Reconstruction After the Civil War, the nation faced a new problem -- what happens next?
Assassination of Lincoln
On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln's death was tragic for Northerners and probably bad for Southerners -- his moderation would have been good for the Confederacy.
Andrew Johnson took his place as president.
Johnson v. Lincoln Plan
Lincoln's original plan in 1863 for Reconstruction was that a state could re-enter the Union when 10% of its voters took an oath of allegiance to the U.S. and pledged to abide by emancipation.
Johnson's plan was also a 10% vote, much to Congress's chagrin. However, unlike Lincoln, Johnson shared white supremacist views and was very for the South.
Presidential vs. Congressional Reconstruction
Democrat, often vetoed bills passed by the Republican Congress (useless because Republicans had 2/3 majority).
Shared many white supremacist views, wanted Southern states to easily re-integrate into the Union.
Didn't want former rebels to hold place in government
Their Republican majority in Congress was threatened, and now that slaves were emancipated and they got full representation in Congress, the South got 12 more House seats.
In March 1867, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act. It divided the South into 5 military districts, commanded and policed by Union generals/officers, and it also placed strict conditions for reintegration of the seceded states.
The states were required to ratify the 14th Amendment, which gave black males the right to vote, and later Congress + states ratified the 15th amendment which granted universal black male suffrage.
The Act had questionable legality due to its martial-type law.
All Southern states met their requirements by 1870, but when the Union military left, their governments quickly became pro-white and democratic.
13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
Passed in 1865, after Civil War.
Passed in 1868
Ex-slaves were made citizens
Guaranteed the black vote by reducing a state's representation in Congress if a state denied the black vote.
13th, 14th, 15th Amendments
Granted universal black male suffrage (right to vote).
Compromise of 1877
In the election of 1876, Republican Hayes and Democrat Tilden both tied for electoral votes, and there was much dispute about the counting of votes in Louisiana, South Carolina, and Florida. There was fear that a President wouldn't be chosen by his inauguration in March.
The Compromise of 1877 was the agreement between the two parties. Democrats reluctantly agreed that Hayes could be President if he withdrew troops from the contested states, Louisiana and South Carolina.
Successes and Failures of Reconstruction
Was Reconstruction really a success?
Some good things happened -- obviously black slaves became citizens, and males got the right to vote. Adequate public schools were also built in the South.
However, Reconstruction angered the South -- many Southerners thought it was worse than the war itself because it changed their social systems.
And overall, Northern Republicans failed to change the South enough. Blacks were still oppressed, often with the same living conditions as before.