Reconstruction 1865-1876

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  • Reconstruction 1865-1876
    • 1865- 13th Amendment
      • Outlawing slavery
    • 1868- 14th Amendment
      • Guaranteeing full citizenship for all Americans.
    • 1870- 15th Amendment
      • Providing universal suffrage for all men.
        • Theoretically guaranteed the voting rights of A.A's; However intimidation strategies disenfranchised many for a long time.
    • Civil Rights Acts
      • Civil Rights Act 1875
        • Promoted the ending of segregation in all public areas except schools.
      • In retaliation to 'reconstruction and the C.R acts etc- KKK was established.
        • KKK (Klu Klux Klan)
          • KKK white racist group CONTEXT: many like this were set up in 1866 in ex-confederate states.
          • Established in Tennessee by General Nathan Bedford Forest.
          • The Klan grew rapidly from 1868-71. estimated 400,000 membersin Tennessee alone and roughly 1/2 million across S.
          • Southern Democrats encouraged and colluded in Klan terrorism targeted at black official, schools, churches etc.
          • Republican state officials tried to enforce laws that would stop KKK..
            • BUT- Klansmen gave each other alibis (covered for each other) and were frequently jurors.
            • Gov Holden N Carolina used state militia against Klan  and was condemned for subverting liberty of KKK.
              • Infer- government corrupt  and racist in S even though US run by Republican.
            • 1870- Force Acts
              • In response to appeals for help from several states- Pres Grant passed 3 force Acts.
                • This gave President Grant legal and military power to crush the Klan.
              • These Acts crushed most of the violence,
                • However, ex-Confederate states continued to use violence (particularly lynching) and intimidation against Republicans and blacks.
      • Civil Rights Act  1866
        • Promoted  political equality.
    • TIME LINE-
      • 1852: Publication of Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel 'Uncle Tom's Cabin'. Her passive 'Uncle Tom' would be used in 1960's for A.A's prepared to make compromises in struggle for equal rights.
      • 1859- John Brown raided the federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, Virginia, to gain weapons and ammunition for a slave revolt. Brown was hanged but became a martyr to the cause of emancipation and a role model for those supporting a more physical approach in the struggle for equal rights.
      • 1865- End of the American Civil War. Ratification of 13th Amendment outlawing slavery.
      • 1866- 1866 C.R Act gave A.A's full citizenship + equal rights. Memphis massacre- 46 A.A's were killed + many homes, schools, churches etc, were burned to ground by white mob and police.-Founding of the KKK.
      • 1867- 'Reconstruction' with acts passed granting vote to freed slaves in Southern states.
      • 1868- 14th Amendment, Ratified; giving full citizenship to all born or naturalised Americans. Louisiana massacre- 250 A.A's killed.
      • 1870- Ratification of 15th Amendment; enfranchising A.A's.
      • 1875- Clinton Massacre; over 200 A.A's killed in Mississippi. 1875 C.R Act prohibits segregation in all public places except schools.
    • Reconstruction- Period of reform and reconstruction after American Civil War; promoted racial equality. Primarily through three amendments.
    • 1st Reconstruction 1865- 'Confederate Style'. (President Johnson + Southern elite.)
    • Social position of blacks-
      • Social gains from Reconstruction for blacks:
        • Freedom of movement-those who desired moved to S cities (1865-70- black population in S 's 10 largest cities doubled.) or the N or the West.
        • Reconstruction gave blacks confidence to build and benefit from their own institutions.
          • Black churches and federal Freedmen's Bureau (1865-72) made education more widely available to blacks and a few businessmen,lawyers, doctors, political leaders etc. emerged.
            • Black churches became popular and influential  although naturally they served to racial divisions  as whites attended separate churches. In many ways both blacks  and whites preferred to be separate.
            • Educational institutions founded during Reconstruction: Howard (Washington DC) and Fisk (Tennessee) provided some leaders of mid-twentieth century C.R movement.
        • The % of illiterate blacks was falling. 90% 1860, 70% 1880.
      • Social losses  for blacks-
        • Although blacks came nowhere near equality and social acceptance after the Civil war. Whites still remained hostile and fearful. White said- 'sambo' should stay in his place.
        • Future president Theodore Roosevelt said- 'A perfectly stupid race [blacks] can never rise to a very high plane.'
        • A group of Southern politicians created a crusading anti-negro group. (1890s)
    • Political position of blacks-
      • Black voters and Black officials
        • After civil war, 700,000 blacks were registered  to vote in S. compared to 600,000 whites.Radical Republicans had supported equal voting rights so they got black votes.
          • Southern Democrats and some historians criticized Republican rule in the south as corrupt and dominated by blacks,
            • Black politicians blamed for this corruptness but they were no less to blame than their white contempories who dominated S + N politics.
        • There were very few black officials and most were in local; only 2 US black senators. both in Mississippi (50% black). 1 Charles Caldwell shot by whites in Tavern.
        • Why were blacks unable to dominate Southern politics?
          • Blacks lacked education, organisation and experience.
          • Blacks were accustomed to white rule leadership and domination.
          • The black community was divided. Ex-slaves resented free-born blacks who saw themselves as superior.
          • Blacks were a minority in most states.
          • Sure of the black vote, the Republican party usually put forward white candidates in hope of gaining more white votes.
          • White Republicans usually considered blacks less able to govern than whites.
          • Southern black leaders didn't want to rock the boat by excluding ex-confederates from office.
        • How and why black voting was stopped by the 1890s.
          • Mississippi successfully introduced income and literacy qualifications that stopped blacks voting: 1890.
            • Only 3 percent of blacks could vote in S by 1900. Thus Reconstruction failed to bring lasting political gains for blacks.
          • White supremacist groups used violence to stop blacks voting. In Louisiana; White League assassinated several Republican officials in 1874.
          • Why:  S's believed in the arguments that justified slavery even though it was now abolished.
            • S's depicted Reconstruction as an era of black rule rape arson etc. They made this an excuse for disenfranchisement of blacks.
            • Some whites believed blacks were immature, irrational and incapable of possessing the right of citizenship.
    • Economic position of blacks-
      • Reconstruction failed to bring economic gain to blacks. Freed slaves ability of movement but lacked wealth thus remained in S and farmed.
        • Most then remained trapped by poverty, working as sharecroppers for white elite. (basically slavery)
          • Cotton farmin suffered in 1870s so S was 50% income less than N.
            • Lack of economic power kept southern black progress slow.
  • 2nd Reconstruction 1866- 'Black Reconstruction.' (After Congress rejected 'Reconstruction Confederate style'.)
    • 1st Reconstruction 1865- 'Confederate Style'. (President Johnson + Southern elite.)
    • END OF RECONSTRUCTION-
      • Amnesty Act -Helped to restore political power to ex-Confederates. 1872
        • Helped restore voting and office holding rights to 150,000 ex-confederates.
      • Civil Rights Act trying to prevent discrimination in public places. 1875
        • Last federal attempt to help S blacks.
      • End of Reconstruction - 1877
        • President Hayes withdraws all federal troops from South 1877.
          • Supreme court decisions indicated that civil rights were individual state <<concerns.
            • South effectively became a 1 party state- left to Democrats. Their white supremacy beliefs united democrats in S.
              • This control meant control over voting rights and education.
      • Indicative of loss of N interest in S blacks- collapse of Freedmen's Bureau.
  • Civil Rights Act  1866
    • Promoted  political equality.

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