The Fantastic Five proudly presents:
Everything you ever needed to know about Reconstruction, in bubble cluster format ! (sorry about the sizing)

Presidential reconstruction:

Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (1863)
“Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction and How it Works…”
“Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction and How it Works…”
Lincoln tried to reconstruct the state governments in the South so Unionists were in charge rather than secessionists (Southern states) through the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. It provided for the following:
· Southerners would be permitted to full presidential pardons if:
1) the person took an oath of allegiance to the Union and the US Constitution and
2) accepted the emancipation of slaves

· If 10% of the voters in the state took the loyalty oath in order for the state government to be entered back into the Union
In other words, the proclamation forced southern states to rewrite their state constitutions in order to eliminate the existence of slavery.

Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
Many Radical Republicans in Congress strongly opposed Lincoln’s 10% Plan. In 1864, Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, which required far more stringent and demanding terms to Southern states during the Reconstruction. The bill required 50% of voters in southern states to take a loyalty oath and allowed only non-Confederates to vote for a new state constitution. Because this bill seemed impossible to allow Southern states back into the Union, Lincoln refused to sign the bill.

Freedmen’s Bureau
Congress created a new agency: the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, or the Freedmen’s Bureau in March 1865. The bureau became a welfare agency by providing food, shelter, and medical aid for those suffering from the recent war – both blacks (mainly freed slaves) and homeless whites.
While the bureau did not have much success in providing sustainable land/job for freed slaves, it found success in education. The bureau established nearly 3,000schools for freed blacks, including several black colleges.

Lincoln’s Death
Lincoln was assassinated; Andrew Johnson took office.
Johnson and Reconstruction
Johnson was the only senator who remained loyal to the Union, despite his roots in a Confederate state. He was expected to have great success in Reconstruction, but turned out to be the exact opposite as a white supremacist.
Johnson’s Reconstruction Policy

In May 1865, Johnson proclaimed his version of the Reconstruction proclamation; it was very similar to Lincoln’s 10% Plan. In addition, it enabled disfranchisements of 1) all former leaders and officeholders of the Confederacy and 32) Confederates with more than $20,000 in tax property. He still had the power to grant individual pardons to southerners and made frequent use of it to pardon many former Confederate leaders.

Radical Reconstruction

Radical congressional reconstruction is congress’ reaction towards Johnson’s reconstruction program and black codes in the South. Angered by the lack black assimilation in the south, Congress adopted a harsh and strict plan that protected the newly freed slaves. Most of Congress at this time was Radical Republican, who did not agree with President Johnson. Some famous Radical Republicans include Charles Sumner, Thaddeus Stevens, and Benjamin Wade.

Civil Rights Act of 1866

The first two congressional reconstruction acts were vetoed by Johnson, but overridden by the Republicans. The first of the two acts was the Freedmen’s Bureau Act which extended the life and power of the freedmen’s Bureau. The second act was the Civil Rights act that declared all recently freedmen as citizens with equal legal rights to all other citizens. They also protected freedmen from black codes.

Fourteenth Amendment

The 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, declared all people born in the US as citizens and all citizens have “equal protection under the laws.” The 14th Amendment also disqualified ex-Confederates from a federal and/or state office, and penalized states that were holding voting from eligible voters.

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Citizen's voting for who they would like in office or who they are told to vote for?

Reconstruction acts of 1867

March 1867 brought the full restoration of ex-Confederate states, but divided them into 5 military sections until each state could adopt a new constitution to congress’ liking. Each of these military sections was directed by the army to help register voters, enfranchise ALL males over 21, and elect delegates to their constitutional conventions. The two acts where an incredible jump from the previous acts. Johnson, who believed in gradual reconstruction, tried to block and resist the reconstruction. In July 1867, congress passed the Tenure of Office act, stating that congress must approve all removals from the president’s power. This act allowed them to then impeach President Johnson, who was in the way of their ‘plans’. All though President Johnson stayed President, he gave up the fight to all congressional acts.

Fifteenth Amendment

The last of the reconstruction amendments, protected all citizens right to vote, gaining the black vote for the Republican Party.

Civil Rights Act of 1875

The last of congressional reconstruction acts, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 guaranteed equal accommodations in public places and equal courts. This law was not enforced at all and in fact was reinstated in the 20th century, almost 100 years later.

Grant’s Administration

Republican administration in the South

While most Republican legislators in the south were white, Blanche K. Bruce and Hiram Revels and others were examples of actual educated, moderate land-owning black senators in Congress. Terms used to refer to Republicans by the Democrats were scalawags for southern Republicans and carpetbaggers for the northern Republicans heading south. These terms were meant as jeers to these Republicans that ideally were only getting involved with the south to get acquire their own riches and to deceivingly support the new administration under the Union after having gone through the Confederate States process.

While Grant’s Republican administration in the South did accomplish universal male suffrage, property rights for women, debt relief, modernized penal codes, internal improvements, and state institutions such as schools, the northern corruption I the administration reflected the financial corruption the Southern administration partook in.

Republican administration in the North

Under Grant’s administration and the Industrial Revolution, political manipulators known as “spoilsmen” started
to take over the Reconstruction in the North as they mastered giving jobs and favors to their supporters.

It was particularly in Grant’s Northern Administration that corruption was most visible. It was Grant’s loyalty to the corruptors that led to the Republican Party split in the election of 1872.

