Reconstructing Society


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Presentation to Accompany the Americans section 12.2.

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Reconstructing Society

  1. 1. T H E A M E R I C A N S S E C T I O N 1 2 . 2 Reconstructing Society
  2. 2. Traitors Why did scalawags change from the Democrat party to the Republican party?  to improve their economic and political power  since the Republicans were in power and controlling Reconstruction, many small farmers believed they could get more advantages if they were Republicans  sought to prevent former wealthy planters from regaining power  few shared the Republican commitment to civil rights and suffrage for African- Americans and most eventually changed back to Democrat after Reconstruction
  3. 3. Problems Responses  governments are faced with the challenge of rebuilding the region  difficulty financing state spending  poor credit rating  conflicting goals of the three groups within the Republican Party  racist laws  created public works programs  built orphanages and mental hospitals  created public school systems  increased taxes  African-Americans took an active role in politics and working for equality Political Problems
  4. 4. “40 Acres and a Mule”  General Sherman had made this promise to freed slaves that had followed his army.  Never happened on a large scale.  Homestead Act of 1866 set aside 44 million acres in the South , the land was mostly swampy and unsuitable for farming  Few homesteaders had the resources (seed, tools, plows, horses) to farm successfully
  5. 5. New Southern Economy From “Chattel Slavery” to “Debt Slavery”  Planters claimed to need complete control over labor in order to make plantations work Sharecropping  Landowners provide land, seed and tools to poor farmers  Farmers give back a portion of their crops (about half) to the landowner
  6. 6. New Southern Economy From “Chattel Slavery” to “Debt Slavery” Tenant Farming  Sharecroppers who could save enough money and buy their own tools worked out a better deal with landowners  Farmers would rent the land, paid in cash  Most tenant farmers needed to borrow money for seed or other things keeping them in debt to their land lord  Many remained in debt their entire lives
  7. 7. Problems Responses  plummeting property values and per capita wealth  population devastated by death and malnutrition  need to increase state spending when few financial resources existed  raised taxes  introduced forced labor contracts  confiscated plantations and redistributed them to former slaves Economic Problems
  8. 8. Problems Responses  labor shortage  landlessness among poor whites and former slaves  plummeting cotton prices  widespread debt  bank failures  adopted sharecropping and tenant farmer systems  grew more cotton  made efforts to diversify Southern economy Economic Problems
  9. 9. Traitors Why did carpetbaggers migrate from the North to the South?  some were Freedmen’s Bureau agents who felt a moral duty to help former slaves  others were opportunists looking start new industries or businesses in the new economy  while some were dishonest business people who tried to cheat Southerners and former slaves out of what little they had left
  10. 10. Freedmen’s Bureau What function did the Freedmen’s Bureau serve during Reconstruction?  reunite families  established educational institutions  promoted the wage-labor system
  11. 11. African-American Churches What function did African-American churches serve during Reconstruction?  established educational institutions  volunteer organizations  fire companies  trade associations  political organizations  drama groups The first elected officials were church ministers who had experience in leadership roles: Hiram Revels was the first African-American Senator.
  12. 12. Problems Responses  racism  refusal on the part of many Southern whites to accept blacks as equals  many white Southerners could not handle defeat  some whites emigrated  many blacks moved from plantations to cities  African-Americans made efforts to find family members Social Problems
  13. 13. Problems Responses  separation of African- American families  African-American illiteracy  African-Americans joined various educational, religious, social, and political institutions and organizations  some whites resorted to violence against African-Americans Social Problems
  14. 14. Common Core Practice 1. The city with the LEAST African- American population in 1870 was a) Montgomery b) Raleigh c) Atlanta d) Nashville
  15. 15. Common Core Practice 2. The city with the greatest percent increase in African- American population between 1850 and 1870 was a) Atlanta b) Nashville c) Richmond d) Raleigh
  16. 16. Common Core Practice 3. Which city surpassed Richmond in the relative number of colleges compared to its African-American population? a) Nashville b) Montgomery c) Raleigh d) All of the above
  17. 17. Common Core Practice 4. Which city experienced the LEAST African- American population growth between 1860 and 1870? a) Raleigh b) Montgomery c) Nashville d) Atlanta