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Lecture 21

HIST 2110Y Lecture Notes - Lecture 21: Reconstruction Acts, Sharecropping, Carpetbagger

Course Code
HIST 2110Y
Jeremy Milloy

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HIST-2110Y March 12, 2014
The Promise of Reconstruction
Reconstruction has been called “the second Civil War”
The assassination of Lincoln just after the war’s end threw America’s united
future into uncertainty
The major questions were what was the definition of freedom to be after the war,
and on what terms would the South be reintegrated into the United States?
Did freedom just mean the ending of slavery, or did mean other rights for the
former slaves, like political power, civil rights, and economic power, especially
ownership of the land they once worked for the enrichment of others?
During Reconstruction, the very meaning of freedom itself became a battleground
Interpreted in different and often contradictory ways by former slaves, former
masters, white farmers, and northerners, and women
Reconstruction was an incredible opportunity to over come the historic injustices
of racism and inequality in America
Much was achieved, but the failure to give blacks access to real economic power
and stability, and to safeguard their political gains against white violence, meant
Reconstruction was ultimately a tragic and disappointing opportunity squandered
40 ACRES OF A MULE or SPECIAL FIELD ORDER 15 *exam – short
The Assassination of Lincoln, 1865
Killed a few days after his speech
Assassinated by Booth
*no exam questions on Lincoln’s assassination*
Major Topics
Black Freedom
A New World For White Planters
The Northern Vision
White Farmers in the South
Presidential Reconstruction
Black Freedom
Black Americans joyously took advantage of the freedom to them by
Slavery was ended before war’s end by the Thirteenth Amendment to the
They rushed to do and acquire things forbidden to them before
Many traveled the nation searching for loved ones they had been separated from
Free blacks founded churches and schools, hungering for their own institutions
and social life, and education
They pushed for full political equality, especially the right to vote
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