1-24-14 Notes - Reconstruction

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Robin Einhorn

I. Presidential Reconstuction • Bring the southern states back a. Lincoln • What if Lincoln had lived? Would things have been different? Worse? o The only evidence we have is what he actually did o Lincoln was acting as though it was still wartime o So his goal was to try to help win the war by persuading white southerners to defect from the rebellion by courting them o Dec 1863 (proc. Of amnesty and reconstruction)  Offering full amnesty to any whites (except highest ranking Southern officials) if they took an oath of future loyalty to the states  When 10% of voters in a rebel state (white men) took this oath, they could establish a new state govt and be readmitted to the union  No provisions for equal rights  The biggest loophole was that when the 10% got to create a new govt, they’re allowed to adopt temp. regulations about slaves (black codes)  The point was to attract what he always believed was the large group of reluctant confederates • If he could get enough southern whites to do this, he could shorten the war  Mandating racial equality would deter them (he was right) b. Johnson • After the war, it was no longer a matter of wooing the whites. Now the situation is administering a victory that had been won on the battlefield • The assasianation of Lincoln was the loss of a great politican and Johnson sucked.. ish.. (sort of the worst president.. spectacularly awful) • 1864 – nominated to VP he was a loyal union governor of a disloyal state (TN) • Dealt really harshly with rebels • He hated the planter elite, he lived an impoverished childhood, acquiered wealth but still was hated and hated the aristocrats • He also hated African americans.. • Johnson launched a thing similar to Lincoln o If they (except high ranking generals and really rich dudes, unless they came to him personally for pardons) took the oath of loyalty o After 6 weeks, he called the end of reconstruction. o When congress come back into session, they saw that there were a bunch of high ranking confederate officials o Black codes:  Denyed AAs any kind of rights • Crime to quit job, travel w/o pass, to make insulting gestures to whites  Response from congress • Joint committee of reconstruction • Passed 2 laws to start their own policy o Extend life of freedman’s bureau  Provided for new poor blacks and poor homeless whites  Confiscate the wealth/land of rich people to give to ex-slaves • But when pardons were granted by Johnson, all the land was given back  Draft labor contracts • Banned whipping, forbidding workers to travel  Helped northern voluntary groups • Missionarys to establish schools o Civil rights act of 1866  African americans were citexens of the us, which the SC had said they weren’t (Dredd scott)  As citizens they have basic rights  See Sec 1 • Full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude o JOHNSON VETOED BOTH and called them all Judases (he was Jesus) o Congress overwrote those vetoes. • Reconstruction act of 1867 o Exisiting south govt were procisional o Soldiers in charge of voter registration o New state constitutions would abolish slavery, grant aa men the right to vote  Problem: hinges on the army (commander in chief of army – president Johnson)  And he resisted so he was impeached. o More than 600 aa men served in state legislatures o 7 in
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