The Beginning of Reconstruction
• President Lincoln started
his second term as
president as the Civil War
• He said that a state could
rejoin the union when 10%
of the state voters took an
oath to support the Union.
• Reconstruction was the rebuilding of the south
after the Civil War
• During the beginning of reconstruction, Andrew
Johnson became President.
• Andrew Johnson tried to follow Lincoln’s
• On December 6, 1865 the Thirteenth
Amendment was passed
• This amendment abolished slavery.
Freedom! What does it mean?
• Free to
– find opportunity
– find family
– get an education
– own land
• “We have turned, or are about to turn, loose 4
million slaves without a hut to shelter them or
a cent in their pockets…..we had better left
them in bondage.” ~Congressman Thaddeus
• Stevens proposed giving plantation land to the
freed slaves, “forty acres and a mule.”
• Congress did not agree with this plan.
Think about it…..
• What if you were
meaning that you were
basically told to go take
care of yourself – totally!
• Could you do it?
• Would you need some
help from parents,
friends, church or
• What would you do?
• 2 views of
bureau – govt.
aid to former
• What do you
• Union government sets up program to help
former slaves (and poor whites) living in the
• Provided food, clothing, education and
• Also, gave legal assistance
• No land in the south,
• Like science…..
• For every action, there is an equal and
• What do you suppose was the reaction to the
• Black Codes prevented former African America
slaves, now called “Freedmen” from owning
certain kinds of land, voting, and working certain
• These Codes were found in many Southern
states, and many members of Congress felt that
they proved that the southern states did not
intend to end slavery.
• Johnson announced that all states except for
Texas have been re-admitted to the Union, but
congress did not agree.
• Reconstruction was over.
• In 1865, members of Congress who opposed
President Johnson’s Reconstruction act were
called Radical Republicans (Thaddeus Stevens,
was one of these).
President and congress
on collision course.
Radical Republicans cont.
• Radical Republicans
wanted to punish the
South for the trouble they
caused the nation.
• These Radical Republicans
wanted equal rights for
all, where President
Johnson believed the
white citizens of the south
should manage the
• Overturns Dred Scott decision in order to
define anyone born in the US as a citizen.
South under military rule
• South resents the government
control of the reconstruction.
• Carpetbaggers (similar to
overnight bag)– those who
come to the south for short
stays to make money.
The New Voters
• Former Confederates
barred from voting.
• Left to Freedmen,
poor farmers, and
• These new voters
elect Ulysses S. Grant
• Voting rights to all regardless of “race, color or
previous condition of servitude.”
Sharecropping – the new slavery?
• White plantation owners needed farm
• Farm workers (former slaves) needed work.
• Farm owners divided their land into small
plots and allowed “tenant farming” (farm
workers rented the land to grow crops)
• Also known as “sharecropping,” never led to
the equality and opportunity it promised.