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HIST 1301 Part Four 16: Reconstruction Presidential Reconstruction 1865-1866 Even before the Civil War was over, President Lincoln and Congress disagreed about a plan for “Reconstruction.” In 1865 and 1866 President Johnson’s re-admitted all the former Confederate states to the Union under lenient terms. Johnson gave amnesty to anyone who took a loyalty oath, large planters and Confederate officials excepted. Johnson also reversed an earlier policy and began pardoning the same Southern planters he had said he would treat harshly. “Radical Republicans” like Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner were outraged at Johnson’s leniency. 6 min. 01 sec. Freedom for the former slaves was not accompanied by social or political equality. “Every free male person who shall have attained the age of twenty-one years, and who shall be a citizen of the United States, and shall have resided in this State one year next preceding an election, and the last six months within the district, county, city or town in which he offers to vote, (Indians not taxed, Africans and descendants of Africans excepted,) shall be deemed a qualified elector.” -- Texas State Constitution, 1866 During Presidential Reconstruction, all former Confederate states, including Texas, barred freedman from voting. 2 min. 09 sec. “Black Codes” enacted by Southern states also restricted the rights of the Freedmen. Congress vs. The President 1865-1866 In late 1865 Congress refused to seat newly-elected Southern delegates. In 1866 President Johnson vetoed the Freedmen’s Bureau bill but Congress overrode it. From 1866 to 1868 the Bureau tried to help the newly-freed slaves. The Freedmen Bureau’s schools were its biggest success. President Johnson also vetoed the 1866 Civil Rights bill but Congress overrode his veto. 14th Amendment (ratified 1868) 4 min. 49 sec. • Passed and submitted to the states by Congress in reaction to the Black Codes, Johnson’s veto of the Civil Rights bill, and the election of former Confederates to Congress. • All persons born in the U.S. are citizens and no state may make a law denying citizens their constitutional rights. • A state’s representation in Congress shall be based on its whole population except that if a state denies the right to vote to any of the male population, its representation may reduced proportionally. • No person can hold Federal office who held office under the Confederacy. • The Confederate war debt is invalid and no one may be compensated for the loss of slaves. Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner favored confiscation of planters’ land and redistribution to former slaves. In the end, former slaveholders kept their land (and their power). Out of necessity, many landless former slaves became “Sharecroppers.” 4 min. 49 sec. Radical Reconstruction 1867-1868 In the 1866 elections, Republicans (many of them “Radical”) won a substantial majority in both houses of Congress. In 1867 Congress annulled President Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan and began implementing its own. The 1867 Reconstruction Act (passed over Johnson’s veto) divided the South into 5 military districts. During “Radical Reconstruction” Southern states also had to ratify the 14th Amendment and write new constitutions giving black men the right to vote. Former Confederates were barred from holding office and anyone with questionable loyalty could not vote. During “Radical Reconstruction,” state governments dominated by Republicans were established in the former Confederacy and several blacks were elected to office. Southern Republican state governments championed public schools, internal improvements, property rights for women, and universal male suffrage. During Reconstruction, white Southerners complained about “Carpetbaggers” and “Scalawags” The rise of the Ku Klux Klan reflected Southern whites’ temporary loss of political power. The Klan terrorized the Freedmen and their families. Southern whites who sympathized or helped blacks, such as Alex Boyd of Eutaw, Alabama, were also of targets of the Ku Klux Klan. 4 min. 02 sec. The Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson 1868 By 1868 Congress wanted to get rid of President Johnson. When Johnson “fired” Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, Johnson was impeached for violating the Tenure of Office Act. Johnson’s Senate trial took place in the spring of 1868. When the trial came to an end on May 16, 1868, Johnson was acquitted by a single vote. 4 min. 39 sec. Grant and Reconstruction 1869-1877 In 1868 former General U.S. Grant ran as the Republican nominee for President. Grant’s Democratic Opponent was Horatio Seymour of New York. With Radical Republican governments in place, Grant won votes even in the South. The 15th Amendment, protecting black men’s right to vote, was ratified in 1870. In 1871, Grant cracked down on the Ku Klux Klan. In 1875 a Civil Rights Act championed by Congressman Ben Butler and Senator Charles Sumner gave African-Americans reason to hope. “Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude.” --1875 Civil Rights Act The End of Reconstruction 1876-1877 In the early 1870s, Southern whites voted in conservative governments throughout the former Confederacy. Southerners called it “Redemption.” At the same time, Grant and Northern whites began to lose interest in Reconstruction. 4 min. 06 sec. Samuel Tilden was the Democratic nominee for President in 1876. Rutherford B. Hayes was the Republican nominee for President in 1876. A special electoral commission voted 8 to 7 in favor of Hayes. Outraged white Southerners threatened to start a new civil war. Hayes’ was inaugurated in 1877 after agreeing to end Reconstruction. 3 min. 07 sec. The Aftermath of Reconstruction 1877 and Beyond In 1883, by a 8 to 1 vote, the Supreme Court ruled the 1875 Civil Rights Act unconstitutional. “The 1st and 2nd sections of the Civil Rights Act passed March 1st, 1875 are unconstitutional enactments as applied to the several States, not being authorized by the XIIIth or XIVth Amendments of the constitution.” --1883 Supreme Court Decision Following the Supreme Court ruling of 1883, all the former slave states enacted “Jim Crow” laws that: • Made separate public accommodations for blacks and whites lawful • Required businesses to treat black and white customers differently • Made interracial marriage unlawful The era of “Jim Crow” endured until the 1960s.