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The Rise and Fall of Reconstruction

  • The 10% Plan

    The 10% Plan
    On December 8th, 1863, Abraham Lincoln peaceful attempted to reunite the Union by offering amnesty to any Southerners who swore allegiance to the Union. This was extended to every Southerner, except for high ranking Confederates and felons. Any Southern state could be readmitted to the Union if 10% of their voters swore allegiance to the Union. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LSYqJSD4_Aw
  • Black Codes

    Black Codes
    In 1865, South Carolina and Mississippi enacted Black Codes, which were meant to prevent blacks' labors and activities. The codes granted some freedoms to African Americans, the ability to marry, buy and own land, make contracts, and testify in court against people of their own race. These were eventually overtaken by the 13th and 14th Amendment, but reinstated once federal troops left the South and Reconstruction ended.
  • Special Field Order #15

    Special Field Order #15
    After Union General William T. Sherman arrived in Savannah, Georgia, he issued Special Field Order 15 on January 16th, 1865, which set aside a 30-mile-wide tract along the Atlantic coast from Charleston, South Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida. The black families who occupied the land would receive a "possessory title" and use of the Union army's mules. This order would be rescinded when Andrew Johnson became president who gave the land back to white families and pardoned Confederate veterans.
  • Freedmen's Bureau

    Freedmen's Bureau
    The Freedmen's Bureau was established as a temporary agency by Congress that was made to assist emancipated slaves in their transition to being free. All too often sided with white landowners over freedmen. By 1866, attempted to force freedmen to submit to labor contracts with white landowners under unequal terms. Its operation was eventually ceased in 1872.
  • End of Civil War

    End of Civil War
    On April 9th, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee. surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, effectively ending the Civil War. It wasn't officially ended until August of 1866 when president Andrew Johnson declared a formal end to the conflict.
  • Lincoln's Assassination

    Lincoln's Assassination
    On April 14th, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was visiting the Ford's Theater when he was shot by the actor John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died the following morning. He was replaced by his vice-president Andrew Johnson.
  • 13th Amendment

    13th Amendment
    Passed on January 31st, 1865. Ratified by 27 states and declared in effect on December 18th, 1865.
  • Ku Klux Klan

    Ku Klux Klan
    The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Pulaski, Tennessee, in 1866. Originally a social club for Confederate veteran, they adopted secret oaths and rituals. The key founder was Nathan Bedford Forrest, a former Confederate General, who became the first grand wizard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhZAcOIlPbA&t=297s
  • The Freedmen's Bureau Bill and Civil Rights Act of 1866

    The Freedmen's Bureau Bill and Civil Rights Act of 1866
    In early 1866, moderate Illinois Republican Lyman Trumbull introduced the Freedmen's Bureau Bill and the Civil Rights Act of 1866 in Congress. The first was to provide more financial support for the Freedmen's Bureau and extend its authority to defend the rights of black people. The second made any person born in the United States a citizen, except for Indians, and entitled them to the rights of one.
  • 14th Amendment

    14th Amendment
    In 1866, this was passed by Republicans in a move to get states to accept freedmen as their residents and as citizens and guarantee their rights would be safeguarded. It was ratified 1868.
  • Southern Homestead Act

    Southern Homestead Act
    On April 21st, 1866, Congress passed the Southern Homestead Act, which attempted to provide land to freedmen. It gave more than three million acres of land to black families and white families loyal to the Union.
  • Radical Reconstruction

    Radical Reconstruction
    In 1867, radical Republicans in Congress had achieved control over Reconstruction from Johnson, and imposed policies which brought black people into the political system as voters and officeholders. With two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans could easily override presidential vetoes.
  • Union Leagues

    Union Leagues
    Established in the North during the Civil War, but they eventually expanded across the South as quasi-political organizations in the late 1860's. They were patriotic, social, and fraternal groups that gave people leadership skills and the ability to gain a political education.
  • The First Reconstruction Act

