Lincoln's ten percent plan
In it all southerners, except high-ranking Confederate officials, could get a full pardon and restoration of rights after taking an oath, pledging loyalty to the Union and accepting the end of slavery. When ten percent of the 1860 voting population had taken this oath, citizens could vote in elections that would create new state governments and new state constitutions. After that the state would once again be eligible for representation in Congress and readmitted to the Union.
assassination of April 14, 1865
President Lincoln wass assassinated while attending a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford‟s Theater in Washington, D.C. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, escaped with a broken leg, but he was shot later. Lincoln was succeeded by his vice president, Andrew Johnson.
John Wilkes Booth
Booth was a Southern sympathizer during the Civil War, who plotted with six fellow-conspirators to assassinate Union leaders. On Apr. 14, 1865, he shot President Lincoln during a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford‟s Theater in Washington, D.C. He escaped, but was later shot and killed.
Ex parte Milligan
was an 1866 Supreme Court limiting the authority of martial law and the suspension of habeas corpus in times of war. In this case, the court declared that "martial law can never exist where the courts are open in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction."
The Radical Republicans were a group of Republicans unhappy with the corruption and policies of Grant‟s administration. Among their leaders were Carl Schurz, Horace Greely, and Charles Sumner. The party nominated Greeley for president. Greely was a choice acceptable to the Democrats, but unpopular with many of the leaders of his party, so Grant won reelection despite the corruption within his administration and his poor leadership.
Wade-Davis bill, veto, Wade Davis Manifesto
Congress, in July 1864, passed the Wade-Davis Bill, calling for a stricter form of Reconstruction than that proposed by Lincoln. After Lincoln pocket vetoed this bill, radicals sought to displace him. They issued Wade-Davis Manifest, which declared the primacy of Congress in matters of the Reconstruction.
Joint Committee on Reconstruction
The Joint Committee on Reconstruction was the Congressional committee consisting of leaders of both houses of Congress which led Congressional Reconstruction after the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 were passed. This committee would exist until after Hayes was elected president.
Reconstruction acts, 1867
The Reconstruction Acts divided the Confederate states except Tennessee into five military districts. Military commanders in the districts were appointed to oversee constitutional conventions in the districts and the creation of state constitutions. This military occupation would last until the states created new constitutions that included black suffrage, the permanent disfranchisement of Confederate leaders, and ratification of the 14th Amendment.
conquered territory theory
The conquered territory theory was a popular theory held by many Reconstruction policy makers after the Civil War that the southern states which seceded from the Union to form the Confederate States of America should be treated as if they were territories conquered from a foreign nation.
Texas v. White, 1869
The trial of Texas v. White in 1868, was a case which involved the disposition of Civil War bonds used by Texas, which had left the Union. It was held that states in rebellion did not lose their existence or identity. The decision also declared secession unconstitutional.
the unreconstructed South
This term refers to failure of Reconstruction to permanently reform the South. Even after Republicans withdrew, there was corruption in the states, and exploitation of African-Americans was common. When the states were readmitted into the Union, civil rights legislation was practically overturned with open discrimination.
A scalawag was a white Southerner who joined the Republican party during the Reconstruction period. Scalawags were considered traitors to the Southern cause and were condemned by Southern Democrats. The term scalawag was applied both to entrepreneurs who supported Republican economic policies and Whig planters who had opposed secession.
Carpetbaggers were Northerners who went to the South during Reconstruction. They carried their belongings in carpetbags, and most intended to settle in the South and make money there. The African-American vote won them important posts in Republican state governments.
forty acres and a mule
refers to the desire of Radical Republicans such as Thaddeus Stevens to carry out land redistribution in the South. He wanted to subdivide confiscated land and distribute it among the freedmen. Proposals such as these failed in Congress and state legislatures.
The black codes were local laws intended to force African-Americans to continue working as plantation laborers. They imposed prohibitive taxes, harsh vagrancy laws meant to intimidate the freedmen, restrictions on blacks‟ ability to own property. Essentially, they condemned the newly-freed slaves to conditions not unlike slavery.
Ku Klux Klan
an organization formed by ex-Confederates and led by Nathan B. Forrest. It was founded in the South in 1866 in opposition to Reconstruction. Members used disguises, rituals, whippings and lynchings, to terrorize African-Americans and their supporters. Forrest disbanded the Klan in 1869.
As a leader of the radical Republicans‟ Reconstruction program after the Civil War, Stevens saw the Southern states as "conquered provinces." He sincerely desired the betterment of the lives African-Americans. He proposed the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing civil rights and was a leader in the impeachment of President Johnson.
