Unit 8, Section 3 Notes - Rogers Independent School District

Report
Civil War and
Reconstruction
UNIT 8, SECTION THREE: RECONSTRUCTION
Juneteenth
In 1863, President Lincoln issued the
Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all
slaves in the United States, but it really had
no effect in the Confederacy. But at the end
of the Civil War, U.S. troops marched in to
take control of Texas. When the Union
soldiers landed in Galveston, they issued a
proclamation freeing all slaves. That day,
June 19, is celebrated as Juneteenth, and is a
state holiday in Texas.
Emancipation Excitement
As the news of emancipation spread,
many freedpeople, or former slaves, left
the farms and plantations, some for the
first time. Roads soon became crowded
with former slaves. Some traveled to
look for paying jobs or family members
from whom they had been separated.
Many rushed to courthouses to have
their informal marriages legalized.
The Freedman’s Bureau
The U.S. government wanted to help freedpeople
adjust to a life outside of slavery. The Bureau
provided former slaves with homes, food, and legal
aid. Many freedpeople returned to their old
plantations to work, and so the Bureau helped
them settle fair contract with their former slave
owners. They also helped to open many schools in
Texas. Many people who worked for the Bureau
were threatened by angry whites who felt that
African-Americans were not equal. Even with the
help of the Bureau, violence against blacks was a
major problem in Texas.
The Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan became an organized group during
Reconstruction and spread into Texas in 1868.
They opposed Republican rule and their ideas were
based on vigilantism, or taking the law into your
own hands. At first, they just held parades, wrote
into newspapers, and had meetings. Then they
began to intimidate and murder those who
opposed them. Usually, these actions were directed
at freemen and white Republicans who wanted
more rights for African Americans. Their actions
died down after Reconstruction, but have surfaced
at times during periods of racial tension.
Freedman’s Towns
With few other opportunities left to them, many
freedpeople continued to work for their former
slave owners. In an effort to escape this kind of
situation, many African Americans began to
unite and buy land to create towns of their own,
known as Freedman’s Towns. These kinds of
communities were in both urban and rural Texas,
with the center of most of the towns being a
church. Two were built in Austin and Houston.
Today, these areas are known for their rich
culture and diversity.
Presidential Reconstruction
Reconstruction – the process of reuniting the
nation and rebuilding the southern states –
was being debated in the North. Some
people wanted to punish the South. Others,
like President Lincoln, did not want to cause
more bitterness. He wanted the wounds of
the Civil War to heal quickly. The president
pushed for a quick reconciliation, and for it
to be as easy on the South as was possible.
President Johnson’s Plan
After Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson
became the 17th president of the United States, and
he wanted to continue Lincoln’s plan of admitting
the Southern states back into the Union as quickly
as possible. His plan stated that all southern states
needed to create a new Constitution and pass the
13th amendment, which outlawed slavery. It also
stated that secession was illegal and all southern
war debts were to be cancelled. If southern white
males wanted to vote again, they would have to
swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S.
The Reconstruction Amendments
 13th Amendment (1865) – made slavery
illegal in the United States
 14th Amendment (1868) – declared all
persons born or naturalized in the United
States, expect for Native Americans, to be
citizens
 15 Amendment (1870) – guaranteed all
free men the right to vote
The Constitution of 1866
As part of President Johnson’s plan, the Texan
delegates sat down and began to write a new
Constitution. The Constitution of 1866 was a lot
like the one Texas followed before the Civil War,
and it did not follow Johnson’s plan. It did not
ratify the 13th amendment, which abolished
slavery, or the 14th amendment, which granted
citizenship to African Americans. They also refused
many other rights to freedpeople, such as voting
rights.
The Black Codes
In addition to the new Constitution, Texas and other
southern states attempted to limit the rights of free
African Americans by passing laws known as
“Black Codes.” These laws prevented blacks from
voting, holding public office, owning land, or
receiving an education. Freedpeople could even be
thrown in jail for not having a job. Also, black
codes promoted segregation, or the separation of
blacks and whites. There were rules about the
mixture of races at work, in schools, or in public.
This kind of segregation continued until the Civil
Rights movement of the 1960’s.
