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Lecture 2 - US Modern History

by: Dominique Butler

Lecture 2 - US Modern History HI 1073

Marketplace > Mississippi State University > HI 1073 > Lecture 2 US Modern History
Dominique Butler
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This is the beginning of the lecture from Friday August 19.
Matthew Lavine
Class Notes
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dominique Butler on Friday August 19, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HI 1073 at Mississippi State University taught by Matthew Lavine in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 5 views.


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Date Created: 08/19/16
Lecture 2 Review of American history before 1877  The new US was unprecedented among other nations of the day for its size and diversity. o Political diversity: not every American had supported the revolution; among revolutionaries, there were big differences between the Federalists and Anti-Federalists as to what the new government should look like. o Racial and ethnic diversity: most other nations were ethnically and racially homogenous, with one clearly dominant group holding sway over small minority populations.  The new US contained relatively large and influential ethnic groups, and about 20% of its population. o Religious diversity: the new US not only had an unusual number of active religious traditions but the states had several contradictory way of dealing with the political status. o Diversity: whether racial, ethnic, religious, or political is usually regarded as an asset for the US in our day and age. o But the new US in the late 1700s, was the first nation in history to attempt a synthesis of some different kinds of differences. o The the Framers of the Constitution, diversity looked more like an obstacle to be overcome than a resource to be nurtured.  Amendment 1: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise there of…” o However, until the early 1900s, this amendment was not regarded as binding on state governments, several of which had official state churches. This was a compromise.  Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”  “All good men with the entire abolition of slavery, as soon as it can take place with safety to the public, and for the lasting good of the present wretched race of slaves. The only possible step that could be taken towards it by the convention was to fix a period after which they should not be imported.” Oliver Ellsworth signed the const. late 1787  “I believe that the time will come when the opportunity will be offered to abolish this lamentable evil.” Patrick Henry 1773; ultimately refused to attend Constitutional Convention because of the looming compromise on slavery.  “There must doubtless be an unhappy influence on the manners of our people produced by the existence of slavery among us. The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other. Our children see this and learn to imitate it; for man is an imitative animal.” Thomas Jefferson, slave-owner 1782.  In spite of all those regretful statements by the Framers, the Constitution permitted slavery. o 3/5ths compromise.  South Carolina succeeds from the nation first. (Confederacy) o The ones that benefitted the most from slavery succeeded because they knew Lincoln would abolish slavery.  There was reason to believe, in 1860, that some sort of compromise could be worked out that would re-join the Union. o Precedents included: The Missouri Compromise (1820), the “nullification crisis” (1828), the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), the Dred Scott decision of the Supreme Court (1858).  Lincoln’s plan for reconstruction: that is, the process by which the Confederate states could be “put back into their proper practical relation with the Union” required much less “proof” of their loyalty than the plan put forward by the so-called Radical Republicans in Congress. --- 1865 Lincoln assassinated. o Andrew Johnson, a Democrat who succeeded to the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination, was even more lenient that Lincoln had been, and infuriated the Radical Republicans (who controlled Congress) by restoring the rights of essentially anyone who asked for it. After 1866, the Congress took control of Reconstruction away from the Executive Branch.  Mississippi “Black Code” of 1865: o Every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause. o All freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes in this State, over the age of 18, found on the second Monday in January, 1866, or thereafter, with no lawful employment or business, or found…  Congressional Reconstruction (1866-1867): forced the former Confederate states to ratify the 14 Amendment as a condition for remaining in the federal government. o Placed those states under de facto military occupation, on order to guarantee the ability of blacks to participate in elections. Not coincidentally, the Radical Republican majority in Congress expected that freed slaves would cast those votes for Republican “carpetbagger” candidates. o Passed the 15 Amendment.  Backlash against congressional reconstruction (1866-1877) o The KKK was formed as a sort of guerilla army to harass Federal troops and prevent them from enforcing African-Americans’ voting rights. They also assassinated Republican officeholders. o The harshness of Congressional reconstruction polarized poor southern whites and aligned them politically for the fist time with the wealthy planter elite. This was enough to counteract Republicans’ gains at the polls. By 1876, the Democratic party was solidly in control of the Southern Congressional delegation.  Election of 1876 : Hayes (R) vs Tilden (D) o SC, FL, and LA were still Republican-controlled in 1876, and refused to certify the apparent electoral victory of those states by Democratic candidate Samuel Tilden. o Hayes won.


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