3 of the most notable examples of corruption were gold market scheme in which Jay Gould and James Fisk used Grant’s brother-in-law to gain personal profit from the gold market; the Credit Mobilier in which connections were made with Congress so that the wealthy wouldn’t have to report all their profits and wouldn’t have to pay so many taxes for government-funded internal subsidies; and the Whiskey Ring case in which federal revenue agents and the liquor industry did the same as Congress and the wealthy did in the credit mobilier case.

1872 and 1873 under Grant

In 1872, due to the corruption scandals surrounding Grant’s administration, those Republicans that stood for reform broke off into the Liberal Republicans Party that shared the nomination of Tribune editor Horace Greely as their presidential candidate for the 1872 election with the Democrats. Regular Republicans, however, won the election with Grant once again.

Also in 1872, Congress passed the Amnesty Act that allowed ex-Confederates to hold positions in office except for top positions and let southern conservatives attempt to take control of their state governments through the Democrats.

In 1873, due to over-speculation in financial dealings and over-building by railroads and other internal improvement industries, an economic panic struck which ended with Grant’s decision to support bankers and creditors with the gold standard.

Black “Adjustment” in the South

African Americans were not seen as full citizens for another century at least after their emancipation, in spite of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments ratified soon after the Civil War (1868 and 1870, respectively).

Black Codes (1865)
Enacted by southern state legislatures. Southern states used the opportunity of defining black rights to discriminate against them (e.g. did not allow them to vote, lease land, testify against whites, etc.).

“The Freedmen’s Bureau”:
“The Freedmen’s Bureau”:

Freedmen’s Bureau (1865)
Federal agency to oversee relations between whites and freed blacks in the South, food rations, and labor contracts. Responsible for supervising failed “40 acres and a mule” plan.

40 acres and a mule (1865)
Abandoned southern plantation land and mules were supposed to be given to freed slaves after the war, but most of the property was returned to their original white owners. The plan was almost totally unrealized.

With the help of the Freedmen’s Bureau, black schools and colleges were established in the South. By the turn of the century, the southern black illiteracy rate was below 50%. (but higher than zero!)

System in which workers toiled on farmland and paid a portion of their crops as rent to the people who owned that land. In the South, the workers were former slaves who were often taken advantage of and dragged into debt by white landowners and merchants. The cycle of borrowing and paying off credit keept the black sharecroppers in a forever lasting cycle of debt- tying them to the land, making their lives almost equal to slavery.

Racial crimes
After the end of the Civil War, racial crimes (such as lynching) perpetrated by white vigilantes occurred more often.

Ku Klux Klan
The infamous white supremacist terror organization was founded in the South in 1866. Members targeted blacks for hate crimes. (Later, the Klan increased its target range to include minorities, non-Protestants, and almost anyone else who did not fit their conditions.)

Besides intimidation, black voters could also be kept away from the polls by force (bulldozing). Soon enough, laws were actually put in place to stop Blacks from voting. The Grandfather clause only aloud men to vote if their grandfather could vote. The Literacy test requested every voter to be able to read and explain a certain document. Blacks, whose literacy rate increased over the years, were tricked and often given articles in foreign languages. There was also a high poll tax that had to be paid to be able to vote. All of these requirements made it almost impossible for Blacks to vote.

End Of Reconstruction

The end of Reconstruction took place during President Grant’s second term, in which Radical Republicanism was now on the wane. Southern conservatives took this opportunity to take control of one state after another, calling themselves redeemers, and while they all had different social and economic backgrounds, they could all agree on their political program. This program included states’ rights, reduced taxes, reduced spending on social programs, and most importantly of all, white supremacy.

The Ku Klux Klan, founded in 1867, was the most prominent of secret societies that was formed to intimidate blacks and white reformers. They burned black-owned buildings and flogged and murdered freedmen to keep them from exercising their voting rights, forcing Congress to pass the Force Acts of 1870 and 1871. These acts gave power to federal authorities to stop Ku Klux Klan violence and to protect the civil rights of citizens in the South.

The Amnesty Act of 1872 was passed by Congress as a general amnesty act that removed the last of the restrictions on ex-Confederates, except for its top leaders. The chief political consequence of the Amnesty Act was it allowed southern conservatives to vote for Democrats to retake control of state governments.

In 1876, federal troops had been withdrawn from all but three southern states and Democrats had by now returned to power in all ex-Confederate states except these three, playing a critical role in the presidential election. For the election of 1876, Republicans chose Rutherford B. Hayes, and the Democrats chose Samuel J. Tilden, who was known for fighting the corrupt Tweed Ring. When the election was over, the Democrats had won a clear majority, but in a special electoral commission, the commission gave all the electoral votes to Hayes. The Democrats threatened to filibuster (use of delaying tactics, especially in a legislative assembly) the results and send the election to the House.

In the end, Hayes became president only if he agreed to the Compromise of 1877. The terms of the compromise are as follows:
1) Immediately end federal support for the Republicans in the South
2) Support the building of a southern transcontinental railroad
3) Withdrawal of the last of the federal troops protecting blacks and other Republicans

By withdrawing the last of the troops that protected blacks and other Republicans, Hayes put an end to the Reconstruction. The Supreme Court only sped up the end of the Reconstruction, when they struck down one Reconstruction law after another that protect blacks from discrimination.

The "compromise":
The "compromise":

Sources: LEP, Amsco,