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A yankees argument of post civil war reconstruction

President 1865-69 and VP Under Abraham Lincoln 1865 Reconstruction is a generic term to describe the rebuilding of any country after a war or natural disaster. In American history, though, Reconstruction with a capital R describes the rebuilding of the South after the Civil War, from 1865-1877. After the war, Southerners were demoralized and they resented the freed slaves and those that freed them. Vann Woodward pointed out in The Strange Career of Jim Crow 1955the antebellum North provided a rough template for what transpired more dramatically in the South in the century following the war.

Cameron Addis, Ph.D.

The first was how, and under what conditions, would southern states be allowed to rejoin the country. That may seem like an odd question since the Union had fought the war to prevent them from leaving. The North had the leverage to make reentry conditional on Southerners either demonstrating loyalty to the U.

Either prospect was grim for many white Southerners. Toward the end of his life, Lincoln advocated suffrage for literate Blacks and veterans and Congress agreed. But Congress was in recess in the summer of 1865, leaving President Johnson in charge. Historian Richard Norton Smith points out that Johnson tellingly refused to use the term reconstruction, preferring restoration.

The extent of those civil rights, or lack thereof, was the second big question posed by Reconstruction: Jim Crow Seemingly getting the green light, with no direct communication from Congress otherwise, southern states passed laws called Black Codes returning Freedmen to conditions as closely approximating slavery as possible without actually including ownership. Later, they were known collectively as Jim Crow laws after a popular character in black minstrel shows.

The extent of these laws varied regionally and, in some places, there was conflict between politicians. Not only did Black Codes vary from place to place, but the black population was mobile. They experienced emancipation for the first time in many areas only a yankees argument of post civil war reconstruction the war ended, not when Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, and they were traveling all over trying to locate lost relatives sold to other plantations before the war.

Either way, President Johnson revoked the redistribution policy before it ever transferred much land. This was the fate of most southern Blacks, at least those that escaped prison chain gangs, along with huge numbers of poor Whites.

Production expanded, in fact, though cotton never regained its status in proportion to the rest of the economy as northern industry grew. Meanwhile, the advent of mechanized agriculture in the early 20th century displaced sharecroppers, forcing many to seek factory work in cities. While the bureaus were well intended, some of the Republican policies in the South probably had more to do with vindictiveness toward the Confederacy than genuine concern for the welfare of Freedmen.

At no point during Reconstruction did they roll out a red carpet and invite Freedmen to come north and compete for jobs. Prior to the Civil War, northern Republicans had preached the upside of a racially purified, all white society. No statue of Gaines currently stands on campus. The board disallowed it despite attempts by history professors and College Republicans to get one built.

  1. The Radical Republicans who took control of Reconstruction after the elections of 1866 included many old Whigs who had memories of their tussles with Old Hickory.
  2. It was a bitter pill for those who had shaped the fortunes and destinies of most of the southern population.
  3. By August 1961, over 70,000 persons had participated in sit-ins throughout the south and 3,000 had been arrested.

With the southern states not voting anyway, even as they had representatives that sat in Congress, Northerners ensconced those civil rights more permanently by passing constitutional amendments.

The Thirteenth had already passed in 1865, ending slavery. Now the Fourteenth Amendment of 1868, sometimes called the Civil Rights Amendment, granted basic rights of citizenship to all Americans by forcing states to honor most rights guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. The Fourteenth, like the Civil War itself, profoundly strengthened the national government at the expense of states, really resetting American history.

When Johnson backed down on his Reconstruction policy, the Senate allowed him to escape in their trial — the next phase of the process after the House impeaches a president. Only three presidents have been impeached in American history.

Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton both escaped in the Senate trial phase and Richard Nixon preemptively resigned as the process was unfolding in the House. Since many southern states passed legislation to keep Blacks from voting, the Fifteenth Amendment was added to secure black suffrage in 1870.

Northern Republicans needed the southern black vote if slaves were freed; otherwise, they could potentially form an alliance with southern Whites and constitute a threat to northern hegemony.

  • With 3-1 majorities in both houses and veto overrides certain to follow, the Radicals proceeded to take control of reconstruction—the president would be powerless to stop them;
  • Between 1935 and 1948, he argued 8 cases before the Supreme Court, winning 7 of them;
  • Many citizens believed they were willing to subvert the Constitution in order to accomplish their political goals;
  • Like Andrew Jackson, President Lincoln had also been a powerful political leader during the Civil War, and Congress sometimes bridled under his forceful direction of the government;
  • An unspoken but generally understood assumption was that the warring parties would be likely to meet on the battlefield again, with the results quite possibly reversed, and thus over-harsh settlements were rare;
  • Confederate desertion rates are estimated at about 104,000.

Passage of these Civil War Amendments gets to the heart of why it was advantageous to keep former Confederate states out of the Union temporarily. In fact, the Thirteenth barely passed anyway.

In the meantime, the ongoing, if limited, Union military occupation per the Military Reconstruction Act kept the South in line as the amendments passed and the southern states only had non-voting seats in Congress. Army had less than 30k troops after the war, though, with most in the West fighting Indians.

22 Reconstruction

The Fourteenth, for instance, outlawed states state governments from discriminating based on race, but what about the people that lived within states and ran private stores, inns, or restaurants?

Finally, what about people taking the law into their own hands and simply beating up, torturing, or killing black voters? This is when northern judges began interpreting the Second Amendment as based on individual gun ownership rights, in order to prevent southern states from using the Constitution to form militias. One ostensible purpose of the vigilantes was to protect the honor of white girls from black men, who would presumably rape them with impunity once freed from slavery.

