The Ten Percent Plan
A southern state could form a new government after ten percent of its voters swore an oath of loyalty to the Union. Once it formed, the new government had to abolish slavery. Voters could then elect members of Congress and take part in the National government once again.
Radical Republican's Plan
Wade Davis Bill
To rejoin the Union, a state had to meet several requirements, First, a majority of white men in each southern state had to swear loyality to the Union. Second, only white males who swore they had not fought against the Union could vote or hold public office . Finally, any new state constitution had to ban slavery.
Freedmen Buearu Established
The bureau helped African Americans adapt to freedom. It provided food, clothing, schools, help finding jobs, and medical services. Also, it helped freed people acquire land.
Assassination of President Lincoln
John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, shot and killed President Lincoln. Booth entered President Lincoln's private box at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. while he attended a play. He shot President Lincoln in the head, which killed him several hours later.
President Johnson's Plan
Amnesty would be granted to most Southerners once they swore loyalty to the Union. Only loyal, pardoned whites were allowed to vote. States also had to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
Southern legislatures began drafting "Black Codes." Black codes were based on old slave codes to keep blacks in conditions close to slavery. They created slavery in disguise. Mississippi was the first state to produce "Black Codes."
13th Amendment Ratified
The Thirteenth Amendment is ratified. It is often called the Civil War Amendment because it grew out of that great conflict. Also, the Thirteenth Amendment banned slavery in the United States.
Ku Klux Klan Begins
A secret society, KKK, that used fear and violence to intimidate freed men and women. Klan members killed thousands of African Americans. They beat and wounded many more and burned African American homes, schools, and churches. Many Southerners, especially planters and Democrats, backed the Klan.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. This act granted full citizenship to African Americans and allowed the federal government to step in if states violated rights. The law overturned black codes.
First Radical Reconstruction Act
It required the creation of new governments in the ten Southern states that had not ratified the Fourteenth Amendment. African American men were guaranteed the right to vote and ex -Confederate leaders could not hold political office. Southern states had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment in order to rejoin the Union.
Second Radical Reconstruction Act
Congress passed the Second Radical Reconstruction Act. Military commanders in each southern district were required to reqister all voters. Also, they were to prepare for state constitutional conventions.
14th Amendment Ratified
All persons born in the United States were citizens. Most African Americans in the United States had been born in the country, so they became full citizens. Congress declared that Southern states had to ratify the amendment to rejoin the Union.
One of the first African American senators of Mississippi. Revels was an ordained minister who had recruited African Americans for the Union Army. He also started a school for freed African Americans in Missouri and served as chaplain of an African American regiment in Mississippi.
15th Amendment Ratified
African American men won the right to vote when the amendment was ratified and became law. Republicans thought the power of the vote would enable African Americans to protect themselves. That belief, however, was too optimistic.
Southern States Readmitted
The ten Southern states had established new governments. Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, and Texas met the requirements for readmission. Georgia was the last former Confederate state to be readmitted to the Union.
The Amnesty Act pardoned most former Confederates. Now, only a few hundred former Confederates are excluded from political privileges. Nearly all white Southerners could vote and hold office again. This changed the political balance in the South by restoring full rights to people who supported the Democratic Party.
Bruce Takes Seat
Blanche K. Bruce was the first African American to serve a full six-year term as senator. Bruce was a Republican of Mississippi. Not until 1969 would another black American begin a Senate term.
The federal government would no longer attempt to reshape Southern society. President Hayes begins to withdraw federal troops from the South. This marks the official end to Reconstruction.
Mississippi restricts black suffrage by requiring voters to take literacy tests. Citizens had to demonstrate an abilitiy to read and interpret the US Constitution. Most African Americans had little education, so literacy tests prevented many from voting.
Plessy v. Ferguson
The Supreme Court ruled that segregation was legal as long as African Americans had access to "Separate but Equal" facilities. This case involved a Louisiana law requiring separate sections on trains for African Americans. One problem, however, was that the facilities were separate but in no way equal.