Impact of reconstruction 852

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Impact of reconstruction 852

  1. 1. Impact of Reconstruction on SC Social Class 8.5-2—Describe the economic impact of Reconstruction on South Carolinians in each of the various social classes.
  2. 2. SC, In-A-Rut • Southern economy still depended on agriculture & cotton (now w/o slave labor) • South Carolina (and most other southern states) remained in an economic depression well into the 20th century • Northern Carpetbaggers took advantage of the “cheap” south
  3. 3. Southern Plantation Owners • 13th amendment resulted in the loss of labor force & most of their wealth • Now forced to do the normal household & farm duties themselves or pay wages to their workers • All they had of value now was their land
  4. 4. Sharecropping System • Many plantation owners entered into sharecropping agreements with freedmen and poor whites • Reestablished their position as master • Planter elites used Black Codes to try and hang- on to slave-like conditions & control over the government, Congressional Reconstruction brought a temporary end to their political control in SC • Led to the elite & middle-class to engage in violence and intimidation against African Americans throughout Reconstruction
  5. 5. Small Farmers • directly affected financially by newly freed slaves • Competed against African American sharecroppers when they marketed their crops • Their sense of social superiority to slaves turned into a feeling of threat by their equal status
  6. 6. The Freedmen • Searched for lost family • Explored the country • Most soon returned to the plantations they knew best • Many who could not secure their own land to farm entered into sharecropping agreements • Landowner supplied the seed, tools, & land/ the sharecropper provided the labor • Both then shared the crop that was produced…
  7. 7. A Sharecropper’s Contract “The sale of every cropper’s part of the cotton to be made by when and where I choose to sell, and after deducting all they owe me and all sums that I may be responsible for on their accounts, to pay them their half of the net proceeds. Work of every description, particularly the work on fences and ditches, to be done to my satisfaction, and must be done over until I am satisfied that it is done as it should be.” Source: Grimes Family Papers, Southern Historical Collection
  8. 8. The “Crop Circle” of Debt • Sharecroppers remained economically dependent on the landowner • Bad crop years resulted in sharecroppers taking out loans in the form of liens against future harvests in order to buy supplies • This kept most sharecroppers in a cycle of debt with landowners & lien holders
  9. 9. The “Crop Circle” of Debt
  10. 10. Impact on Women • Impact depended on their husband’s social class after the war • Elite had to negotiated terms with former slaves to continue working as a household employee or do the work themselves • Deaths or war related disabilities of their husbands often forced women into non-traditional roles • “Carpetbaggers” & “scalawags” pushed for some women’s rights, resulting in the 1868 law that allowed women to own land in their own name even after marriage
  11. 11. “Carpetbaggers” come to SC •Northern immigrants •Came as teachers, missionaries, or entrepreneurs •Some came as Union soldiers & stayed •Not accepted by most of white SC society •Some found political & economic opportunities in SC

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