Radical Republicans React
After many states began passing black codes and
refused to follow Johnson’s plan for
Reconstruction, many “Radical Republicans,” or
Republicans in Congress, felt that the South
needed to be controlled. Since so many former
Confederate leaders were in charge in the South
after the Civil War, the Radical Republicans
attempted to take over power and guarantee that
laws be passed to benefit the freedpeople of the
South.
Congressional Reconstruction
After the elections of 1866, the Republicans in
Congress had a majority, and the ability to pass
more laws. This marked the beginning of
Congressional Reconstruction. The southern state
governments were declared provisional and
Congress divided the South into five military
districts. In order to rejoin the Union, the southern
states would have to create a new constitution and
ratify all of the Reconstruction amendments.
Military leaders were given the authority to remove
“uncooperative” southern leaders from office.
Johnson’s Reaction
President Johnson tried to block Congressional
Reconstruction, arguing that it gave the federal
government too much power. He also disagreed
with giving equal rights to African Americans.
Johnson was later impeached, meaning charges
were brought against him by Congress. He was not
removed from office, but his power was broken. He
was not re-elected. Ulyssess S. Grant, a man more
in favor of Congressional Reconstruction, became
the next president.
The Constitution of 1869
Since Texas had to try again to create a new
constitution, a constitutional convention was called
in 1868. It was written by Radical Republicans, and
when complete, it declared that the U.S.
Constitution was supreme to any state
constitution. Texas soon ratified the
Reconstruction Amendments. Most Texans did not
agree with the new constitution, but they were
ready to be readmitted back to the Union. In 1870,
the control of Texas was returned to the state
government.
Opposition to Reconstruction
Many people opposed the actions of the Radical
Republicans. They called the Texans who
supported Congressional Reconstruction
“scalawags” and people who came to Texas from
the north “carpet baggers.” The governor at the
time, Edmund J. Davis, tried to pass many laws
concerning taxes and the state militia. He often
used his power to declare martial law when he felt
it necessary, and people often complained that he
was spending too much money and wielded too
much power.
Governor Edmund J. Davis
In 1869, Edmund J. Davis was elected as governor of Texas.
He was a Union soldier during the Civil War and he
supported the actions of Radical Republicans. As
governor, he worked to protect the frontier, expand
public education, and give more rights to blacks in Texas.
Many people saw his actions as giving too much power to
the government, and his programs were called “The
Obnoxious Acts.” When he was not reelected, he refused
to give up his seat and he barricaded himself in his office,
as the election was ruled unconstitutional. When he was
not given the support of Republicans outside of Texas, it
was considered the end of Reconstruction in the state.
The Constitution of 1876
After the Republicans lost power in the state, Texas
Democrats called for a new constitutional
convention in 1876. With this new constitution, the
power of the governor was greatly reduced, while
more power was given to the local governments.
State spending was also limited. Public school
funding was cut back because people did not want
to pay the taxes to support the schools. Today, the
state laws we follow are based on this constitution,
though over 400 amendments have been made to
the document.
Railroads
During Reconstruction, leaders in Texas realized that
transportation in Texas would have to change if the
state was ever expected to grow. Between 1850 and
1876, railroads were being built across the state on
land grants that were previously set aside. Many
towns would pay the state to have railroads built
through their area, because if they were bypassed,
that could mean that many businesses and jobs
would go elsewhere. By the 1880’s, over 5000
miles of track had been laid in the state.
Agriculture
After the Civil War, many men came home to their
families and farms. Since most of the war was not
fought in Texas, most citizens were able to quickly
bounce back and make a profit in agriculture. As the
railroads grew in Texas, more farmers were able to take
their crops to market. In order to meet the demand
without slaves, tenant farms became the new rage.
These were smaller farms that replaced larger
plantations. Farmers would rent the land and pay their
rent in cash or crops. If you had to rent supplies too,
then you were known as a sharecropper. By 1870, onethird of all farmers in Texas were tenant farmers. But,
in a way, it was a new form of slavery because most
were in great debt to their landlord.
Native Americans
As the Civil War took most men into battle, the
Native Americans in Texas were able to attack
settlers and attempt to take back much of the
frontier. As Reconstruction occupied the U.S.
government, Texans were alone in trying to protect
the frontier. Comanches and Kiowas raided
settlements, burned homes, and kidnapped women
and children. After unsuccessful attempts at peace
treaties, the U.S. government began a new
campaign of extermination, or total destruction, of
both the Native Americans and buffalo.

similar documents