Republicans Prepare To Shape Reconstruction
Near the end of April, the Joint Committee on Reconstruction submitted its report on conditions in the South. Thetestimony that witnesses provided caused alarm and shock. Many instances of violence and injustice against blacks were reported by military officers, Freedmen’s Bureau agents, former slaves, and others, as was the continuing, bitter resentment that white Southerners held toward the U.S. government. The committee concluded that until the Southern states could guarantee civil rights for all citizens, and until the former leaders of the Confederacy had been excluded from holding public office, their legislators must not be allowed to participate in the federal government.
Johnson’s refusal to support the legislation that had united the Republican majority in Congress proved fatal to his program, for it had driven the moderates into the Radical camp. Johnson now lacked the support he needed to get his own policies approved and enacted. The Republicans, meanwhile, would now be able to create the kind of Reconstruction plan they had long and idealistically envisioned.
Glimpses Of The Freed Women
Northern teachers, many of whom were white women, traveled into the South to provide education and training for the newly freed population. Schools from the elementary level through college provided a variety of opportunities, from the rudiments of reading and writing and various types of basic vocational training to classics, arts, and theology. This school in Richmond shows women of color learning the fine points of sewing.
James E. Taylor. “The Freedmen’s Union Industrial School, Richmond, Va.” From Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, September 22, 1866. Copyprint. , Library of Congress. Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-33264
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Radical Republican Reconstruction Plan
The postwar Radical Republicans were motivated by three main factors:
- Liberal land policies for settlers
- Federal aid for railroad development
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Why Did Lincoln And Johnsons Plans Fail
The Radical Republicans opposed Lincolns plan because they thought it too lenient toward the South. Radical Republicans believed that Lincolns plan for Reconstruction was not harsh enough because, from their point of view, the South was guilty of starting the war and deserved to be punished as such.
Radical Republicans And Reconstruction
These policies were not severe enough for the Radical Republicans, a faction of the Republican Party that favored a stricter Reconstruction policy. They insisted on a dramatic expansion of the power of the federal government over the states as well as guarantees of black suffrage. The Radicals did consider the Southern states out of the Union. Massachusetts senator Charles Sumner spoke of the former Confederate states as having committed suicide. Congressman Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania went further, describing the seceded states as conquered provinces. Such a mentality would go a long way in justifying the Radicals disregard of the rule of law in their treatment of these states.
President Johnsons Reconstruction plan had been proceeding well by the time Congress convened in late 1865. But Congress refused to seat the representatives from the Southern states even though they had organized governments according to the terms of Lincolns or Johnsons plan. Although Congress had the right to judge the qualifications of its members, this was a sweeping rejection of an entire class of representatives rather than the case-by-case evaluation assumed by the Constitution. When Tennessees Horace Maynard, who had never been anything but scrupulously loyal to the Union, was not seated, it was clear that no Southern representative would be.
What Northerns And Southerns Thought of the Civil War
This article is one of many of our educational resources on Reconstruction.
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Andrew Johnson And Presidential Reconstruction
At the end of May 1865, President Andrew Johnson announced his plans for Reconstruction, which reflected both his staunch Unionism and his firm belief in states rights. In Johnsons view, the southern states had never given up their right to govern themselves, and the federal government had no right to determine voting requirements or other questions at the state level. Under Johnsons Presidential Reconstruction, all land that had been confiscated by the Union Army and distributed to the formerly enslaved people by the army or the Freedmens Bureau reverted to its prewar owners. Apart from being required to uphold the abolition of slavery , swear loyalty to the Union and pay off war debt, southern state governments were given free rein to rebuild themselves.
As a result of Johnsons leniency, many southern states in 1865 and 1866 successfully enacted a series of laws known as the black codes, which were designed to restrict freed Black peoples activity and ensure their availability as a labor force. These repressive codes enraged many in the North, including numerous members of Congress, which refused to seat congressmen and senators elected from the southern states.;
Abraham Lincolns Assassination And Radical Reconstruction
assassination affected the nation was that the original plan for reconstruction changed and his death created a larger time period of racism segregation and discrimination. If Lincoln had survived his plans for reconstruction would have been successful. Instead his death led to an open spot for someone else to take over and make those decisions. Of course Andrew Johnson would take over since he was vice president at that time. Radical Republicans saw that there was a way to punish those who rebelled
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Ulysses S Grant: Campaigns And Elections
The Campaign and Election of 1868:
President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the end of the Civil War was a tragedy beyond measure. It deprived a shattered nation of great leadership when it was most needed. Lincoln’s successor, the uncharismatic Andrew Johnson, took charge of an embattled and ineffective administration.
