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AP U.S. History
 To what degree did the Civil War politically, socially,
and economically change America?
 Some scholars argued Reconstruction was a national disgrace
because radical Republicans wronged the South by
disproportionately punishing Southerners.
 Others suggested the North merely sought to exploit Southern
labor and resources behind a false front of “concern” for freed
slaves. As well as ensure the Republican Party would dominate
Southern political life.
 Still other saw Reconstruction as a noble, but failed, attempt to
extend American principles of equity and justice to disadvantaged
The Southern economy was ruined and the social order was upended,
but white Southerners remained defiant; which was an ill omen for
what was to come.
How will the
South be
Don’t worry
boys – I got
your back.
How will blacks
fare as free
How will
Southern states
be reintegrated
into the Union?
Who will be in charge
of Reconstruction –
states, the president, or
Southern Blacks who moved
West were called
Some Southern counties freed slaves, while
other counties did not. Regardless, after
emancipation, many blacks traveled in order
to find lost family members or seek new
economic opportunities
The church became the focus
of black community life
because blacks could have
their own churches with
black ministers.
The Freedmen’s Bureau was originally established to
provide food, clothes and education, such as the school in
the image above, for emancipated slaves.
Congress created the
Freedmen’s Bureau in
1865 in order to help
unskilled and
uneducated blacks
survive. The white
South resented the
bureau as a welfare
agency that upset
white racial
How does this
cartoon portray the
bureau, Congress,
and President
Radical Republicans, like Thaddeus Stevens, passed the Wade-Davis Bill
in Congress; which required 50 percent of a state’s voters to swear
allegiance to the Union and be treated as conquered provinces – Lincoln
vetoed the bill.
Moderate Republicans, like
Lincoln, favored states’ rights
and opposed direct federal
involvement in individuals’
Lincoln believed the Southern states
Thaddeus Stevens
never legally withdrew from the
Union. So, he said a state would be
readmitted after 10 percent of its
President Johnson liked Lincoln’s plan.
voters took an oath of allegiance to
He moved forward with it, but Southern
the U.S. and promised to respect
states also had to ratify the 13th
The new Southern state governments in 1865 passed laws, known as Black Codes,
in order to regulate the free blacks and restore the old social and economic order,
which was a stable and subservient labor force under white control.
Sharecropping was a good way to create a “slave” laborUnder the Black Codes, blacks
couldn’t serve on juries and
for poor blacks and whites in the South.
blacks were not allowed to
Did the North
really win the war?
In yo face,
The South might take
control of Congress!
In December 1865, many
former Confederate leaders
were elected by their
constituents and claimed
their seats in Congress.
Alexander Stephens was the exvice president of the
Confederacy and he was
elected to Congress!
Before the war, a black slave
was 3/5 of a person in
apportioning congressional
representation. But counting
free blacks gave the rebel states
12 more votes in Congress
The congressional elections of 1866 resulted in a decisive defeat for Johnson and a
veto-proof Republican Congress. Congress began to strike back at belligerent
Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment,
which provided for Full citizenship and civil rights
for former slaves. Southern states had to ratify it
to be readmitted to the Union.
Game on.
Besides putting the South under the rule
of federal soldiers, the Military
Reconstruction Act of 1867 required that
Southern states give blacks the vote as a
condition of readmittance to the Union
(13th Amendment).
The passage of the Reconstruction-era
Amendments – the 13th, 14th, and the 15th
Amendment, which provided for voting
rights for former slaves, delighted former
This is the thanks
women get for
leading the
Fight the
C’mon ladies - be
Charles Sumner,
healed from his
beat-down by
Brooks, led the
Republicans in the
Thaddeus Stevens
led the Radical
Republicans in the
Susan B. Anthony
Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Women’s-rights leaders opposed the
Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments
because the amendments granted citizenship
and voting rights to black and white men but
not to women.
I totally thought
blacks would gradually
get the right to vote.
Is this guy a
scalawag or
Dude, their votes
will elect
Republicans to
Having gained the right to vote, southern black
men organized the Union League as a vehicle for
political empowerment and self-defense. Many
served in state and national politics. Between
1868 and 1876, fourteen black congressmen and
two black senators were elected from the South.
Many white southerners
lashed out at the
freedmen’s white allies,
labeling them “scalawags’
and “carpetbaggers.’
Most of the Northern “carpetbaggers” were former Union soldiers,
businessmen, or professionals. “Scalawags” were Southerners, often former
Unionists and Whigs.
The radical Reconstruction regimes in the
Southern states included white
Northerners, white Southerners, and
blacks. They took steps to establish public
schools and effective tax systems.
Despite the achievements of
radical Reconstruction
governments, corruption,
especially in South Carolina and
Louisiana, was common.
Many whites resented the success and ability of black legislators as much
as they resented alleged corruption by Reconstruction governments.
Some joined organizations like the Ku Klux Klan in order to intimidate
black voters, while others created literacy tests under the Black Codes.
We were one
vote short of
removing you!
I was the first
president to be
impeached – ouch.
Radical Republicans Sumner and
Stevens led the effort to impeach
and remove Johnson from office.
Congress was able to override President Johnson’s vetoes since the Republicans maintained a 2/3
majority in both chambers, but that wasn’t good enough. Congress passed the Tenure of Office
Act (over Johnson’s veto, of course), which required the president to secure approval of the
Senate before he could remove anyone from his Cabinet. President Johnson violated the law by
removing his Secretary of War to see what would happen.
Congress and the public were
preoccupied with Reconstruction
and very anti-expansionist after the
Civil War.
Nonetheless, in 1867, the skeptical
public finally accepted Secretary of
State Seward’s purchase of Alaska
because Russia had been the only
great power friendly to the Union
during the Civil War. Alaska was a
steal, at $7.2 million, and rich with
natural resources.
The one good thing Johnson was
able to pull-off!
What was the purpose of congressional
Reconstruction, and what were its actual effects in
the South?
2. Why did Reconstruction apparently fail so badly?
3. What was the greatest success of Reconstruction?