Reconstruction Timeline

Timeline created by lenaglowka
In History
  • Lincoln Proposes the "10%" Reconstruction Plan

    Lincoln believed that readmitting the SOuthern states into the Union should be simple due to the fact that their secession was not legitimate. Lincoln's plan proposed that a state could be readmitted ot the Union when ten percent of its voters from a presidential election took an oath of allegiance to the US and abide by emancipation. Lincoln's plan was easy on the South and started a long dispute among Republicans over how to treat the Southern states.
  • Lincoln Vetoes the Wade-Davis Bill

    The Wade-Davis bill was proposed by Congress in reaction and fear of Lincoln's 10% Plan. The Wade-Davis bill stated that 50% of a state's voters must take an oath of allegiance and abide by stronger guidelines of emancipation. Lincoln, thus, vetoed the bill. This was an important beginning of the Republican dispute over Reconstruction and the beginning of a veto spree for the presidency.
  • President Lincoln is Assassinated

    President Lincoln is Assassinated
    President Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theatre by a radical pro-Southern actor, John Wilkes Booth. "Now he belongs to the ages." Lincoln became a martyr to the civil war. The South suffered, too, because Lincoln would have readmitted them to the Union easily.
  • Johnson Issues his Reconstruction Proclamation

    VP Johnson isses his own Reconstruction Proclamation which difranchised Confederate leaders, called for special state conventions, repudiate all COnfederate debts, and ratify the thirteenth amendment. Johnson's Lincoln-supporting bill was a surprise to Americans because Johnson typically wanted to hinder the Southern planter aristocrats.
  • Congress Refuses the Southern Congressmen

    Delegates from the Southern states, many of whom were Confederate leaders, came to the Capitol to take their seats in Congress. Congress shut the doors in the face of the ex-Confederates, which showed the conflict between treatment of the south post-civil war. According to Congress, the Union was to be reestablished, but not in a forgiving way.
  • Freedmen's Bureau is Established

    The Freedmen's Bureau is established by Congress to help the newly free Americans survive as free people. Led by Oliver O. Howard, the bureau was designed to provide food, clothing, medical care, and education. It was a primitive welfare; a new thing for the US government.
  • Black Codes Passed in the Southern States

    First passed in Mississippi, the Black Codes were designed to regulate the affairs of free Blacks. The codes were sanctified by Johnson. The codes tried to ensure a stable, subservient labor force despite the emancipation of slaves. The codes mocked freedom and made Americans question who really won the civil war.
  • Thirteenth Amendment Ratified

    Lincoln proposed the thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which officially abolished and continues to prohibit slavery and involuntary servitude, as a way to permenanly emancipate the slaves after the war. It was the first of the Reconstruction Amendments.
  • Congress Passes Civil Rights Bill

    The Civil Rights Bill was passed depsite the veto of Johnson. The bill talked about Blacks having American citizenship. It was a blow to the Black Codes. It was part of the President versus Congress feud; the bill was passed in retaliation to Johnson's veto to the extension of the Freedmen's Bureau.
  • Johnson Vetoes a Bill Extending the Freedmen's Bureau

    Johnson's veto of this bill started a long feud between the Presidency and Congress. Johnson would soon veto Congress' plans repeatedly.
  • Memphis Race Riot/Massacre

    Some forty-six African Americans and two whites died during the riot. The riot started after an alarm went out that African American soldiers from Fort Pickering, on the south boundary of downtown Memphis, had killed several policemen who tried to arrest a black soldier. This showed the animosity still felt by the former Confederates.
  • Congress Passes the Fourteenth Amendment

    Congress wanted the Civil Rights bill a part of the constitution, a permanent document that future pro-southerners couldn't change. They proposed the fourteenth amendment, which conferred civil rights, reduced the representation of a state in Congress and the Electoral college if it denied Black suffrage, disqualified former Confederates office, an guaranteed the federal debt while repudiating the Confederate debt.
  • Johnson Backed Candidates Lose the Congressional Election

    During the Congressional election of 1866, Johnson's campaigns failed to muster enough votes to keep his pro-South allies in Congress. He toured the US and caused more votes to the opposite side. Johnson was then fully alone against Congress.
  • Johnson's "Swing 'Round the Circle"

    For the congressional election of 1866, Johnson went on a tour giving speeches about the seditious Congressmen. He accused the Congressmen of planning antiblack riots and murders in the South. Johnson was further disliked by the public and he was the probable cause of the Republicans gaining a two thirds majority in both houses of Congress.
  • Ex Parte Milligan Case

    Lambdin P. Milligan and four others were accused of planning to steal Union weapons and invade Union prisoner-of-war camps. They planned to use the liberated Union soldiers to help fight against the Government of Indiana and free other camps of Confederate soldiers. The case results were the Court ruled that military tribunals could not try civilians in areas where civil courts were open, even during times of war.
  • Ku Klux Klan Founded

    Founded in Tennessee, the radical Southern whites formed the Ku Klux Klan. It was one of the groups designed to stave off radical rule. Members rde hroses, dressed in white sheets, and used scre tactics against rising Blacks.
  • Freedmen's Bureau Expansion Vetoed

