Chapter 15: Reconstruction 1863-1877 Flashcards Preview

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Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (1863)

Lincoln's suggestion to reconstructing the South's political/state governments so that Unionists were in charge as opposed to secessionists it provided that:
1. Full presidential pardons would be granted to most Southerners who:
a) Took an oath of allegiances to the Union and the US Constitution
b) Accepted the emancipation of slaves
2. A state government could be reestablished and accepted as legitimate by the US President as soon as at least 10% of the voters in that state took a loyalty oath


Wade Davis Bill (1864)

A bill which, unlike Lincoln's, was stricter about how Reconstruction would occur
~The bill required that 50% of the voters of a state take a loyalty oath and permitted only non Confederates to vote for a new state Constitution
~Lincoln refused to sign it


Freedman's Bureau

AKA: the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands
~Provided food, shelter, and medical aid for those made destitute by the war: both blacks and whites
~At first, it had the power to resettle blacks on confiscated farmlands in the South
~Frustrated by President Johnson's pardoning of Confederate owners of their confiscated lands ---> restored to original owners
~Biggest success was in education
~Established nearly 3,000 schools for freed blacks


General Oliver O Howard

Biggest aid to the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands in the field of education
~Helped to establish nearly 3,000 schools for freed blacks including several black colleges
~Before funding got out in 1870, the bureau's schools taught about 200,000 African Americans how to read


Black Codes

Adopted by Southern state legislatures that restricted the rights and movement of the newly freed blacks
~The codes
1. Prohibited blacks from either renting land or borrowing money to buy land
2. Placed freedmen into a form of semi-bondage by forcing them as "vagrants" and "apprentices" to sign work contracts
3. Prohibited blacks from testifying against whites in court
~The contract labor system in which blacks worked the cotton fields under white supervision for deferred wages seemed little different from slavery


"Waving the Bloody Shirt"

The appeal to anti-Southerners by Republicans
~Inflamed the hatreds of Northern voters by reminding them of the hardships of the war
~Branded the entire Democrat party as a party of rebellion and treason


Radical Republicans

One of the two "branches" of the Republican Party who championed civil rights for blacks
~Gained a larger following in 1866 partly out of fear that a reunited Democratic party might again become dominant
~Leading radical republicans in the Senate was Charles Sumner of Massachusetts
~In the House, Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania hoped to revolutionize Southern Society
~Endorsed: women's suffrage, rights for labor unions, and civil rights for Northern blacks


Thaddeus Stevens

A radical republican in the House of Representatives from Pennsylvania
~Hoped to revolutionize southern society through an extended period of military rule in which blacks would be free to exercise their civil rights, be educated in federally funded schools and would receive the planter class's confiscated lands


Civil Rights Act of 1866

Pronounced all African Americans to be US citizens
~Repudiated the ruling in the Dred Scott case
~Attempted to provide a legal shield against the operation of the Southern state's black codes


14th Amendment

Passed by Congress and had effects on all levels of American society
~Declared that all persons born/naturalized in the United States were US citizens
~Obligated the States to respect the rights of US citizens and provide them with "equal protection of the laws" and "due process of laws"
~Disqualified former Confederate political leaders from holding either state/federal office
~Repudiated the debts of the defeated governments of the Confederacy
~Penalized a state it it kept any eligible person from voting by reducing that state's representation in Congress and electoral votes


Tenure of Office Act

An unusual (and probably unconstitutional) law passed by Congress that prohibited the president from removing a federal office/military commander without Senate's approval
~Johnson challenged it by removing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton
~House responded by impeaching him


15th Amendment

Prohibited any state from denying/abridging a citizen's right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude"


Civil Rights Act of 1875

Law that guaranteed equal accommodations in public places (hotels, railroads, and theaters) and prohibited courts from excluding African Americans from juries
~Law was poorly enforced



Nickname given to Southern Republicans by Democrats
~Typically former Whigs who were interested in economic development for their state and peace



Nickname given to (republicans) northerners who moved South by Democrats
~Moved south for various reasons: some were investors interested in starting up new businesses, some were missionaries, some also went to plunder


Blanche Bruce and Hiram Revels

Two BLACK senators from the South
~Hiram Revels elected to take Jefferson Davis' seat in Mississippi
~Led to bitter resentment from disfranchised ex-Confederates



Landlord provided the seed and other needed farm supplies in return for a share (typically half) of the harvest
~Although it gave the poor, black and white, an opportunity to work, they remained dependent on landowners or in debt
~New form of servitude



Giving jobs and government favors (spoils) to their supporters
~Started in the Republican party
~The passage of power from reformers to spoilsmen (political manipulators)


Jay Gould and James Fiske

Two Wall Street financiers
~Obtained help of President Grant's brother-in-law in a scheme to corner the gold market
~The Treasury department broke the scheme, but not before Gould had made a huge profit


Crédit Mobilier

Insiders gave stock to influential members of Congress to avoid investigation of the profits they were making from government subsidies for building the transcontinental railroad
~as high as 348%


Whiskey Ring

Federal revenue agents conspired with the liquor industry to defraud the government of millions in taxes
~Grant himself did not personally profit from the corruption, his loyalty to dishonest men around him badly tarnished his presidency


Tweed Ring

William Tweed, the boss of the local Democratic party (NYC) masterminded dozens of schemes for helping himself and cronies to large chunks of graft
~Virtually stole about $200 million from NY's taxpayers before 'the New York Times' and the cartoonist Thomas Nast exposed "Boss" Tweed and brought about his arrest


Horace Greely

The nominee for president by reform-minded Republicans (who broke with the party) in 1872
~Democrats also nominated Greely
~Advocated civil service reform, an end of railroad subsidies, withdraw of troops from the South, reduced tariffs, and free trade
~Weeks after his loss to Grant, he died


Panic of 1873

Economic panic at the beginning of Grant's second term which left thousands of Northern laborers both jobless and homeless
~ Over-speculation by financiers and overbuilding by industry and railroads led to widespread business failures and depression
~Debtors on the farms and in the cities sought an inflationary, easy-money, solution by demanding greenbacks



A stable money supply backed by gold
~Grant vetoed a bill calling for additional Greenbacks



Southern Conservatives who took control of one state government after another
~Had different social and economic backgrounds but agreed on a political program: state's rights, reduced taxes, reduced spending on social programs, and white supremacy


Amnesty Act of 1872

Removed the last of the restrictions on ex-Confederates, except for top leaders
~Allowed Southern Conservatives to vote for Democrats, to retake control of state governments


Amnesty Act of 1872

Removed the last of the restrictions on ex-Confederates, except for top leaders
~Allowed Southern Conservatives to vote for Democrats, to retake control of state governments


Compromise of 1877

An informal deal worked out between the parties after Hayes won the electoral vote and the Democrats threatened to take the vote to the House which they controlled
~Hayes would be President on the condition that he would
1. Immediately end federal support for the Republicans in the South
2. Supported the building of a Southern transcontinental railroad
~Shortly after his inauguration, Hayes fulfilled his part of the compromise