- Chapter 16 Notes - Reconstruction

Originally written by Thomas Heissenberger.

Please edit this as you see fit. I can not guarantee 100% accuracy. Please use these for study purposes only, not to complete homework. Remember, reading and writing (in other words; processing the information), is the best way to learn and understand the subject. Reading notes will help you understand the general picture but reading details within the book will also help you find small details that might be on the multiple choice questions. However, all posted notes will have greater detail than average homework notes.

Lincoln's PlanEdit

  • Lincoln's Plan
    • States could be readmitted if 10% of voters took oath
    • Excluded some southeners, blacks excluded.
  • Radical Republicans' Wade Davis Bill
    • 50% Must take oath
    • Excluded more confederate vet's
    • Called for the south to abolish Slavery.
    • Must take iron clad oath. (claiming they never supported confed.)
    • Lincoln pocket veto's this bill (doesn't ratify but doesn't veto) His pocket veto ends up KILLING it and does not pass. (However, the Radical Republicans enforce the basics of it in a new bill later when they take over power from Johnson during his veto spree)
  • Congress refuses to seat the new state delegates (Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia)

Reconstruction under Andrew JohnsonEdit

  • Denounced confederacy, humble, wanted to destroy planter aristocracy.
    • Radical repub's hoped he would fix, but he had his own agenda.
  • Announces his own bills, almost all states readmitted that took oath.
    • Wanted poor southerns to come back in control instead of older elites.
  • Presidential Reconstruction
    • Most southeners were auto disqualified
    • By 1865, 7 states already readmitted, some states refused to ratify 13th amendment.
  • Black Codes
    • Plans to counter abolition and limit blacks + use for labor.
    • no voting, restrict public, separate, intermarriage, court, trial etc.

Congress vs. JohnsonEdit

  • Radical Republicans - Thaddeus Stevens
  • Congress split into 4 blocs with varying opinions.
    • Johnson had alienated literally everyone in congress.
  • Congress attacks black codes
  • Lyman Trumbell drafts law against black codes, Freedman's Burue extended.
    • John veto's Freedmen's Burue.
  • Second bill by congress made black = civil rights as others.
    • Johnson vetos too, but was outveto'd "Civil Rights Act of 1866" is passed!!!

14th AmendmentEdit

  • All citizens equal, nothing could abridge their rights without due law, nulls Dred Scott.
    • Dismisses all prewar era officers, judges, military, federal, etc.
  • Johnson ultimately fails

Congressional ReconstructionEdit

  • Reconstruction act of 1867, Johnson veto's again. congress outmaneuvers him.
    • nulls states that joined under Lincoln's plan.
    • South splits into 5 military districts.
    • Black men could vote.
    • Thads proposes to take confederate traitor land and give to slaves, never went through.

Impeachment CrisisEdit

  • Congress passes law to limit president's power.
    • Tenure office act, can't remove civil officers
    • Military law that must make president consult with general when isseuing military orders.
  • Johnson nearly impeached because he kept kicking people out of positions.
    • Regular republicans feared radical republican motives, so they didn't take action.

15th Amendment + Women SuffrageEdit

  • Black suffrage rejected in north.
  • Amendment states you could not deny voting due to race or color.
  • Some conf'd states approve, passes.
  • Radical Republicans did not want to be part of women rights.
    • Women rights did rise in Wyoming and Utah, not much action though.
    • Minor v. Happersett supreme court case over a women who voted, court rules states could deny.

New ElectorateEdit

  • Some states in south ruled by Black voting count.
  • New parties
    • Carpetbaggers - northern speculators that come south to make dolla dolla bills ya'll.
      • group dies away into democratic field.
    • Scalawags - southern 'crooked' politicians who supported Republican politicians. seen as traitors.
  • Freedman provide backbone of republican voting, but had varying interests.

Republican RuleEdit

  • Blacks begin to join politics.
  • Aggressive rise in gov't construction, roads, bridges, buildings, railroad bonds etc.
    • TAXES SKYROCKET in south!
    • Corrpution in the south as well, bribery, trickery.


  • Democrats split into Conservatives, try to get black votes. Fail.
  • Ku Klux Klan vigilante group formed, weren't really violent.
  • Enforcement Acts
    • First act protects black voters, witnesses were afriad to testify though.
    • Second provided voting supervision.
    • Third makes severe punishment for those who prevented blacks from voting and allows president to use troops to force this, by suspending habeas corpus.

Confronting FreedomEdit

  • Former slaves move all over south for opportunities, black pop rises 75%
  • Freedman's beuru tries to help reunite blacks.
  • Most blacks returned to cropping, a system called sharecropping.

Black InstitutionsEdit

  • Black Churches, gained members fast, provided relief, funds for schools, and supp't republican policies.
  • Blacks create tons of schools, advanced ones too for better students but education was still limited.
  • Charles Sumner proposed bill to desegregate schools
    • Died, congress passes his bill except the 'school integration' part.Civil rights act of 1875

Labor and SharecroppingEdit

  • Slaves given land to farm, Southern homestead act sets 44 million acres for freedman and loyal whites.
    • Land had poor soil, barely could farm the land.
    • South wants to keep labor supply, issues codes to limit freedom, this in exchange for for housing
    • Poor harvests, worst was of 1866 and 1867.
  • Sharecropping, loan land for blacks to farm, 40 acres roughly average for a slot of land.

Toward a Crop-Lien EconomyEdit

  • Farmers depending on middlemen (kinda like loansharks) for credit systems and tools.
    • Rural merchants rise from this.Crazy interest rates for tools
  • Land was destroyed and very farmed out, erossion all sorts of problems.
  • Blacks stuck in a cycle of debt from sharecropping.


  • Grant comes to run as president! Close vote, wins.
    • Passive president, lacked political skill, scandals in his administration.
    • Gold monopoly takes place because of his brother in law's scheme.
  • Grantism becomes term for fraud
  • Had some success in foreign policy, 15.5$ mil given to US from Britain.
  • Buys Alaska from Russia for 7.2$ million

The Liberals' RevoltEdit

  • Republican party split, Liberals pop up
    • Promoted trade, economy economic standards and regulations, rejected high tariff.

The Panic of 1873Edit

  • Accelerated industrialization in North, factories, tech, businesses..
  • Transcontinental railroad in Utah completed, links US across I think?
  • Railroad boom speculation caused bad results.
    • Banks close, farms plumet, 3 million were out of jobs, dispute over currency.
    • Massive borrowing , union gov't used huge bonds and loans etc.
  • Currency problem made rise in gold and silver usage, Greenback party forms.

Reconstruction and ConstitutionEdit

  • Slaughterhouse cases
    • over business monopoly, massive exploitation.
  • Supreme court invalidates many civil rights acts.

Republicans in RetreatEdit

  • Republicans slowly lost interest in reconstruction.

Redeeming the SouthEdit

  • Republican party was begging to split.
  • Democratic party was slowly regaining control
  • All states cut back expenses, lower taxes, severe laws on crimes, trespassing, theft.

Election of 1876Edit

  • Grant years scared election, feared repetition.
  • Party nominees shared similar traits, pro-civil rights, anti-corruption, and respect political rights.
  • Democrats would of barely won but were challenged by criticism from some states electoral votes.
    • Both parties accused each other of fraud, even tho both did!
  • Congress creates commission to address the issue.
  • Congress ran into wall with the House because democrats mostly ruled it.
    • Negotiations ensue, but made constructive agreements and resolved some issues such as removing federal troops from some southern states, some federal support etc.
  • Compromise of 1877
    • The Negotiations partially conflicted, but the answer to civil rights and black liberty seemed to be no. the country had flipped direction.