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Week 1 Notes- Reconstruction

by: Samantha Cheatwood

Week 1 Notes- Reconstruction HIST 2112

Marketplace > University of Georgia > History > HIST 2112 > Week 1 Notes Reconstruction
Samantha Cheatwood
GPA 3.8
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About this Document

This is the set of notes that cover the first week of class and to the end of the Reconstruction period.
American History since 1865
Brian A. Drake
Class Notes
American History, history, Reconstruction




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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Samantha Cheatwood on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 2112 at University of Georgia taught by Brian A. Drake in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see American History since 1865 in History at University of Georgia.


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Date Created: 01/29/16
History 2112 with Drake Samantha Cheatwood Week 1  Reconstruction­ the act of putting the country back together again after the Civil War o 1865­1877  Important questions to consider: o How much reconstruction needed to be done? Political and/or economic changes? o Who is in charge now? The president? Congress? Both? o How fast does reconstruction happen? o What happens to the former slaves? Do they just get freedom or further assistance too?  In 1865 there are 30 million people living in America, and two thirds of them live in the  North o The country is mostly agricultural o We are on the verge of Industrial Revolution o Still mostly rural  Former Confederates want reconstruction over as soon as possible o Northerners are torn, some want it to happen quickly as well, while others believe  bigger changes need to be made.  April, 1865 o Abraham Lincoln and Presidential Reconstruction  “Gentle Approach”: it was an easy “forgive and forget” type of  Reconstruction  Lincoln said “Malice towards none; charity for all”  He began planning this form of reconstruction during the middle of the  war, and this was because some states were taken by the Union and had to  be added back before the war was over  The plan: 10% of the voting population had to sign a loyalty oath to the  United States  Southern states had to re­write their Constitutions to abolish  slavery and renounce succession  Still, this left the question of what happened to the freed slaves unanswered.  Soon after Lincoln was assassinated and the act led many to wander if the Confederacy  had not really surrendered  Andrew Johnson then becomes president (as he was Lincoln’s VP) o Some have made the claim that he was the worst president in the history of  America o He was also a Southerner  So how did a Southerner become president this soon after the Civil War? o Many people in the mountains of the South thought poorly of the Confederacy.  This is because many of the die hard Confederates belonged to the Plantation  Elite, the super rich plantation owners of the south. These people in the mountains were often very poor and therefore didn’t own slaves and weren’t ready to go to  war to protect that institution (of slavery) o Around 100,000 Southern men joined the Union army, and most of them were  these poor mountain people from the border states o Andrew Johnson was from Asheville, NC and served as a senator in Tennessee  Now what will Johnson do about Reconstruction? Will he choose to crack down harder  on the South to reprimand his differing views? o No! o While he may have disliked the Plantation Elite, he disliked blacks people who  advocated against slavery even more o He chooses to continue with an easy Presidential Reconstruction plan  Radical Republicans in Congress o They were against slavery o They were also upset by the easy Reconstruction plan given by the president and  wanted more repercussions for the South  To add to the mess, the former Vice President of the Confederacy gets voted into  Congress  In the mean time, the South is quickly forming a way to recreate slavery o This came in the form of the Black Codes o They were laws written specifically targeting black people  It was illegal for blacks to be unemployed  It was illegal for them to go anywhere or move without the permission of  their ‘employer’ o Blacks would typically end up working for their old owners again for nearly no  pay because it was illegal for them to be unemployed and likely no where else  would hire them  Back to those disgruntled Republicans in the North… o They wanted Reconstruction to be tough on the South to prevent “the South from  rising again” o They also hated President Johnson o There were many powerful Radical Republicans in Congress o They take control from Johnson for Reconstruction  The radicals then pass the 13 , 14 , and 15  Amendments th o 13  tholishes slavery o 14  gives US Citizenship to the blacks o 15  gives black men the right to vote  Black men are now very likely to vote for radical republicans  States now need to ratify universal male suffrage  15  Amendment turned the South upside down  Black men begin joining office; there are now Black Senators and  Congressmen  Radicals set up the Freedman’s Bureau to help former slaves transition into freedom and  society o Actions such as voting and the Freedman’s Bureau are strongly opposed in the  North as well as the South  The South is currently occupied by the United States military  The Radical Republicans hate Johnson as president, so they conceive a plan that was the  Tenure of Office Act of (1867) o It stated that the president cannot fire anyone from his Cabinet without first  getting the permission of Congress o Johnson had started planning to get rid of radical republicans in office before this  Act is released o He retaliates by firing them anyways o Congress begins the process of impeachment as a result o Johnson was not impeached, but his reputation was wounded as a result and he  essentially lost power as president while still in office  “Redemption”­ as the South is regaining power  Reconstruction as a whole ultimately failed  The South begins implementing ways to keep black men from voting by intimidation o The KKK was founded to intimidate black men from voting o Any political positions once held by black men for a brief period of time have  been reclaimed o The North essentially “abandoned” the freed slaves  “Reconstruction Fatigue” of the North leads to the economic depression of 1873 o The depression is essentially why the North lost focus on the South. They were  more concerned about themselves and their current economic state than the South, so they put their efforts into their own wellbeing. o The radical republicans begin dying off by this time  Now the Supreme Court has also begun ruling against assistance for blacks  Labor strife and industrialism is growing, especially in the North  The Compromise of 1877 o The presidential election was split between Republican Rutherford B. Hayes and  Democrat Samuel Tilden o Tilden had more popular votes, and there were 20 Electoral votes left uncounted.  If Hayes won all 20 electoral votes then he would be president o The Compromise of 1877 essentially stated that the Republicans (Hayes) could  have the presidency and the Democrats would benefit by having the troops pulled  out of the South o With the South no longer occupied by the military Reconstruction was officially  over


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