    Pres Johnson vetoed Congress' bill expanding the Freedmen’s Bureau by creating a military police force and a court system to moderate relations between blacks and whites in the South. He declred the expansion unconstitutional.
  • The Establishment of the American Equal Rights Association

    Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony established the American Equal Rights Association, an organization for white and black women and men dedicated to the goal of universal suffrage. They both were opposed to the grant of suffrage to slaves, but not women.
  • Reconstruction Act passed

    Congress passed this act which didvided the South into five militray districts that would each be led by a Union general and soldiers. It also disfranchised many former Confederates. This was a demonstration of Congress' harsh measures for reeastblishing the Union by using military force.
  • Tenure of Office Act

    The Tenure of Office Act denied the President of the United States the power to remove anyone who had been appointed by a past President without the consent of the US Senate; unless the Senate approved the removal during the next full session of Congress. It was passed despite the, once again, veto of Congress.
  • United States purchases Alaska from Russia

    American secretary William Seward signed a treaty with Russia that allowed American to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. Americans were unhappy with the expansionist decision during Reconstruction of the Union. Alaska later proves to be a smart decision because it is filled with natural resources.
  • Republican convention in New Orleans

    The Radical Republicans in Louisiana were angered by the Black Codes and by the legislature's refusal to give black men suffrage so they reconvened the Constitutional Convention in New Orleans. The illegally reconvened convention's purpose was to use the popular Republican views in Washington to take control of the state government.
  • Johnson Dismisses Stanton

    Pres Johnson dismisses the Secretary of War, and radical spy Edwin M. Stanton, much to the opposition of the Radical Republicans. They then had a pretext for Johnson's impeachment.
  • Johnson is Impeached and Acquitted

    President Johnson is accused of "high crimes and misdemeanors" by Radicals because of his violations of the Tenure Office Act and assaults on Congress. The House conducted the prosecution but the two thirds majority needed for impeachment was not acquired. Radicals were infuriated.
  • Johnson Pardons the Confederate Leaders

    Before becoming President, Johnson planned to give no mercy to Confederate traitors. During his presidency, however, he pardoned the Confederate leaders such as Lee, declaring them misled and deceived.
  • Thaddeus Stevens Dies

    The death of a Pennsylvania congressman who devoted himself to the causes of emancipation. He hated rebellious Southerners. He was a leading figure on the Joint Committee on Reconstruction.
  • Former slave, Oscar J. Dunn, elected lieutenant governor of Louisiana

    Dunn was a former Union captain who became the first Black lieutenant governor of Louisiana. He was a pioneer among black politicians. Dunn often encountered limits to what he could for African-Americans, despite his obvious political gains.
  • Ulysses S. Grant Inaugurated into Presidency

    Grant allied with the Radical Republicans in Congress and ran against NY Governor Horatio Seymour. Although Grant won, he did not provide strong leadership for Reconstruction.
  • Fifteenth Amendment Ratified

    Radical Republicans were worried that Southerners would deny Blacks the vote so they wanted to incorporate Black suffrage protection in the Constitution. They achieved this goal with the ratification of the fifteenth amendment. Blacks were gaining many political rights.
  • Force Acts

    Congress passed the Force Acts to limit the acitivity of the KKK. Through the acts, actions committed with the intent to influence voters, prevent them from voting, or conspiring to deprive them of civil rights were made federal offenses. The federal government had the power to prosecute the offenses.
  • Hiram Revels elected to U. S. Senate as the First Black Senator

    Hiram Revels was a free Black who supported the Union during the war. He was a pastor and became the first African-American on the US Senate, as granted by the fifteenth amendment.
  • Black Churches Grow Significantly

    Newly free blacks could establish their own churches with their own ministers. This movement was popular after the slaves had worshipped in white churches for so long. This was a new aspect to African-American culture and provided a basis of Black community life. The churches established aid societies.
  • Freedmen's Bureau Abolished

    Unconstitutional bureau courts, murders, and corruption marked some of the negative aspects to the Freedmen's Bureau. It was opposed in some Southern areas and Johnson returned land to Southerners without redistributing it. Congress eventually dissolved the bureau.
  • Robert Smalls, black hero of the Civil War, elected to Congress as representative of South Carolina

    Robert Smalls became a ship pilot during the Civil War. After the war, Smalls received a small fortune given by Congress for his heroics. He purchased his former master's home in Beaufort, South Carolina, where he then opened a general store. He was elected to the South Carolina House, then the State Senate, and to the US House of Representatives in 1874. He showed that former slaves could have big futures.
  • Blanche Kelso elected as Senator of Mississippi

    Banche Kelso was a former Virginia slave who became a successful plantation owner. He was the second African American to serve in the United States Senate and the first to be elected to a full term of six years. Blacks were taking political positions during Rencocnstruction.
  • Reconstruction Ends

    President Hayes announces the end of Reconstruction.
  • Rutherford B. Hayes Inaugurated President of the United States

    Hayes lost the popula vote but was elected President by just one electoral vote in the election of 1876. He ended reconstruction by removing troops from the South. He allowed the Jim Crow laws to spread around the US, however.
  • Last federal troops leave South Carolina effectively ending the Federal government's presence in the South

    The soldiers and leaders brought into the South by the Reconstruction Act left after about ten years. The federal military left state politics and the South could settle as Democratic.