidential pardons made to ex-Confederates by Johnson • Many ex-Confederate leaders elected to Congress
– Alexander Hamilton Stephens

• Praise and support of Johnson from leading Northern Democrats

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The Black Codes
• State governments that reduced newly freed slaves to a condition close to slavery
– Blacks were excluded from juries, ballot boxes, interracial marriages, were punished more severely, could not lease land – Unemployed blacks declared vagrants and hired out to planters

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Land and Labor in the Postwar South
• Post-war South was in economic shambles • Post-war Slaves:
– Returned to farming for wages or crop shares – Moved into towns – Searched out relatives

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The Freedmen’s Bureau
• Union army occupies South • Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands • Sharecropping

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Land for the Landless
• Most slaves could not purchase land • “40 acres and a mule” • President Johnson restores almost all land to prewar owners by 1866

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Education
• Abolitionists helped freed people obtain education • 2,000 Northern teachers (3/4 were women)
– Trained black teachers: missionary societies – Black colleges founded

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The Advent of Congressional Reconstruction
• Congress refused to admit former Confederate states • Some Republicans wanted to enfranchise Blacks, but were constrained by fears of racist northern electorate

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Schism Between President and Congress
• Freedmen’s Bureau extension • Civil Rights Act (1866) • Congress passed both over presidential veto

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The Fourteenth Amendment
• Passed in Congress, 1866
– Most important provisions for defining and enforcing civil rights and liberties

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The 1866 Elections
• Republican campaign theme: 14th Amendment • Johnson and the National Union Party • Deadly race riots in Memphis and New Orleans • Republicans win three-to-one majority in Congress
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The Reconstruction Acts of 1867
• Compromise between Radical and Moderate Republicans • Created five military districts • Permitted Black suffrage • States must ratify 14th Amendment to be readmitted • Many southerners boycott elections • Scalawags and Carpetbaggers • Johnson tries to slow Congressional Reconstruction
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The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson
• • • • • • Threats of impeachment Edwin M. Stanton Tenure of Office Act House votes to impeach Johnson Long and complicated impeachment trial in Senate Moderates fear successful impeachment will endanger balance of powers • Senate fails to impeach by 1 vote
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The Completion of Formal Reconstruction
• New state constitutions in the South
– Universal male suffrage – Statewide public schools, but they could be segregated – More state responsibility for social welfare

• Violence and Ku Klux Klan • 8 southern states ratify 14th Amendment
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The Fifteenth Amendment
• Prohibited states from denying the right to vote on grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude • Woman’s suffragists embittered
– Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony

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The Election of 1868
• Election was referendum on Congressional Reconstruction • Ulysses S. Grant
– Republican nominee – Opposed Johnson’s Reconstruction policies

• Horatio Seymour
– Frank Blair – Nathan Bedford Forrest and the KKK – Grant wins electoral college, but got minority of white vote nationally
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The Grant Administration
• Scandals
– 3 Cabinet members resigned

• Grant’s administration not alone
– “Boss” William Marcy Tweed and Tammany Hall – Credit Mobilier – An “Era of Good Stealings”

• Mark Twain and Charles Dudley Warner
– The Gilded Age (1873)

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Civil Service Reform
• “spoils system” • Politicized bureaucracy with unqualified people • Reformers wanted competitive exams for civil service positions • George William Curtis and the Civil Service Commission
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Foreign Policy Issues
• Santo Domingo affair • Treaty of Washington (1871)
– Hamilton Fish – "Alabama Claims"

• Canada
– Fenians

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Reconstruction in the South
• Northerners tire of sectional strife and Reconstruction • Democratic violence protesting Reconstruction • Instability of the Republican coalition

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Blacks in Office
• Republican Party
– Southern white perceive it as symbol of conquest and humiliation – 80% of Republican voters in South were Black

• 1868-1876:
– 14 Black Representatives – 2 Black Senators

• "Negro rule“ myth
– Blacks held 15-20% of elected offices in Reconstruction
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“Carpetbaggers”
• Adventurers who came South with nothing but a “carpetbag” in which to stow loot plundered from helpless people • Those who settled in post-war South hoped to rebuild its society in the image of the free-labor North

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“Scalawags”
• Native-born whites who joined the southern Republican Party
– Came from upcountry Unionist areas of western North Carolina and Virginia, eastern Tennessee – Often former Whigs

• Republican Party in the South a fragile and vulnerable coalition

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The Ku Klux Klan
• Klan purpose
– Social control of freed slaves – Destroy Republican Party in the South

• “Colfax Massacre” (1873) • Ku Klux Klan Act (1871)

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The Election of 1872
• Liberal Republicans and Horace Greeley
– Democrats also endorse Greeley

• Thomas Nast cartoons • Grant reelected

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The Panic of 1873
• Wall Street panic
– Five-year depression – Jay Cooke’s banking firm and the Northern Pacific Railroad

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The Retreat from Reconstruction
• After the panic, Democrats made large gains in 1874 Congressional elections
– 1st House majority in 18 years

• Public opinion turned against Republicans in the South • 1875: only 4 states remained under Republican control
– South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana – White paramilitary groups

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The Mississippi Election of 1875
• Mississippi Plan (1875)
– – – – All whites should become Democrats Intimidate Black voters Adelbert Ames Grant trades Ohio for Mississippi

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The Supreme Court and Reconstruction
• U.S. v. Cruikshank (1870) • U.S. v. Reese (1871) • Civil Rights Cases (1883)

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The Election of 1876
• Corruption and government reform were key campaign issues • Samuel J. Tilden • Rutherford B. Hayes • “bulldozing” • “Hamburg Massacre”

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Disputed Results
• Discrepancies in results
– Hayes had votes, but Democrats refused the results – Democratic House, Republican Senate – Constitutional crisis

• Electoral commission

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The Compromise of 1877
• Electoral Commission partisan vote awarded victory to Hayes • Compromise
– Federal aid and patronage to Democrats in South – Withdrawal of federal troops

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The End of Reconstruction
• Postmaster David M. Key (D-TN) • Internal Improvements for South 1878 • Removal of federal troops in Louisiana and South Carolina • North tired of crisis and Reconstruction

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Conclusion
• • • • Federal government power increases Amendments Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen North wearied of Reconstruction Withdrawal of federal troops from the South in 1877

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved.

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