Reconstruction Era of the United States and Virtual Slavery Essay

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Lecture 15: The Crisis of Reconstruction

I. Introduction and Background:
a. The “Civil War” is a different kind of war by definition: It is a war with the same country.
b. Reconstruction Politics: Two key questions (One political One is social):
i. Political:
1. What happens to ex Confederates, people (uniforms, leaders) Leadership and government? ii. Social:
1. What is going to happen to slavery?
2. What are they going to do for a living?
II. Reconstruction
a. Part I: 1863-1865—Lincoln—Background. His personality and leadership style
i. Does not plan to punish the South, put country together in harmony
1. Lincoln versus Congress. Battle over severity.
a. South is going to be treated
b. Laws
c. Lincoln’s treatment is light
2. Republican party has two branches of government
a. Personal issue, desire to punish Southeners
b. Politics need to be objective
3. Freedman Bureau: helping refugees
a. Food, shelter
b. Find loved ones
c. Education
4. Lincoln wins over severity because of being a good diplomat, but dies before implementing any of his policies.
b. Part II: 1865-1868—Johnson—Background: Personality and Leadership style.
i. FAILS TO FOLLOW LINCOLN, lets Congress take his power and is eliminated of any decision making. ii. Andrew Johnson vs. Radical and Moderate Republicans in Congress iii. Republican Executive and Republican Congress start to split over
1. Need money to rebuild the South, infrastructure, etc.
a. How to punish and how severely

1. Pardons:
a. Leadership of the Confederacy
i. Sit before him, Apologize and sign and oath to never betray the Union again ii. Regain property and can run for public office including HoR
b. Hands back the South the leadership that brought the country to war.
c. Major racist- slave owner
i. Wants the elite to take over the South again ii. Restore White superiority
2. STATUS Quo Ante Bellum South. (The Way things were before the war) JOHNSON’S PLAN
a. “black codes”
i. Laws to deal with freedman- create legal segregation. ii. No vote unless literate iii. No testimony against White man in court iv. No freedman can sit on juries
1. Judge by jury of Whites
v. Johnson does not react.
3. Civil Rights Act of 1866:
i. Freedman become U.S. citizens
1. Johnson vetoes it
2. Congress takes over
c. Congress Reacts:
i. 14th Amendment (1868): 3 parts or provisions:
a. All former slaves, born or naturalized in the US, are now citizens.”
i. No state can deny their rights without a process. ii. If a state denies, cannot count them as citizens in Congress iii. No pre-war office holder that supported the Confederacy can hold political power. ii. Sig: Invalidated Johnson’s vetoes and pardons, turns power to Congress.
III. Radical Political Reconstruction:
a. 5 parts
i. Congress
1. North divides S in 5 military districts
a. Every district has Martial laws (forge compliance)
2. Confiscate land from ex confederates
3. 15th amendment
a. Give freedmen the right to vote
b. Preference for Republicans
c. Freedman are being elected as leaders
4. Take vote away from former Confederates (soldiers, officers)
a. Congress guarantees political and military control
5. Admit states back in the Union that ratify the 14th amendment
b. Leads to Impeachment Crisis:
i. Congress takes over the reigns of Government ii. Congress tries to get rid of Johnson
1. Take him out of the equation even if he vetoes laws
c. 15 Amendment (Third for Freedman) 1870
1. Freedman have total right to vote

IV. Radical Reaction:
a. Ku Klux Klan:
i. Vigilante group to oppose Reconstruction
1. Goal: destroy the N. and reconstruction reality
b. Extreme racial hatred. (involves killing people) 3 goals:
i. Suppress Black voting
1. Eliminate political strength that is being gained
2. Intimidation
a. 3 visits, one: warning; second: physical offense; third: killing ii. Destroy the Reconstruction Governments
1. Killing