Reconstruction 2 Essay Research Paper Reconstruction the

Reconstruction 2 Essay, Research Paper

Reconstruction: the period of US history in which the nation tried to adjust

to the new conditions created by the Civil War

Results: slavery abolished; Freedmen’s Bureau provides services for war

refugees and freed people (including food, medical aid, and education); Civil

Rights Act passed in 1866 – gives federal government power to protect African

American rights; the Reconstruction Acts establish Radical Reconstruction;

the KKK acts seek to outlaw organizations aimed at denying African Americans

their rights; the Civil Rights Act of 1875 protects African American rights

in public places; African Americans held office during reconstruction; debt

peonage or forced labor came about in south; US became an industrial power;

women’s rights were postponed

Andrew Johnson’s Plan: Made most Confederates eligible for pardons in return

for taking an oath of loyalty to the US, favored easy terms under which the

Confederate states could returns to their place in the Union, states were

instructed to hold constitutional conventions and write a new state

constitution that abolished slavery-voided secession-ratified the 13th

amendment-stop payments of state’s war debts

Abraham Lincoln’s Plan: Offered pardons (official forgiveness of crime) to

any confederate who would swear allegiance to Union and accept end of slavery

excluded were confederate military and government officials and those who had

killed African American prisoners of war, when 10% of those who had voted in

1860 election had taken oath in their state the state could hold a

constitution convention to write a new constitution endorsing 13th amendment,

after convention state could be readmitted to the union. His plan did not

require the new constitutions explicitly to ensure African American rights.

Civil War Amendments: 13th – abolished slavery, 14th – defines citizenship to

include African Americans and guarantees due process of law and equal

protection under law, 15th – guarantees voting rights will not be denied on

basis of race

Radical Republicans: Wanted terms that would be more difficult for southern

whites to accept, wanted to change southern society in order to ensure the

rights of African Americans, wanted to punish the white South severely for

its secession, tried to pass Wade-Davis Bill in July 1864 that made it almost

impossible for a Confederate state to return to the union-Lincoln would not


Reasons for Immigration: Homestead Act-gave 160 acres of land to immigrants

planning to be citizens for a $10 registration fee, political freedom,

religious freedom, personal freedom, many job opportunities and a lot of land

Freedmen’s Bureau: Established March 1865 to provide aid to freed people and

then help them make the adjustments to freedom City/Urban Living Conditions: Poverty, overcrowding, and neglect led to decline of neighborhoods. Open sewers and backyard privies attracted rats and other disease-spreading vermin. Six or seven families shared one toilet and

there weren’t any bathtubs. Diseases spread rapidly and epidemics were common. Fires were also devastating.

Effect of Strikes: Many unions were formed, anarchists rallied and were often

arrested for violence, strikers and scabs fought, public took a negative

outlook to unions and strikers, Employers used violence to stop unions and

used yellow-dog contracts (promise to never join a union)

Working Conditions: Wages were low, entire families worked, piecework-got

paid for how fast and how much you produced, employers pushed to increase

efficiency, discipline was strict (fired or fined for being late), women

locked into factories so wouldn’t leave, long hours, dangerous machines and

conditions, children had to work.

Impeachment Procedure: Impeachment voted upon by House of Representatives and

if voted to impeach then tried by senate. If 2/3 majority convicts official

the official is removed from office

Johnson’s Impeachment: Congress claimed that Johnson tried to fire the

Secretary of War (Edwin Stanton a Radical Republican) and therefore went

against the Tenure of Office Act (Senate has to approve of the firing of an

official previously approved by the senate)

Life after Freedom (For African Americans): Many children began getting an

education, voluntary organizations began to help the freed people, sought

political involvement, gained control of land and labor, KKK intimidated and

hurt/killed African Americans, some had no where to go.


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