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I.

Impact of the war


A. Questions raised about the South
i. Who should pay for reconstruction?
ii. Should southerners be punished?
iii. What is to be done for freed slaves?
B. Change in political power
i. Friendly to business – Southern planter elite no longer in power, Federal and state governments friendly
to the “captains of industry”
ii. Accomplishments – in absence of southern delegates, the Republican Congress centralized power and
enacted the Republican economic agenda
a) Morrill Tariff – double import duties
b) National Banking Act – uniform system of banking and currency established
c) Homestead Act of 1862 – 160 acres of Federal land free to homesteaders after 5 years of occupation
d) Morrill Land Grant Act -30,000 acres of Federal land per member of Congress given to states to
establish colleges of “agricultural and mechanical arts.”
C. Effects on the South
i. Physical and economic devastation
a) Land values plummet, railroad networks destroyed, Confederate money and bonds worthless,
emancipation causes massive loss of capital goods and labor shortage
b) Many crops do not recover to their prewar levels of production for decades, some never do
ii. Bitterness of whites – hate the North and Northerners, teach the children the same
iii. The former slaves
a) Citizenship and legal rights – technically citizens, everyone, even the slaves themselves saw them as
a lower class
b) Landless – many plans to give them land, all rejected
c) Freedmen’s Bureau – outside of trying to protect legal and citizenship rights (labor contract
negotiation), only provided temporary material relief
II. Developing a plan of Reconstruction
A. During wartime
i. Creation of West Virginia – 35 western counties of Virgina refused to succeed in 1861, admitted to the
Union as WV, a new state, 1863
ii. Military governors in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana – by 1862, Lincoln appointed. Not
representation in Congress or the election of 1864
B. Lincoln’s plan of Reconstruction
i. Provisions – Any rebel state could form a Union government when:
a) population = 10% of those who voted in 1860 swore allegiance to the Constitution and Union (and
laws dealing with emancipation) and had received a presidential pardon
• Groups excluded from the pardon were members of the Confederate government or military,
members of US Government or military who left their posts to aid the rebellion, or those who
treated capture black soldiers as prisoners of war
ii. Implementation in Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana – under this plan, such governments formed, were
not recognized by Congress
iii. Congressional reaction – Radicals disagreed with Lincoln's non-punishment of the South and believed
that Congress, not the Executive branch should supervise the restoration
iv. Wade-Davis bill and its veto
a) Put together by the radical Republicans, required that majority of white males declare allegiance and
that only those who could attest to their past loyalty could vote or serve in state constitutional
conventions. Conventions would have to abolish slavery, exclude Confederate officials, repudiate war
debt.
v. Lincoln’s final statement on Reconstruction - “no persecution, no bloody work”
vi. Assassination of Lincoln – John Wilkes Booth, Ford's Theater, April 14, 1865
C. Johnson and Reconstruction
i. Johnson’s background – humble origins, illiterate, short-tempered, no self-control, racist
ii. Radicals’ perception of him – initially thought him to be one of them, soon found him similar to Lincoln
iii. Johnson’s plan for “restoration”
a) Union indestructible – believed rebellious state should be brought quickly back into the Union
b) Amnesty and pardon – Proclamation of Amnesty (May 1865) pardoned those Lincoln would have
and the wealthy; anyone excluded could petition for amnesty, many did and were granted it
c) End of land distribution
d) State governments – appointed provisional governors – native Unionists – who were to call a
convention of men elected by loyal voters; convention were to invalidate secession, abolish slavery
and ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. He advised them to consider black suffrage in order to placate
the Radicals
D. Southern reactions
i. Intransigence – southerners acted as though little had changed since before the war because they believed
that little had
