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The Crisis of Reconstruction Chapter 16 1865 -1877
Introduction • How did the Radical Republicans gain control over reconstructing the South and what was the impact of their program on the ex-Confederates, o 0 ther white southerners and southern blacks? • How did freed blacks remake their lives after emancipation? • What brought about an end to Reconstruction? Should it be considered a success or failure? Why?
Lincoln’s Plan • Differences began to emerge as early as 1863 between Congressional Reconstruction and Lincoln’s plan • December 1863 Lincoln issued a plan that would allow a state to re-enter the Union with 10% of the voting population taking an oath of loyalty to the Union and a recognition of the end of slavery • Lincoln hoped that this plan would draw southern Unionists into the Republican party and stir sentiment against the war in the South • Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill that required 50% of voters to take the oath of loyalty and excluded those from participation that had supported the Confederacy • Lincoln pocket-vetoed the bill and he and Congress were still at an impasse at the time of Lincoln’s death
• President Andrew Johnson announced his Reconstruction Plan in May of 1865 • Southern whites had to take an oath of allegiance, proclaim secession illegal, repudiate Confederate debt and ratify the 13 th Amendment. • Whites who held office in the Confederacy or who owned a taxable property of $20, 000 plus had to apply for a Presidential Pardon • By the summer of 1865 Johnson had handed out pardons wholesale and many of the new governments created by Johnson’s plan were in reality the same governments that existed in the South before and during the war. • Southern governments quickly passed legislation to limit freedmen called “Black Codes” • Republican congress refused to recognize the new state governments Presidential Reconstruction Under Johnson
• Radical Republicans wanted to punish the South for the war, and create a biracial South • The majority of Republicans were moderates who only wanted to protect the basic rights of blacks • Moderates passed the Freedmen’s Bureau and Civil Rights Act of 1866 which were vetoed by President Johnson • Moderates and Radicals joined together to override the Presidential veto Congress versus Johnson
The 14 th Amendment • The Amendment stated that all persons born in the US were naturalized citizens. • No one could deny a person’s rights without due process of law • States that refused the rights of black men could see their representation in Congress reduced • Former Confederate officials were denied the right to participate unless pardoned by a 2/3 volte of Congress • The Southern States with exception of Tennessee refused to ratify the Amendment and Johnson denounced it. 1866 Republicans won a huge majority in Congress allowing them to force passage of the amendment and proceed with Congressional Reconstruction
Congressional Reconstruction • 1867 -1868 Congress enacts a Reconstruction Plan over the veto of president Johnson • All state governments that had been restored by Johnson were invalidated • The Southern states minus Tennessee were divided into military districts • Each southern state was required to write a new Constitution enfranchising black men and ratifying the 14 th Amendment • When these things were done, a state could reapply for statehood • Radicals also wanted to confiscate southern land redistribute it to freedmen • President Johnson drug his feet as Commander in Chief of the military and Congress determined that it must do something to deal with him.
The Impeachment Crisis, 1867 -1868 • In March of 1867 Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act to limit Presidential authority • President Johnson violated the Act by firing Secretary of War Stanton • Republicans began impeachment proceedings • The vote to removed the President fell one short in the Senate
The 15 th Amendment and the Question of Women’s Suffrage, 1869 -1870 • The Amendment said that the right to vote could not be denied based upon race, color or previous condition of servitude • The Republicans hoped that this would protect southern blacks, extend voting rights to northern blacks and gain new voters to the Party • Congress refused to include women in the amendment which angered feminists • By 1877 all three amendments had be ratified and all of the southern states had re-entered the Union.
A New Electorate • The new laws temporarily enfranchised black males and disenfranchised about 15% of white males • The new electorate put Republican government in power in the South made up of carpetbaggers, scalawags and blacks
Republican Rule • Property and Racial qualifications were abolished for voting and office holding • State legislatures were re-districted • Public works, public schools were established • Taxes rose to pay for new public projects • Southern landowners bitterly opposed these measures
Counterattacks • Southern Democrats bitterly opposed and refused to cooperate with the Republican governments • Vigilante groups began to form and used violence and threats to intimidate blacks, Freedmen’s Bureau officials and white Republicans • Congress passed the Enforcement Acts to suppress the Democrats • By the 1870’s President Grant and the Congress were no longer willing to use military force in the South
Confronting Freedom • Freedmen, usually lacking land, tools, money or literacy searched for family members • Many legitimized their marriages and raised their families as best they could • Many returned to the plantations because they had no where else to go
Black Institutions • Black churches, schools and social organizations were founded to help blacks • Freedmen’s Bureau helped form Howard, Atlanta and Fisk Universities • Charles Sumner’s Civil Rights Act of 1875 failed to end segregation and was later invalidated by the Supreme Court
Land, Labor, Sharecropping • Moderate Republicans refused to take and redistribute land • Planters cam up with a new system of labor that relied upon tenantry • By 1880 80% of Southern lands were worked by landless tenants
Toward a Crop-Lien Economy • Rural merchants sold supplies to sharecroppers on credit • Tenants paid off debts by lien agreement • The crop was collateral • Interest rates were high, cotton prices were low, merchants were sometimes dishonestsharecroppers typically fell deeper into debt • Southern law prevented a person from leaving the land without paying their debt so sharecroppers were typically locked into a cycle of debt
Grantism • Ulysses S. Grant won the Presidency in 1868 as a Republican • His administration was marred with corruption as were many of the state and local governments as well • In 1872 Republicans split over the issue of corruption and the Liberal Republican Party was formed
The Liberals’ Revolt • Liberals nominate Horace Greeley for President • Democrats endorse Greely as well • Republicans nominate Grant for reelection • Grants wins but Republican power is weakened
The Panic of 1873 • Nation suffers a financial crisis • Financial Panic, mass unemployment dispute over the currency • Republicans are further divided
Reconstruction and the Constitution • Supreme Court made a series of rulings that undermined the Reconstruction Amendments • Slaughterhouse Cases- National Citizenship and State Citizenship are not the same • Supreme Court ruled Civil Rights Act of 1875 and Enforcement Acts as Unconstitutional
Republicans in Retreat • Republicans more interested in the economy than equal rights • Many northerners wanted to normalize relations with the South • Corruption in Grant’s administration and state and local governments was attributed to the Republicans
Redeeming the South • 1872 pardons restored voting and citizenship rights to ex-Confederates • South’s ruling class rose to redeem the South from Republican rule • Economic pressure, intimidation and violence were used to regain control of all of the Southern states but South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida by 1876 • Democrats cut taxes, public works and services and passed laws favoring landlords • Some blacks migrated North
The Election of 1876 • Republicans nominated Rutherford B. Hayes • Democrats nominated Samuel Tilden • Tilden won the popular vote but 4 states were disputed • Republicans in Congress awarded all of disputed states to Hayes • Compromise was worked out to – Let Democrats take over governments in Louisiana, South Carolina and Florida – Remaining troops removed from the South – Federal Aid for internal improvements in the South