Reconstruction and The
The aftermath of war and
Southern towns and fields ruined, many whites
stripped of slaves and capital, currency
worthless, and little property.
More than 258,000 confederate soldiers that died
in the war constituted 20 percent of the white
male population in the region.
Mourning of the dead and the old south brought
southerners to romanticize the “lost cause” and
reinforce many whites to protect what remained
of their ruined world.
While the white southerners were in
turmoil over their lost land and
belongings, the 4 million men and
women being released from bondage
now had nowhere to go.
The blacks and whites now faced how
they were going to define the meaning
of what freedom meant
Competing Notions of
For many African Americans
freedom meant equality,
rights and protections and a
redistribution of economic
resources, which they felt
that they rightfully earned.
African Americans started to
develop their own way of life
and were separating from
whites and creating
communities that included
their own churches and
schools, free of white
For white southerners the meaning of freedom
meant that they had the power to control their
own destinies without the north intervening.
Southerners wanted to still have a slave like
system that would keep African American
workers tied to plantations legally.
March 1865 Congress created Freedmen’s
Bureau to distribute food, create schools, and
help poor whites.
Issues of Reconstruction
Political issues when Southern states rejoined
Union because Democrats would be reunited
This would Threaten Republic nationalistic
legislation for railroads, tariffs, bank and
currency. Many Northerners wished to see the
South punished for suffering rebellion caused
Republican split between Conservatives and
Conservatives wanted abolition but
few other conditions for readmission
Radicals led by Thaddeus Stevens and
Charles Sumner wanted Confederate
leaders punished, black legal rights
protected, property confiscation.
Moderates in between
Plans for Reconstruction
1863 Lincoln proposed a lenient Reconstruction
It favored recruiting former Whigs to
Republicans, amnesty to white Southerners other
than high Confederate officials.
1863-Lincoln’s 10% plan
First states to enter back into the union under
the 10% plan were Louisiana, Arkansas, and
Radical republicans were not happy about
Lincoln’s plan and easy acceptance of
newly constructed states
1864-Wade Davis Bill proposed governor
for each state, when majority of
southerners took allegiance (Ironclad
oath) constitutional convention could be
held with slavery abolished, former
Confederate leaders couldn’t vote. After
Congress would readmit to Union.
Lincoln pocket vetoed
The Death of Lincoln
April 14, 1865 while Lincoln was attending a play
with his wife he was shot in the back of the head
by John Wilkes Booth.
Lincoln's Death produced hysteria in the North
Northerners believed that Booth was part of a
conspiracy with the leaders of the defeated
John Wilkes Booth
Johnson and “Restoration”
Leadership of moderates and
conservatives fell to Johnson
1865 Johnson’s plan for
“restoration” was implemented
Plan offered amnesty to
southerners taking allegiance
Confederate officials needed
special presidential pardon. Like
Wade-Davis Bill had provisional
convention had to revoke
ordinance of secession, abolish
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