The critical question in the aftermath of the Civil War was what to do with the defeated South. Congress and the President struggled to find a balance between support for black civil rights and support for white leadership. This effort at Reconstruction, at bringing the shattered South back into the Union, nearly destroyed the Johnson administration. Johnson wanted to reunite the nation as rapidly as possible while maintaining the electorate as an exclusively white entity. He had comparatively little interest in protecting the rights of the newly freed slaves. The Republican Party was divided over the President’s approach to Reconstruction. The Radical Republicans supported policies that did not allow the leaders of the Confederacy to hold political power and provided African Americans with civil and political rights, including the right to vote. They were opposed in that effort by many moderate Republicans and nearly all Democrats.
The Campaign and Election of 1872
The Republican Plan For Reconstruction
Debate and discussion about the shape that Reconstruction should take finally resulted in the ReconstructionAct of 1867, which was passed over Johnson’s veto in March. The act divided the ten Southern states into five military districts ruled by military commanders, who were authorized to use the Army to protect lives and property. To be readmitted to the Union, the new state governments would have to write constitutions that guaranteed suffrage for all male citizens, and the constitutions would have to be approved by a majority of registered voters. In addition, each state must ratify the Fourteenth Amendment.
Three subsequent Reconstruction acts refined some of the issues brought up by the first. The second act empowered the military commanders to register voters, set up elections, and adopt state constitutions even if Southerners did nothing. The third act declared that the temporary military governments took precedence over the civil governments elected under Johnson’s program. The fourth act made it harder for citizens to prevent the ratification of state constitutions.
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The Fight For Women’s Rights
Once slavery was abolished, many longtime antislavery crusaders turned their energies to the struggle for black suffrage. At the same time, the leaders of the fledgling women’s movement were just as passionate about gaining the same right for women.
During the course of the nineteenth century, reform movements of various kinds gained momentum as public awareness of social problems increased. Across the nationespecially in the northeastern regionactivists called not only for an end to slavery but for an improvement in conditions in prisons and mental institutions and for equality between men and women. At this time, women not only could not vote but were not allowed to own property, and they did not have equal access to education and employment. Many schools and universities were closed to female students, and very few career choices were available to them. Single women could work in factories, but they earned only half of what men did for the same job.
As the twentieth century drew to a close, feminist groups like the National Organization for Women and the National Women’s Political Caucus continued to apply pressure for societal and political change. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, women had made many advances, but some forms of discrimination continued .
the Southern states an unfair advantage, though, they would lose representatives if they did not allow blacks to vote.
Race Riots In Memphis And New Orleans
Meanwhile, events occurring in two major cities of the South in the spring and summer of 1866 were causing great concern and horror in the North. The first occurred in May, when Memphis, Tennessee, became the scene of a bloody race riot. Following a collision of two taxis, one driven by a white and one by a black, police arrested the black driver. A group of black Civil War veterans came to the driver’s aid, and a fight broke out between them, the police, and a white crowd. The violence lasted for three days, during which time the Memphis police and other whites attacked blacks and invaded black neighborhoods, burning hundreds of homes, schools, and churches and raping several black women. In all, forty-six blacks and two whites were killed.
Less than two months later, bloody clashes broke out in New Orleans, Louisiana, at a gathering of several hundred supporters of black suffrage. Union general Philip Sheridan , who would later serve as military governor of Louisiana, reported an “absolute massacre,” with thirty-four blacks and three white radicals killed and more than a hundred people injured. Both of these violent outbreaks helped to further discredit the president’s Reconstruction plan, as they seemed to many to prove what happened when former Confederates were treated too leniently.
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Who Opposed The Ten Percent Plan
the Radical RepublicansAlthough the Radical Republicans were the minority party in Congress, they managed to sway many moderates in the postwar years and came to dominate Congress in later sessions. In the summer of 1864, the Radical Republicans passed a new bill to oppose the plan, known as the WadeDavis Bill.
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Battles Over Reconstruction Policy
During fall 1865, as a response to the Black Codes and worrisome signs of Southern recalcitrance, the Radical Republicans blocked the readmission of the former rebellious states to the Congress. Johnson, however, was content with allowing former Confederate states into the Union as long as their state governments adopted the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery. By December 6, 1865, the amendment was ratified, and Johnson considered Reconstruction over. Radical Republicans in Congress;disagreed. They rejected Johnsons moderate Reconstruction efforts, and organized the Joint Committee on Reconstruction, a 15-member panel to devise more stringent Reconstruction requirements for the Southern states to be restored to the Union.
In January 1866, Congress renewed the Freedmens Bureau, which Johnson vetoed in February. Although Johnson sympathized with the plights of the freedmen, he was against federal assistance. An attempt to override the veto failed on February 20, 1866. This veto shocked the congressional Radicals. In response, both the Senate and House passed a joint resolution not to allow any senator or representative seat admittance until Congress decided when Reconstruction was finished.
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The Radical Republicans After The Death Of Thaddeus Stevens
Thaddeus Stevens died on August 11, 1868. After lying in the state in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol, he was buried in a cemetery in Pennsylvania he had chosen as it allowed burials of both White and Black people.