White plantation owners had free access to their female slave property for centuries, so people expected some retribution, though it never materialized in disproportionate numbers. Not all former Confederates agreed with prolonging resistance to northern rule. He went to work for the Grant administration as a lawyer then served as ambassador to Hong Kong. Many Southerners, however, stuck with the Democrats and a sizable minority with vigilante groups. They dressed in hoods to scare Blacks into thinking they were ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers coming back to haunt them.

Some Klansmen even escaped to Canada, of all places. A new Klan emerged around 1915. But eventually, President U.

Grant instructed Union forces to stand down and they ceded territory to the other vigilantes. The last thing he wanted under his presidency was a resumption of the Civil War. Under Grant, they returned to power. This transition happened during U. The Redeemers subverted bona fide democracy in favor of an apartheid -like system that ruled through violence and intimidation.

Mildred Lewis Rutherford Lost Cause Southerners also won the battle of historical interpretation, especially in the Southeast but, to a surprising extent, even the North. In a 1907 letter to Sam Chapman, Mosby wrote: If it was right to own slaves as property it was right to fight for it. The South went to war on account of Slavery.

South Carolina ought to know what was the cause for her seceding. Stuart was another scapegoat for the Gettysburg loss that took the historical blame off Lee. In effect, he was arguing that the South seceded in 1860 because of how they were treated after 1865, showing how time clouds the memories of even those who personally experienced it. Before the war, Southerners opposed new states deciding whether to legalize slavery on their own out west, and Confederate states lacked the power to legislate slavery within the Confederacy.

Scholars at Vanderbilt University called the Agrarians updated and refined the Lost Cause theory in the 1930s, arguing that an acquisitive, overbearing, industrializing North essentially attacked the bucolic South in a war of railroads and factories versus traditional farms.

Their interpretation coincided with the popularity of the book and movie Gone With the Wind. But the original ringleader of Lost Cause revisionism was Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who penned a 1,500-page tome entitled The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government 1881 and spoke across the South throughout retirement. Along with ex-CSA VP Alexander Stephens, author of the infamous Cornerstone Speech from March 1861 — in which he explicitly equated Confederate identity with racism — Davis argued that slavery was the occasion for the war, but not the cause.

Davis drew parallels between the formation of the Confederacy and the U. Yet, it sells books with favorable reinterpretations of Confederate general and Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrestwhose popularity spiked with the election of Barack Obama, stressing other parts of his biography. Their main purposes are charity, assisting genealogical research, and heritage defense. The SCV site is worth checking out for those interested in Neo-Confederates and the general topic of historical revisionism.

Revisionism is often misunderstood by the public as a bad thing, but all interpretations are subject to revision from all camps.

To argue otherwise is to over-estimate the dependability of early drafts and under-estimate the subjectivity of all interpretations. The Lost Cause argument itself is a classic and influential, if poorly argued, example of revisionism. It conveniently skips over the Sectional Crisis of 1846-60 before getting to a yankees argument of post civil war reconstruction deal-breaking Lincoln election in 1860, which it accurately depicts as posing a direct challenge to Dred Scott 1857.

Supreme Court authorizing Southerners to carry their slaves into the territories. As a catechismthe pamphlet asks a series of anticipated questions and provides the convert with rebuttals to memorize. Heading 2 asks the all-important question, was slavery the cause of secession or the war? Reconstruction Fizzles In the 19th century, the U. A yankees argument of post civil war reconstruction Grant phased out Radical Reconstruction and Union forces retreated in 1877.

Faced with an economic recession that cut jobs for factory and railroad workers and fearing the migration of Freedmen, northern Democrats crushed pro-Reconstruction Republicans in the 1874 mid-term elections, taking over the House of Representatives. Tilden won the popular vote and led the electoral college 184-165 with 20 votes in four states contested.

Republicans cried foul, claiming that the White League and Red Shirts were scaring their voters from the polls in the South. Grant During Retirement, New York, Library of Congress The two parties held a behind-closed-doors meeting organized by a federal commission, off limits to journalists and future historians. Hayes won the election and the Union retreated from its southern occupation.

In addition, Congress would help stimulate industrialization in the South and build a southern transcontinental railroad the 5th overall connecting Texas to California. After all, opposition to such measures was part of what fueled the southern Democrats for decades, dating all the way back to Jefferson.

According to some, it was even the very cause of the Civil War. In that way, Americans after the Civil War were similar to many today that want the government to stay out of their business as they demand protection, better roads, aid, emergency relief, and subsidies.

Reconstruction In South Carolina Post Civil War Essay

Slowly, the regional wounds began to heal. Northerners began touring the beautiful old plantations and many shared in the idealization of the antebellum South as a fully functioning society where everyone knew their place. The best documented of these get-togethers was the 50th Anniversary Gettysburg Reunion in 1913 that we saw in the previous chapter. That was eight years after passage of the Fourteenth. Twentieth-century Whites celebrated the event with this 1950 historical marker: In the late 19th century, the Court took on a cluster of Civil Rights Cases 1883 that all asked the same fundamental question about the Fourteenth: The answer was yes until the Court revisited the question again in the Heart of Atlanta Motel case in 1964, a century after the Civil War.

Mississippi 1898 approved poll taxes and literacy tests while United States v. That was on the distant horizon, though, as of the 1870s.