ii. New governments – southerners elect many former Confederate officials including Andrew Stephens,
former Confederate VP, 4 Generals, 8 Colonels and 6 cabinet members
iii. Black codes – existing marriages, including common-law recognized, blacks allowed to testify in legal
cases involving blacks, could not own property, could sue and be sued,, required to enter labor contracts,
get special licenses to practice certain trades, unemployed blacks forced into labor in the fields
E. Radicals and Reconstruction
i. Motivation – many Radicals had long been involved with anti-slavery, they need the black vote to
maintain control of the Federal government, also wanted to disenfranchise Confederates to prevent
restoration of former ruling elite - planters
ii. Conquered provinces argument – put forth by Thaddeus Stevens, suggested that Confederates states were
conquered provinces subject to the absolute will of the victors
iii. Forfeited rights theory supported by most Republicans – states as entities continued to exist, but by the
acts of secession they had forfeited all civil and political rights under the Constitution
F. Johnson vs. Congress
i. Veto of Freedmen’s Bureau (1866) – Johnson claimed it was invalid because it was a war measure, and
the country was at peace. He also said it was unconstitutional because it made the federal government
responsible for the care of indigents, was passed by a Congress in which 11 states had been denied seats
and used vague language in defining the civil rights and immunities of blacks
ii. Assault on Radicals – three days after vetoing the Freedmen’s Bureau bill, he assaulted Radicals in a fiery
speech. Moderate Republicans no longer supported him, and he was attacked heavily by Radicals
iii. Veto of Civil Rights Act overridden – passed mid- March 1866 in response to black codes, Johnson
vetoed it because he believed it exceeded the scope of federal power and would “foment discord among
races.” Veto overridden April 9, 1866.
iv. Freedmen’s Bureau bill passed over veto – July 16, 1866.
G. Fourteenth Amendment – passed Congress June 16, 1866, ratified July 28, 1868; No state shall:
i. “ abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens” to deprive any person
ii. “ life, liberty or property, without due process of law”
iii. “or deny any person... equal protection of the laws”
III. Congressional Reconstruction triumphant
A. Actions in Congress early in 1867
i. Extension of suffrage to blacks in the District of Columbia
ii. Requirement that new Congress convene on March 4, instead of in December = no break for Johnson
iii. Command of the Army Act (March 2, 1867) – all orders of the commander in chief must go through the
HQ of the general of the army
iv. Tenure of Office Act (March 2, 1867) – Senate permission required for the president to remove any
officeholder confirmed by the Senate
v. Military Reconstruction Act (March 2, 1867)
a) Key provisions for black suffrage and the Fourteenth Amendment
b) Tennessee exempted – had already ratified the 14th amendment
c) Military districts – 10 states divided into 5 military districts, to keep order and protect the “rights of
persons and property.”States to hold conventions for new constitution and ratify 14th.
B. Later Reconstruction Acts to plug loopholes – no system for election to set up conventions/ new governments
i. Second Reconstruction Act – March 23, 1857; directed army commanders (of the districts) to register all
men who swore they were qualified
ii. Third Reconstruction Act – July 19, 1867; registrars to determine eligibility of loyalty oath takers,
authorized district commanders to remove and replace officeholders
C. Constitutional issues and the Supreme Court
i. Congress limits the Supreme Court – March 27, 1868; had the right to do so, court accepts it
ii. Texas v. White – Supreme Court asserts right of Congress to reframe state governments
D. Effort to remove Johnson
i. Impeachment
a) Johnson’s actions – had gone through the motions of the Reconstruction, defamed Radicals
b) Failure of first effort to impeach – weak charges, no indictable crime
c) Violation of Tenure of Office Act – Johnson suspended War Secretary Edwin Stanton, who had been
a thorn in his side, partially to test constitutionality of Tenure of Office Act
d) Articles of impeachment – 8 focused on his violation of the Tenure of Office Act, article 9 of issuing
orders in violation of the Command of the Army Act and the last two of defaming congress
