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  • Presidential Reconstruction

    Presidential Reconstruction
    President Johnson announces his plan of Presidential Reconstruction.
  • Lincoln Conspirators

    Lincoln Conspirators
    Four people are hanged in Washington, D.C., after being convicted of conspiring with John Wilkes Booth to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln.
  • Pardons Issued

    Pardons Issued
    Johnson's strict pardon policy has been abandoned; wealthy planters are quickly brought back into the union. By September, hundreds of pardons were being issued in a single day—some 13,000 in all.
  • Southerners Slow

    Southerners Slow
    Southern states elect former Confederates to public office at the state and national levels, drag their feet in ratifying the Thirteenth Amendment, and refuse to extend the vote to black men.
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes
    Southern legislatures begin drafting "Black Codes" to re-establish white supremacy.
  • Johnson Declares to end Reconstruction

    Johnson Declares to end Reconstruction
    President Johnson declares the reconstruction process complete. Outraged, Radical Republicans in Congress refuse to recognize new governments in southern states.
  • Union Demobilized

    Union Demobilized
    The Union Army is quickly demobilized. From a troop strength of one million on May 1, only 152,000 Union soldiers remain in the South by the end of 1865.
  • South Grows

    South Grows
    Southern towns and cities start to experience a large influx of freedmen. Over the next five years, the black populations of the South's ten largest cities will double.
  • 13th Admendment Ratified

    13th Admendment Ratified
    Ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or ...
  • KKK Begins

    KKK Begins
    An organization primarily composed of Confederate Army veterans founds the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist group formed to intimidate blacks and other ethnic and religious minorities. It first meets in Pulaski, Tennessee. The Klan is the first of many secret terrorist organizations organized in the South for the purpose of reestablishing white authority.
  • Douglass meets Johnson

    Douglass meets Johnson
    A black delegation led by Frederick Douglass meets with President Andrew Johnson at the White House to advocate black suffrage. The president expresses his opposition, and the meeting ends in controversy.
  • Civil Rights Bill

    Civil Rights Bill
    Congress passes the Civil Rights Bill over Johnson's veto. Johnson objects to the Bill on the grounds that blacks did not deserve to become citizens, and that doing so would discriminate against the white race. He also thought that both the Civil Rights Bill and the Freedmen's Bureau Bill would centralize power at the federal level, thus depriving states of the authority to govern their own affairs.
  • Racial Violence

    Racial Violence
    Racial violence rages in Memphis, Tennessee for three days as whites assault blacks on the streets. In the aftermath, 48 people, nearly all black, are dead, and hundreds of black homes, churches, and schools have been pillaged or burned. Many more are injured.
  • Tennesse Returns to the Union

    Tennesse Returns to the Union
    Tennessee is the first former Confederate state readmitted to the Union.
  • Opelousas Massacre

    Opelousas Massacre
    The Opelousas Massacre in Louisiana. An estimated 200 to 300 black Americans are killed.
  • Texas vs. White

    Texas vs. White
    In its 5-3 Texas v. White decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declares Radical Reconstruction constitutional, stating that secession from the Union is illegal.
  • Southern Schools

    Southern Schools
    By year's end, the Freedmen's Bureau tallies nearly 3,000 schools, serving over 150,000 students, in the South; the first public school system in the South outside of North Carolina.




  • Video

  • Congress passes the ku klux klan act

    Congress passes the ku klux klan act
    Congress passes the Ku Klux Klan Act, a more far-reaching reform than the Enforcement Acts. This is the first time that specific crimes committed by individuals are deemed punishable by federal law.
  • First Black Governer

    First Black Governer
    P. B. S. Pinchback becomes the first black man to serve as an acting state governor in Louisiana, for one month (until 13 January 1873). He assumes the office upon the impeachment and removal of predecessor Henry Clay Warmouth, for corruption. Due to white resistance, his tenure is extremely short.
  • Panic of 1870

    Panic of 1870
    Financial panic and depression follow the failure of the Philadelphia investment house owned by Jay Cooke, who had helped finance the Union war effort by selling federal bonds to farmers and workers. Of the country's 364 railroads, 89 will go bankrupt. Some 18,000 businesses will fail in the next two years.
  • Freedom Bank Fails

    Freedom Bank Fails
    The Freedmen's Savings Bank fails, with only $31,000 to reimburse its 61,000 remaining depositors. The average loss is $20 per customer.
  • United States vs. Cruikshank

    United States vs. Cruikshank
    In the United States v. Cruikshank: the Supreme Court asserts that, Fifteenth Amendment notwithstanding, the Constitution "has not conferred the right of suffrage upon anyone." The decision emphasizes that the right to vote in the U.S. comes from the states, though "the right of exemption from the prohibited discrimination" comes from the federal government. This decision echoes Minor v. Happersett, which is passed the same year.
  • High Unemployment

    High Unemployment
    Unemployment had reached to over 14%, and people were in desperate need to get jobs. They had a family to take care of.
  • Hayes Wins Election but Loses Popular Vote

    Hayes Wins Election but Loses Popular Vote
    Republican Rutherford B. Hayes is declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though Tilden won the popular vote.
  • Reconstruction Ends, 'Redemption' Begins

    Reconstruction Ends, 'Redemption' Begins
    Almost immediately after taking office, Hayes withdraws the federal troops from the South (the last states remaining under Reconstruction are Louisiana and South Carolina). The last Radical state governments collapse and the Redemption Period begins.