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Discover_our_World_Yellow / Lesson 12: Reconstruction in the South

Reconstruction in the South

After the Civil War:

  • The South was in ruins

  • In the South plantations and homes were burned during the war. The fields were left unattended. The Confederate money was worthless. The Southerners felt very beaten.

  • Because of this Lincoln wanted to make it easy for the Southern states to rejoin the Union. Many Northerners were angry over this.

  • Many Northerners thought Lincoln was being too easy on the South.

  • On April 14, 1865 only five days after the Confederate army surrendered, Lincoln was killed at Ford's Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. The Vice President Andrew Johnson became President. He tried to go ahead with Lincoln's Plans in Congress.

  • President Andrew Johnson was President-he tried to continue Lincoln's plans

The Freedman's Bureau

  • After the War, the newly freed African Americans had no jobs, no land, no food, they were hungry and homeless

  • Congress created the Freedman's Bureau to house, feed, educate and help the African Americans

  • They gave food, clothing, medical care, and set up schools for the Blacks


  • Many whites rented out part of their land to the Freed blacks in exchange for part of the cotton crops as rent

  • The people who rent the land were called sharecroppers

  • The owners of the land were called landowners

Reconstruction Plans

  • Plan 1 Lincoln's Plan: The 10 Percent Plan: On December 8, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction Plan

  • Lincoln asked only four things of the Southerners.

  • to free the slaves

  • Confederate government disband

  • new state governments for each Southern state be formed

  • no former leaders of the Confederate or high ranking officers could be a part of the new government

  • It offered an executive order that offered a full pardon and restoration of all rights to Confederates who reaffirmed their allegiance by taking an oath of future loyalty.

  • The program represented Lincoln's first attempt at a comprehensive plan of reconstruction.

  • At the same time, the plan provided a means to shorten the war by undermining civilian enthusiasm for the war effort, and by preparing the South for emancipation.

  • Lincoln's reconstruction order allowed any state whose loyal members equaled 10 percent of the 1860 registered voters to form a new state government that would be entitled to representation in Washington.

The Wade Davis Bill Plan

  • Reconstruction Plan 2: Wade-Davis Bill:

  • Several congressional Republicans thought Lincoln's 10 Percent Plan was too mild.

  • A more stringent plan was proposed by Senator Benjamin F. Wade and Representative Henry Winter Davis in February 1864; The Wade-Davis Bill required that 50 percent of a state's white males take a loyalty oath to be readmitted to the Union.

  • In addition, states were required to give blacks the right to vote. Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, but President Lincoln chose not to sign it, killing the bill with a pocket veto.

  • Lincoln continued to advocate tolerance and speed in plans for the reconstruction of the Union in opposition to the Congress.

  • After Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, however, the Congress had the upper hand in shaping Federal policy toward the defeated South and imposed the harsher reconstruction requirements first advocated in the Wade-Davis Bill.

Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction Plan

  • Plan #3: Andrew Johnson's Reconstruction Plan:

  • Johnson's plan envisioned the following:

  • Pardons would be granted to those taking a loyalty oath

  • No pardons would be available to high Confederate officials and persons owning property valued in excess of $20,000

  • A state needed to abolish slavery before being readmitted

  • A state was required to repeal its secession ordinance before being readmitted.

The Radical Republican Plans

  • Charles Sumner in the Senate and Thaddeus Stevens in the House led the Radical Republicans in their Reconstruction plan

  • Plan 4: Radical Republican Reconstruction program:

  • They held that the Southern states had "committed suicide" by their secession and thus had lost any rights under the Constitution.

  • Reconstruction to them was considered the function of Congress alone.

  • This group called the Radical Republicans in Congress wanted a plan to punish slave states, and they passed many laws that were hard on the South.

  • Lincoln probably could have changed this because he was a Republican and well respected.

  • Johnson was unable to; as he was almost impeached (removed as President). The 13th Amendment was passed in December 1865. It said that slavery was unconstitutional.

14th Amendment

  • 1866---this Amendment was passed to make blacks citizens of the United States and it guaranteed them the same legal rights as whites

  • The 14th Amendment was passed to make all Blacks citizens of the United States and all laws against Blacks were unconstitutional.

  • Congress also divided the South into five military districts. Each of these had a general in charge of the region. The general sent troops out into the district to make sure the Blacks were given fair rights.

The Black Codes: Example of South still punishing slaves in Reconstruction Era

  • The South had passed the Black Codes

  • Black Codes: Rights and Duties of Freed African Americans; which prevented African Americans to live in certain areas or to work in certain areas

  • Slave states made laws called the Black Codes. These were to keep Black people from voting, serving on juries, getting jobs, owning land, or going to school.

The South also passed Jim Crow Laws

  • The Jim Crow Laws were laws passed by the Southern States after the Civil War---these laws made the separation of white and black people legal

  • This segregation made it so blacks could not use the same restaurants, schools and other buildings

  • Also, The Ku Klux Klan was formed. This was a Southern group of whites which burned, whipped, and murdered Blacks.

In Summary

  • The Reconstruction Era lasted for about 12 years after the Civil War

  • There were several reconstruction plans that were developed

  • The North wanted to punish the South and the South tried to punish the blacks

  • Congress took over Reconstruction in 1867 in the First Reconstruction Act:

  • It created black & white leaders loyal to the Union to lead reconstruction

  • It used the Union Army to rule the South until new Southern State Governments were formed

  • Northerners came to the South to start businesses: they were called carpetbaggers because they were viewed as people who wanted to profit from the South's suffering