ii. Trial
a) Arguments: Johnson broke Tenure of Office Act vs. Stanton was appointed under Lincoln, therefore it
doesn't apply to him, and it's unconstitutional
b) Acquittal by a 35-19 vote, 1 short of the 2/3 needed to convict
c) Role of Edmund Ross – tie-breaker vote, last Republican to vote for acquittal
iii. Ramifications
a) Crippled presidency, Johnson did not clash again with Congress
b) Johnson’s loss in 1868 – in the Democratic primary, Republican Grant won the overall election
c) Radical cause weakened in morale and support by failure to remove Johnson, gained unobstructed
Restoration
E. Radical rule in the South
i. Readmission of southern states – all but GA, MI, TX, VA, added requirement: ratify 15th to rejoin Union
ii. Duration of Radical control – in many places ended in 1868, persisted until 1870 in TX, VA, GA
iii. Role of the Union League prior to Reconstruction – Founded in 1862, recruited blacks and loyal whites
to the Union(Republican) cause
IV. Reconstructed South
A. African Americans
i. Goals under freedom
a) Equal opportunities
b) Respect
c) White resistance – southern whites deeply racist, resisted federal changes, used terror, violence to
control blacks
ii. Black initiatives
a) Military service – black military veterans formed the core of black political leaders
b) Independent organizations
• Churches – formed independent churches after the war, Baptist preferred denomination
• Clubs, lodges, associations
c) Family life – two parent house-holds the norm, many got married, few single former slaves
d) Schools
• Persisting white opposition – fear that education would destroy cheap labor market
• Northern assistance – Freedmen’s Bureau helped, communities raised money to build schools
and pay teachers, many teachers veterans, learned to read and write in the military
B. Freedmen in politics
i. Characteristics – illiterate and inexperienced in politics, mulattoes played most prominent role
ii. Conventions – many blacks participated
iii. “Black Reconstruction” - term used by critics, exaggerated black political influence
C. Carpetbaggers and scalawags - white Republicans who took power in southern state Governments,
carpetbaggers = northerners, scalawags = southerners, Con. Gen. James Longstreet was a scalawag
D. Achievements of the Radical governments
i. New state constitutions
a) Black suffrage
b) Civil rights
c) other steps toward greater democracy: universal male suffrage, representation in legislatures based
more on population and more state offices elective
ii. State public school systems established
iii. Public works programs including improving and repairing buildings, roads, bridges and railroad networks
iv. Corruption common, contracts awarded at outrageous prices
V. The Grant years
A. The election of 1868
i. Reasons for support of Grant - most popular man in the nation because of his war record
ii. The Grant ticket and platform
a) Grant & Henry Wilson
b) Black suffrage a necessity in the south, states in the north should decide for themselves
c) Repay national debt in gold
iii. Democratic programs and candidates
a) NY Governor Horatio Seymour, called “the Great Decliner,” because he didn't want the nomination
b) Democrats charged Republicans with dissolving the union and subjecting southern states to military
occupation in a time of peace
c) Repay bonds in greenbacks, rather than gold
iv. Results – Grant won 214:80 in electoral votes, popular majority of 307k out of 5.7m voters, 500k blacks
accounted for his margin of victory
B. The character of Grant’s leadership
i. Great leader in war, blind to politics and lobbyists, followed them blindly
ii. Consulted no one on his cabinet appointments, made bad decisions, Secretary of State Hamilton Fish lone
exception
C. Proposal to pay the government debt
i. March 18, 1869, Grant signs is fist bill, Public Credit Act, pledge to redeem greenbacks and bonds in
gold or silver coin
ii. Refunding Act of 1870, treasury able to replace 6 percent of Civil War bonds with a new bond promising
bond holders 4 to 5 percent return in gold
D. Scandals
i. Jay Gould’s effort to corner the gold market – Summer 1869, Gould and conman James Fisk tried to
convince the President that the Treasury should stop selling gold, so they could play the market. Grant
didn't fall for it, it was assumed by Wall Street he would, gold prices soared, Grant ordered the Treasury
to sell a large amount of gold on September 24, 1869, the bubble burst.
