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Transcript
RECONSTRUCTION READING FOR UNDERSTANDING
Name ____________
In the last months of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln laid out his plans for Reconstruction
of the nation. In March of 1865, Lincoln gave his Second Inauguration speech which
included these words.
“ With malice (anger) toward none, with charity for all,
with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the
right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in.”
This assured the South would be treated with kindness and justice. Vice President Andrew
Johnson wanted to continue Lincoln’s plan which wanted to “Reconcile” with the South and
would allow Most of the Confederates to rejoin the Union with Just and oath to not take up
arms against the United States again. This policy of Amnesty would be offered to all but a
few Confederate leaders. Lincoln also pushed for ratification of the 13th Amendment
which officially freed ALL former Slaves not covered under the Emancipation Proclamation.
In April of that same year, Lincoln gave another speech one evening in which he implied that
he hoped that the freed slaves would one day be given citizenship.
John Wilkes Booth, a witness to this speech vowed, that would be the last speech Lincoln
ever gave. He was true to his word. For on April 14th, Booth assassinated the President.
Southerner President Johnson attempted to continue much of Lincoln’s plan but was
eventually Impeached by Congress for being to “easy” on the South. The “Radical
Republicans” ushered in a harsher form of Reconstruction and eventually seized power.
Johnson’s Plan:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Confederates take an oath of allegiance. Leaders may ask for a pardon
States may rejoin the Union and have sovereignty (self rule)
If they ONLY approve the 13th Amendment (give up slave property)
NO guaranteed right to vote for former slaves
The South would be led by wealthy white planters
Did NOT want or need a Freedmen’s Bureau to help educate/employ Blacks
Congress’ Radical Republican Reconstruction Plan:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Power in the Southern states shifted to former slaves and whites who had
been loyal to the United States.
The South would be led by Former Slaves, Carpetbaggers and Scalawags
Military enforcement in the South: Establishment of the Freedmen’s Bureau; schools, jobs
for former slaves.
States must Approve the 14th and 15th Amendment : Blacks must be guaranteed full rights as
citizens including the right to vote and equal protection under the law.
Former Confederate Leaders could NOT vote on these issues.
Reconstruction ended in the South in 1877 when President Hayes removed ALL troops from
the South. The new Southern system, much like slavery was imposed on the South the goal
was to draw a line between Blacks and Whites (Keep the Races Separate): by Sharecropping,
Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws, Ku Klux Klan reign of terror, Disenfranchisement =(keeping
Blacks from voting by Poll Taxes, Grandfather Clause, Literacy tests ) etc.
13th Amendment: Freed ALL former Slaves not covered by Emancipation in 1863.
14th Amendment: Gave ALL persons regardless of race equal protection under the law.
15th Amendment: The right to VOTE cannot be denied upon race, color or previous
condition of servitude (Slavery).
Ku Klux Klan: Radical group of former Confederates who secretly fought to
Return the old Southern Democrats (Confederates) to power in every southern state.
Jim Crow Laws: The purpose was to draw a line and “Segregate” the Black and
White races in public life: train cars, churches, schools etc.
Wade Davis Bill: Vetoed by Lincoln because he felt it would impose too harsh of a peace on
the South.
Civil Rights Act of 1866: Allowed Blacks in the South to own property and be treated
equally in Court.
Black Codes: kept Blacks in a condition similar to slavery: Examples; Cannot own firearms,
must have a pass to travel, Vagrancy is a crime etc.
Military Reconstruction Act: Divided the South into 5 military districts with “martial law”
to protect Blacks and enforce Reconstruction laws.
Tenure of Office Act: Required Senate approval of any person removed from government
by the President. This was a direct reaction to President Johnson’s impeachment. The
radicals in Congress were seizing some of the power of the Executive (President)
Enforcement Acts: Intended to combat the Ku Klux Klan by giving military authorities
greater powers.
Habeas Corpus: This literally means, “ You have the body”, when a defendant appears in
Court or Right to hear the charges and begin due process” This Constitutional Right
Suspended by Lincoln during the war anyone supporting the Rebels. They could be arrested
and detained indefinitely without a trial. It has been criticized as a War powers act.
Legal Tender Act: Still printed on our Money: it made government money available for
emergency use.
Carpetbaggers: Northerners moving South after the war to take advantage of
Southerners economically by setting up high priced business and making loans.
Scalawags: Poor Southerners who were angry at the Old White Southern Aristocracy for
getting them into the war. The cooperated with the Republican’s plan for Reconstruction.
Homer Plessey: Like Rosa Parks 80 years later, he refused to submit to segregation in
public transportation: He was arrested; his conviction was sent to the U.S. Supreme Court
SEPARATE But EQUAL The Court ruled in Plessey vs. Ferguson that “SEPARATE WAS
EQUAL” This policy allowed “Jim Crow” laws to rule the South until the Supreme Court
ruled segregation “Unconstitutional” in Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas. This
decision opened up the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s and continues today.
“40 Acres and a Mule” A policy attempted by the Freedman’s Bureau to give former
slaves schools, jobs and land owned by their former masters. This promise was broken by
Congress because the 4th Amendment prevents government from taking private property
without due process.