Reconstruction and the dismantling of reconstruction
Reconstruction and theDismantling of Reconstruction Background for the Marrow of Tradition.
Key Questions after Civil War How will African Americans be incorporated politically and socially into the nation? How should the former Confederate States be treated? Get revenge? Accommodate and welcome back?
Constitutional Amendments Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in states controlled by the Confederacy 1863 13th amendment abolished slavery 1865 14th amendment—citizenship and equal protection to all born or naturalized in US 1868 —No compensation for loss of slaves, no office holding if you participated in rebellion 15th amendment- no denying right to vote on account of race. 1870
Black civic participation Since Congress did not allow those who supported confederacy to hold office, this left room for blacks to enter politics. Participated in revision of state constitutions Got elected to state legislatures Rewrote laws to be more fair to blacks Provided for educational opportunities Taking place in late 1860’s and early 1870’s
Republican dominated Congress Congress was responsible for passing these amendments and some civil right enforcement acts. Johnson did not support this. Wanted rapprochement with South. White southerners resented loss of power to blacks and also to lower class whites and to carpet-baggers. Backlash began early.
Institutions that helped blacks Colleges formed to educate African Americans Hampton institute, Fisk, Tuskegee, Howard University Freedman’s Bureau set up in 1865 to provide relief to former slaves. (Education, health care, employment, assistance in reuniting families). Tried to ensure fair labor contracts and treatment of blacks in legal cases.
What worked against blacks Lack of education and other employment opportunities led to unfavorable sharecropping arrangements Prison labor substituted for slave labor and blacks disproportionately imprisoned. Local instances of violence and intimidation Jim Crow laws established to maintain social distinctions Martial law needed to enforce Reconstruction
Dismantling of Reconstruction Ku Klux Klan formed to terrorize African Americans and Republicans but Congress authorize acts to suppress it. Election of 1872 Republican party divided into factions. Amnesty for most in South in 1872 Panic of 1873 weakened commitment of some to support opportunities for blacks Riot in Colfax Louisiana 1873 kills 60 blacks but leads to prosecution of white leaders. Later overturned by Supreme Court in US versus Cruikshank (1876) Hayes ran for office on a “Let-alone policy” After Hayes won federal troops were removed meaning no effort to enforce laws protecting suffrage and civil rights.