The Ordeal of Reconstruction

1 January 2018

Freedmen Define Freedom I At first, the freed Blacks faced a confusing situation, as many slave owners re-enslaved their slaves after Union troops left. Other planters resisted emancipation through legal means, citing that emancipation wasn’t valid until local or state courts declared it. II . Some slaves loyally stuck to their owners while others let out their pent-up bitterness by pillaging their former masters’ land, property, and even whipping the old master. Ill.Eventually, even resisting plantation owners had to give up their slaves, and afterwards tens of thousands of Blacks took to the roads to find new work or look for lost loved ones.

IV. The church became the focus of the Black community life in the years following the war. Emancipation also meant education for Blacks, but despite Al the gains Blacks made, they still faced severe discrimination and would have to wait a century before truly attaining their rights.

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Ill. The Freedman’s Bureau I. N order to train the unskilled and unlettered freed Blacks, the Freedman’s Bureau was set up on March 3, 1865. Union General Oliver O.

Hardheaded it. II. The bureau taught about 200,000 Blacks how to read (its greatest success), since most former slaves wanted to narrow the literary gap between them and Whites; the bureau also read the word of God. Ill. However, it wasn’t as effective as it could have been, as evidenced by the further discrimination f Blacks, and it expired in 1872 after much criticism by racist Whites.IV. Johnson: The Tailor President I Andrew Johnson came from very poor and humble beginnings, and he served in Congress for many years (he was the only Confederate congressman not to leave Congress when the rest of the South seceded).

Al. He was feared for his reputation of having a short temper and being a great fighter, was a dogmatic champion of states’ rights and the Constitution, and he was a Tennessee who never earned the trust of the North and never regained the confidence Of the South. V. Presidential ReconstructionI Since Abraham Lincoln believed that the South had never legally withdrawn from the Union, restoration was to be relatively simple. In his plan for restoring the union, the southern states could be reintegrated into the Union if and when they had only of its voters pledge and taken an oath to the union, and also acknowledge the emancipation of the slaves; it was appropriately called the Ten Percent Plan. Like the loving father who welcomed back the prodigal son, Lincoln plan was very forgiving to the South. II.

The Radical Republicans felt punishment was due the South for all he years of strife.They feared that the leniency of the 10 % Plan would allow the Southerners to re-enslave the newly freed Blacks, so they rammed the Wade-Davis Bill through Congress. It required 50% of the states’ voters to take oaths of allegiance and demanded stronger safeguards for emancipation than the 10% Plan. Ill. However, Lincoln pocket-vetoed the bill by letting it expire, and the 10% Plan remained. IV. Let became clear that there were now two types of Republicans: the moderates, who shared the same views as uncoil and the radicals, who believed the South should be harshly punished.

Sadly though, Lincoln was assassinated. This left the 10% Plan’s future in question. When Andrew Johnson took power, the radicals thought that he would do what they wanted, but he soon proved them wrong by basically taking Lincoln policy and issuing his own Reconstruction proclamation: certain leading Confederates were disfranchised (right to vote removed), the Confederate debt was repudiated, and states had to ratify the 13th Amendment. VI. The Baleful Black Codes I. N order to control the freed Blacks, many Southern states passed Black Codes, laws aimed at keeping the Black population in submission and errors in the fields; some were harsh, others were not as harsh. II.

Blacks who “jumped” their labor contracts, or walked off their jobs, were subject to penalties and fines, and their wages were generally kept very low. Ill. The codes forbade Blacks from serving on a jury and some even barred Blacks from renting or leasing land, and Blacks could be punished for “idleness” by being subjected to working on a chain gang. IV.Making a mockery out of the newly won freedom of the Blacks, the Black Codes made many abolitionists wonder if the price of the Civil War was worth it, since Blacks were hardly utter after the war than before the war. They were not “slaves” on paper, but in reality, their lives were little different. VII.

Congressional Reconstruction I. Len December, 1865, when many of the Southern states came to be reintegrated into the Union, among them were former Confederates and Democrats, and most Republicans were disgusted to see their former enemies on hand to reclaim seats in Congress. II.During the war, without the Democrats, the Republicans had passed legislation that had favored the North, such as the Merrill Tariff, the Pacific Railroad Act, and the Homestead Act, so now, many Republicans didn’t want to give up the power that they had gained in the war. Ill-Northerners now realized that the South would be stronger politically than before, since now, Blacks counted for a whole person instead of just 3/5 of one, and Republicans also feared that the Northern and Southern Democrats would join and take over Congress and the White House and institute their Black Codes over the nation, defeating all that the Civil War gained.IV. On December 6, 1865, President Johnson declared that the South had satisfied all of the conditions needed, and that the Union was now stored.

