Reconstruction And The New South

Topics: Reconstruction era of the United States, Southern United States, American Civil War Pages: 37 (1891 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Reconstruction and The
New South
Chapter 15

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.

“Lost Cause”


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
governors, constitutional
convention had to revoke
ordinance of secession, abolish
slavery, and...
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