    The First Reconstruction Act
    In March of 1867, over the veto of president Johnson, the first of the three Reconstruction Acts was passed. It split the South into five military districts, each controlled by a general. Federal troops would protect lives and property while new civilian governments were formed. Elected delegates in each state would draft a new constitution and submit it to voters.
  • 1868 Presidential Election

    1868 Presidential Election
    In the first election of the Reconstruction Era, Republican candidate Ulysses S. Grant won against against Democratic candidate Horatio Seymour.
  • 15th Amendment

    15th Amendment
    In an attempt to protect black voting rights and defend their governments in the South, Congress passed the 15th Amendment in 1869, and ratified it 1870. It stated that a person could not be denied of the right to vote because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
  • Corruption of the Grant Administration

    Corruption of the Grant Administration
    By the 1870's, the political system was corrupt, despite president Grant being a man of integrity. Many men of his administration were corrupt and implicated in scandals involving the construction of the transcontinental railroad, federal taxes on whiskey, and fraud in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • The Enforcement Act

    The Enforcement Act
    In response to the domestic terrorism in the South, Congress passed the Enforcement Act, which expanded its authority over the states, outlawing disguises and masks and protecting the civil rights of citizens.
  • The Ku Klux Klan Act

    The Ku Klux Klan Act
    Part of the Enforcement Acts, in 1871, made it a federal offense to interfere with a person's right to vote, hold office, serve on a jury, or enjoy equal protection under the law.
  • Freedmen's Bureau Collapses

    Freedmen's Bureau Collapses
    Congress was forced in July of 1872 to terminate the Freedmen's Bureau because they were preoccupied with other national interests and the hostility of white southerners.
  • The Financial Panic of 1873

    The Financial Panic of 1873
    In 1873, the European stock market crashed and investors began selling off their investments in American projects, particularly railroads. Those railroad bonds flood the market, creating more than anyone wanted and the railroads couldn't find anyone to buy them, so they went bankrupt.
  • The Freedmen's Bank Collapses

    The Freedmen's Bank Collapses
    One of the causalities of the Financial Crisis of 1873, the Freedmen's Bank was founded in 1865, and supported thousands of black organizations' and peoples' accounts. The loss of the bank account for $1 million lost amongst black people in the South, but only three/fifths of all the depositors received the value back from their accounts.
  • The Mississippi Plan

    The Mississippi Plan
    The Mississippi Plan was a Democratic party scheme to violently prevent black voters from influencing election results. They wanted to redeem Mississippi and regain control of the legislature and governor offices.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1875

    The Civil Rights Act of 1875
    Before Reconstruction ended, Congress made one futile effort to protect black people from racial discrimination. Championed by Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, it was meant to open public accommodations such as schools, churches, cemeteries, hotels, and transportation to all people, regardless of race. It was passed on February 27th, 1875, but enacted as a memorial to Sumner on March 1st, 1875, but the discrimination bans on churches, cemeteries, and schools were removed.
  • The Compromise of 1877

    The Compromise of 1877
    Democrats accepted the Republican candidate Rutherford B. Hayes' victory, but Hayes had to make sure not to support Republican governments in Florida, Louisiana, and South Carolina, and pull federal troops from the South, effectively ending Reconstruction. This would allow racism and bigotry to grow, which black people still deal with even to this day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpqGUT53Vgk
  • Citation

    American Experience. PBS and WCVE/ WHTLJ. n.d. Web. December 17th, 2018. F.L. Carr. Reconstruction Timeline. George Mason University History 122. 1998. Web. December 17th, 2018. Hine, Darlene, Hine, William, and Harrold, Stanley. The Meaning of Freedom: The Promise of Reconstruction, and The Meaning of Freedom: The Failure of Reconstruction. The African-American Odyssey. New Jersey: Pearson, 2010. Print. Reconstruction Timeline. SoftSchools. n.d. Web. December 17th, 2018.
  • Citation: Continued

    Matt Parker. Thomas Legion. n.p. August 27th, 2005. Web. December 17th, 2018.