The faction of Congress he had led continued, though without his fiery temperament much of the fury of the Radical Republicans subsided. Plus, they tended to support the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant, who took office in March 1869.
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An African American Institution Of Higher Learningwilberforce University
A group of Ohioans, including four African American men, established Wilberforce University near Xenia, Ohio, in 1856, and named it after the famous British abolitionist, William Wilberforce. When the school failed to meet its financial obligations, leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church purchased it in 1863.
The articles of association of Wilberforce University, dated July 10, 1863, state that its purpose was to promote education, religion and morality amongst the colored race. Even though the university was established by and for people of color, the articles stipulated that no one should be excluded from the benefits of said institution as officers, faculty, or pupils on account of merely race or color.
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What Was The Main Goal Of The Military Reconstruction Act Quizlet
One of the main goals of Military Reconstruction was to guarantee the voting rights of the freedmen.
Then, What were the main features of the Reconstruction Act?
The measures main points included: Creation of five military districts in the seceded states Each district was to be headed by a military official empowered to appoint and remove state officials.
What were three goals of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction? They wanted to prevent the leaders of the confederacy from returning to power after the war, they wanted the republican party to become a powerful institution in the south, and they wanted the federal government to help african americans achieve political equality by guaranteeing their rights to vote in the south.
Keeping this in consideration, What are the major differences between presidential Reconstruction and Congressional Reconstruction?
The main difference between Presidential and Congressional Reconstruction was the degree of leniency they afforded to former confederate states. Under the Presidential Reconstruction plans of Lincoln and Johnson, confederate states would be granted readmission to the Union comparatively easily.
The African American Odyssey: A Quest For Full Citizenshipreconstruction And Its Aftermath
Sections:SlaveryThe Peculiar InstitutionFree Blacks in the Antebellum PeriodAbolition, Anti-Slavery Movements, and the Rise of the Sectional ControversyThe Civil WarThe Booker T. Washington EraWorld War I and Postwar SocietyThe Depression, The New Deal, and World War IIThe Civil Rights Era
The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 freed African Americans in rebel states, and after the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment emancipated all U.S. slaves wherever they were. As a result, the mass of Southern blacks now faced the difficulty Northern blacks had confrontedthat of a free people surrounded by many hostile whites. One freedman, Houston Hartsfield Holloway, wrote, For we colored people did not know how to be free and the white people did not know how to have a free colored person about them.
Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, two more years of war, service by African American troops, and the defeat of the Confederacy, the nation was still unprepared to deal with the question of full citizenship for its newly freed black population. The Reconstruction implemented by Congress, which lasted from 1866 to 1877, was aimed at reorganizing the Southern states after the Civil War, providing the means for readmitting them into the Union, and defining the means by which whites and blacks could live together in a nonslave society. The South, however, saw Reconstruction as a humiliating, even vengeful imposition and did not welcome it.
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Charles Sumner And Thaddeus Stevens
Charles Sumner: Charles Sumner was an American politician and senator from Massachusetts. During Reconstruction, he fought to minimize the power of the ex-Confederates and to guarantee equal rights to the freedmen.
Concerned that President Johnson was attempting to subvert congressional authority, Republicans in Congress took control of Reconstruction policies after the election of 1866. Radical Republicans, led by Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, opened the way to suffrage for male freedmen. As the chief Radical leader in the Senate during Reconstruction, Sumner fought hard to provide equal civil and voting rights for the freedmen on the grounds that consent of the governed was a basic principle of American republicanism, and to block ex-Confederates from power so they would not reverse the gains made from the Unions victory in the Civil War.
Sumner, teaming with House leader Thaddeus Stevens, battled Andrew Johnson s Reconstruction plans and sought to impose a Radical program on the South. The Radical Republicans were generally in control of policy, although they had to compromise with the moderate Republicans. The Democrats in Congress had almost no power. Historians generally refer to this period as Radical Reconstruction.
Reconstruction Of The South
During Reconstruction, Radical Republicans increasingly took control, led by Sumner and Stevens. They demanded harsher measures in the South, more protection for the Freedmen and more guarantees that the Confederate nationalism was totally eliminated. Following Lincoln’s assassination in 1865, Andrew Johnson, a former War Democrat, became President.
The Radicals at first admired Johnson’s hard-line talk. When they discovered his ambivalence on key issues by his veto of Civil Rights Act of 1866, they overrode his veto. This was the first time that Congress had overridden a president on an important bill. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 made African Americans United States citizens, forbade discrimination against them and it was to be enforced in Federal courts. The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution of 1868 was the work of a coalition formed of both moderate and Radical Republicans.
The Radicals were opposed by former slaveowners and white supremacists in the rebel states. Radicals were targeted by the Ku Klux Klan, who shot to death one Radical Congressman from Arkansas, James M. Hinds.
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