ii. The Crédit Mobilier exposure – sham constitution company to fill the pockets of Union Pacific insiders, a
number of prominent Republicans involved, including House Speaker Schuyler Colfax and
Representative James Garfield (later president)
iii. Other scandals – War Secretary accepted bribes from Indians, impeached, resigned before trial; Secretary
of Treasury awarded a political friend 50% commission on collecting back taxes, St. Louis tax collectors
bribed by “whiskey ring”, Grant's secretary repeatedly accepted bribes for inside information
iv. Grant’s personal role in the scandals was that he made poor choices in the people around him, never
implicated in any of the scandals
E. White Terror
i. Objections to black participation in government
ii. The Ku Klux Klan – attacked blacks and prominent Republicans
iii. Enforcement Acts(1870-71) to protect black voters – 1871 after the 3rd act (KKK Act), Feds singled out 9
counties in SC, suspended habeas corpus, pursued mass prosecutions
F. The return of conservative control
i. Reasons for abandonment of the Radical programs – Northern attention turned elsewhere, racial equality
in the south a forgotten issue
ii. Duration of Radical control – final Radical regimes fall by end of 1876
G. Reform and the election of 1872
i. Liberal Republicans get Democrats to nominate Greeley in 1872 in hope of beating Grant; Greeley had a
reputation as a reformer
ii. Grant’s advantages
a) Radical and regular Republicans supported him
b) Seven carpetbagger states in his pocket
c) Generous contributions from businesses and banks
iii. Greeley loses after a long speaking tour, taking six southern and border states and none in the north.
Popular vote is 3.6m Grant to 2.8m Greeley
H. Economic panic
i. Causes for the depression
a) Contraction in national money supply and speculative investments in railroads. 1873 25 railroads
default on their payments, bellwether investment bank Jay Cooke and Company fails September 18
ii. Severity of the depression – Worst depression thus far in American history, millions lose their jobs,
thousands of businesses bankrupt
I. Democratic control of the House in 1874 – Republicans blamed for depression, Democrats gain control of
House, gain seats in Senate, launch inquiries which reveal more government corruption
J. Reissue of greenbacks – to relieve currency shortage and stimulate business expansion treasury reissues
$26m
K. Resumption of specie payments approved in 1875 – Specie Resumption Act of 1875 passed after Grant
vetoes bill to reissue more greenbacks. Greenbacks could be traded for gold starting January 1, 1879, after the
Treasury increased it's gold stockpile and devalued greenbacks
VI. Election of 1876
A. Elimination of Grant and Blaine – Republican did not want three-term president, 1st choice candidates former
Speaker of the House James G. Blaine DQ'ed because letters were published implicating him in dubious
railroad dealings
B. Republicans nominate Hayes – 3 time governor of Ohio, advocate of hard money, known as a civil service
reformer, offended neither Radicals nor reformers
C. Democrats nominate Tilden – millionaire lawyer and reform governor of NY, overthrew corrupt NYC
political ring
D. Views of the parties – both parties favored relaxing federal authority and returning white conservative rule to
the south; Republicans smeared Democrats mercilessly
E. Results of the popular vote – disputed outcome, early results showed Tilden victory, FL, LA, SC heavily
disputed
F. Role of the Electoral Commission – Democrats mess up selection process, Commission votes along party
lines
G. Wormley House bargain
i. Promises of each side
a) Democrats: Not disputes Hayes presidency, accept Restoration amendments (civil rights for blacks),
refrain from partisan reprisals
b) Republicans: withdraw federal troops from the south , allow Republican governments there to
collapse
ii. Promises filled and unfilled – Hayes keeps his promises, withdrawing troops in 1877, allowing
Republican governments to collapse, southern Democrats don't protect civil rights
H. The end of Reconstruction
i. The rights of blacks crumble under pressure of restored white rule and Supreme Court decisions limiting
the application of the Reconstruction amendments
ii. An enduring legacy: 13th, 14th, 15th amendments create room for future advances for blacks

It was a revolution, and “nobody cal anticipate the action of revolutions.”


- Former North Carolina Governor Jonathan Worth