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US History Unit 2 Notes on Reconstruction
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US History Unit 2 Notes on Reconstruction



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  • Sharecropping: farmed a portion of a planter’s land for payment Tenant Farming: rent land


  • 1. Reconstruction 1865-1877 The Federal Government’s controversial effort to repair the damage to the South and to restore southern states to the Union. Richmond, VA
  • 2.
    • Presidential Reconstruction
    • Goal: heal wounds of war and quickly welcome the south back to the Union
    • Led by Lincoln and Johnson
    • Pardon for any Confederate who took an oath of allegiance
    • Denied pardon to all Confederates who had killed African American war prisoners
    • Each state could hold a constitutional convention after 10% of voters swore allegiance
    • State could then hold elections and participate in Union
    • Requires the passage of the 13th Amendment (ends slavery)
    • Congressional Reconstruction
    • Goal: equality for African Americans and punish the south
    • Led by Radical Republicans of Congress
    • Congress passes Reconstruction Act of 1867
    • Puts South under military rule
    • Required states to allow all qualified voters, including African Americans, to vote
    • Temporarily barred all Confederate supporters from voting
    • Required states to ratify the 13 th and 14 th Amendment (equal protection)
  • 3. Oath
    • "I, __me___, do solemnly swear (or affirm), in the presence of Almighty God, that I am a citizen of the State of _____; that I have resided in said State for _____ months next preceding this day, and now reside in the county of _____ or the parish of _____, in said State (as the case may be); that I am twenty-one years old; that I have not be disfranchised for participation in any rebellion or civil war against the United States, nor for felony committed against the laws of any State or of the United States; that I have never been a member of any State legislature, nor held any executive or judicial office in any State and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I have never taken an oath as a member of Congress of the United States, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, and afterwards engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof; that I will faithfully support the Constitution and obey the laws of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, encourage others so to do, so help me God"'
  • 4.
    • The Reconstruction Act of 1867 set up a showdown between Johnson and the Radical Republicans
    • Johnson is impeached by the House
    • Johnson keeps his job by one vote
    Johnson’s Impeachment
  • 5. The Republican South
    • Republican Party made up of 3 groups in the South
      • Freedmen
      • Carpetbaggers: Northern Republicans who had moved to the post war south
      • Scalawags-white southerners who were Republicans
  • 6. The End of Reconstruction
    • Election of 1876 is between Democrat Samuel Tilden and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes
    • Winner is unclear so a deal is cut in Congress that names Hayes the winner and brings an end to reconstruction
    • Compromise of 1877 removes remaining troops
    • “ Solid South” is now ruled by the Democrats
  • 7. Life for freedmen
    • Freedmen’s Bureau works to assist blacks in transition to freedom
    • Sharecropping and Tenant farming create a life of poverty for many freed slaves
    • Ku Klux Klan formed in 1866 to intimidate blacks
  • 8. Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws
    • Southern states enact laws to limit rights of freed slaves
    • Voting Limits
      • Poll tax
      • Literacy tests
      • Grandfather Clause: even if you failed the literacy test or paid the poll tax, if your grandfather was eligible to vote before 1867, so could you
  • 9. Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws
    • Jim Crow Laws
      • Segregated whites and blacks in public and private facilities
      • Plessy v. Ferguson (1896) creates the doctrine of “separate but equal”
    • Leaders emerge to address segregation
  • 10. Booker T. Washington Believed in a gradual approach to racial equality Encouraged vocational education Founded what is now Tuskegee University in Alabama Believed African Americans should focus on gaining useful labor skills which would end racism
  • 11. W.E.B. Du Bois Founded the Niagara Movement Encouraged liberal arts education so African Americans could have well educated leaders (top 10%) The “Top Ten” should fight for political equality Mocked Washington’s idea of gradually seeking equality Niagara Movement becomes the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
  • 12.
    • Reconstruction Failures
    • Southern states in debt
    • Most black southerners still remain in a cycle of poverty
    • Black Codes/Jim Crow laws limit African Americans civil rights (Plessy v. Ferguson)
    • African American are disenfranchised (denied right to vote)
    • Northern voters had never supported Radical Republicans ideals of total equality
    • Women were left out of civil rights gains
    • Reconstruction Successes
    • reunited the Union
    • rebuilt war-torn South
    • 13 th Amendment Ends Slavery
    • 14 th Amendment Rights of Citizens to have “equal protection”
    • 15 th Amendment Right to Vote
    • For a short period of time, African Americans are elected to national and state gov.