VIII. Johnson Clashes with Congress I Johnson repeatedly vetoed Republican-passed bills, such as a bill extending the life of the Freedman’s Bureau, and he also vetoed the Civil Rights Bill, which conferred on blacks the privilege of American citizenship and struck at the Black Codes. Al. As Republicans gained control of Congress, they passed the bills into laws with a 2/3 vote and thus override Johnny’s veto.Ill-Len the 14th Amendment, the Republicans sought to instill the same ideas of the Civil Rights Bill: (1 ) all Blacks were American citizens, (2) if a state denied citizenship o Blacks, then its representatives in the Electoral College were lowered, (3) former Confederates could not hold federal or state office, and (4) the federal debt was guaranteed while the Confederate one was repudiated (erased). IV. The radicals were disappointed that Blacks weren’t given the right to vote, but all Republicans agreed that states wouldn’t be accepted back into the Union unless they ratified the 14th Amendment.

K Swinging ‘Round the Circle with Johnson l. Len 1866, Republicans would not allow Reconstruction to be carried on without the 14th Amendment, and as election time approached, Johnson anted to lower the amount of Republicans in Congress, so he began a series of ‘Round the Circle speeches. Al. However, as he was heckled by the audience, he hurled back insults, gave “give ‘me hell” speeches, and generally denounced the radicals, and in the process, he gave Republicans more men in Congress than they had before-?the opposite of his original intention. X. Republican Principles and Programs .By then, the Republicans had a veto-proof Congress and nearly unlimited control over Reconstruction, but moderates and radicals still couldn’t agree with one another.

Al. Len the Senate, the leader of the radicals was Charles Sumner, long since recovered from his caning by Preston Brooks, and in the House, the radical leader was Thatched Stevens, an old, sour man who was an unswerving friend of the Blacks. Ill. The radicals wanted to keep the South out of the Union as long as possible and totally change its economy and the moderates wanted a quicker Reconstruction.What happened was a compromise between the two extremes. XSL. Reconstruction by Sword l.

The Reconstruction Act of March 2, 1 867 divided the South into five military zones, temporarily disfranchised tens of thousands of former Confederates, ND laid down new guidelines for the readmission of states (Johnson had announced the Join restored, but Congress had not yet formally agreed on this). All states had to approve the 14th Amendment, making all Blacks citizens. All states had to guarantee full suffrage of all male former slaves. II.The 15th Amendment, passed by Congress in 1869, gave Blacks their right to vote. Ill. Len the case Ex apart Mulligan (1 866), the Supreme Court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians, even during wartime, if there were civil courts available.

IV. By 1870, all of the states had complied with the tankards of Reconstruction, and in 1 877, the last of the states were given their home rule back, and Reconstruction ended. The end of Reconstruction was part of the Compromise of 1877-?the two presidential candidates were at a stalemate and the only way to break the stalemate was with a deal.In the deal, the North got their president (Rutherford B. Hayes) and the South got the military’ to pull-out (abandon? ) the South and the former slaves, thus ending Reconstruction. XII. No Women Voters I Women suffrage advocates were disappointed by the 1 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, since they didn’t give women suffrage.

After all, women had gathered petitions and had helped Blacks gain their rights. Frederick Douglass believed in the women’s movement, but believed that it was now ‘the Negroes hour. ” II As a result, women advocates like Elizabeth Caddy Stanton and Susan B.Anthony campaigned against the 14th and 1 5th Amendments-?Amendments that inserted the word male into the Constitution for the first time ever. XIII. The Realities of Radical Reconstruction in the South I. Backs began to organize politically, and their main vehicle was the Union League.

It became a network of political clubs that educated members in heir civic duties and campaigned for Republican candidates, and later even built Black churches and schools, represented Black grievances, and recruited militias to protect Blacks. Black women attended the parades and rallies of Black communities.II-Black men also began to hold political offices, as men like Hiram Revels and Balance K. Bruce served in Congress (they represented Mississippi). Ill Southern Whites hated seeing their former slaves now ranking above them, and they also hated “scalawags,” Southerners who were accused of plundering Southern treasuries and selling out the Southerners, and carpetbaggers,” Northerners accused of parasitic Ill milking power and profit in a now-desolate South. IV. One could note that Southern governments were somewhat corrupted during these times.

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