Sumner was the aggressive abolitionist who was physically assaulted by Preston Brooks after making a strong antislavery speech. He was one of the leaders of the radical Republicans‟ Reconstruction program and was also an active participant in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
As president he was denounced by the radical Republicans for his Reconstruction program. When Johnson tried to force Stanton out of office, the radical Republicans passed a resolution of impeachment against him for violation of the Tenure of Office Act, but the Senate failed to convict him by one vote.
The Freedmen‟s Bureau furnished food and medical supplies to blacks, and to needy whites as well. It was also concerned with the regulation of wages and working conditions, the maintenance of schools for illiterate former slaves, and the distribution of lands abandoned by or confiscated from Southern proprietors.
General Oliver O. Howard
Howard was a Civil War general who took part in the Bull Run, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Chattanooga campaigns. As commissioner of the Freedmen‟s Bureau after the war, he was unable to prevent many abuses to freedmen, but managed to provided needed food and medical and employment aid to many people.
Civil Rights Act
This act was passed in Congress with nearly unanimous Republican support in March 1866, and it attempted to redress the issue of slavery by defining all persons born in the nation as citizens. It also specified the rights of citizens, the right to sue, make contracts, give evidence in court, hold, convey, and inherit property.
The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1865. It prohibited "slavery or involuntary servitude except as punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." This amendment guaranteed freedom for African Americans.
The Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868. It said that no state can make or enforce any law which "deprives any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." Also, states could not "deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Secretary of State Hamilton Fish ratified the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution of United States on March 30, 1870. This amendment explicitly forbid denial of the right to vote for citizens "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude."
Tenure of Office Act
The Tenure of Office Act was a measure passed by Congress in 1867. It prohibited the president from dismissing any cabinet member or other federal officeholder whose appointment had required the consent of the Senate unless the Senate agreed to the dismissal. Johnson‟s violation of this act caused the impeachment crisis.
Impeachment is the formal accusation by a legislature against a public official, to remove him from office. The term includes both the bringing of charges, or articles, and the trial that may follow. President Andrew Johnson, after violating the Tenure of Office Act, by removing Secretary of War Stanton faced impeachment. The formal accusation of Johnson went through the House on Feb. 24, 1868, but the Senate failed to convict him. This is the only instance of impeachment of an American president.
Chief Justice Chase
Salmon Chase was the sixth chief justice of the Supreme Court and an abolitionist. As chief justice, he presided over the impeachment trial of President Johnson. His greatest achievement, however, was as secretary of the treasury, when he created a national bank system.
Secretary of War Stanton
Edwin Stanton served as the secretary of war under Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, but his dismissal by President Andrew Johnson and his subsequent refusal to leave office act precipitated the impeachment of President Johnson in 1868.
Hiram R. Revels, Blanche K. Bruce
Revels and Bruce were the first two African-American politicians to serve a full term in the United States Senate. They were both representatives from Mississippi, and were the only two African-American Senators during Reconstruction.
Compromise of 1877
As a result of the electoral vote from the election of 1876, Congress created a 15-member bipartisan commission, on January 29, 1877, to resolve the dispute concerning the electoral votes between Tilden and Hayes. The committee consisted of five Democrats, five Republicans, and five Supreme Court justices. Hayes was unanimously awarded the electoral votes from Oregon and South Carolina and the ones from Louisiana by a commission vote of 8 to 7.
The Reconstruction Myth is the false belief that during Reconstruction, Radical Republicans intended to exploit the South by forcing it into economic and political submission. Such beliefs were promoted by movies such as Birth of a Nation, and Gone With the Wind.
After Reconstruction, the South became solidly Democratic. Once they gained control, the Democrats cut back expenses, wiped out social programs, lowered taxes, and limited the rights of tenants and sharecroppers. These white southerners remained a major force in national politics well into the 20th century.
It was the farm tenancy system that arose from the cotton plantation system after the Civil War. Landlords provided land, seed, and credit. The croppers contributed labor and received a share of the crop‟s value, minus their debt to the landlord. This along with the crop lien system held back African Americans economically.
crop lien system
Through this system, the white southern landowners possessed a tight hold over African American farm production during much of the Reconstruction periond. Black economic rights were eroded away with this crop lien system and along with sharecropping. A cycle of dependency and debt would be the result of these systems.
Segregation was the practice held in the South after legislation made explicit discrimination in law illegal. In response to that legislation the concept of "separate but equal" dominated the policies Southern policy makers. This practice of keeping the races separate would not officially broken up until the mid-twentieth century.
Ulysses S. Grant
Grant was an American general and the 18th president of the United States. A war hero, Grant was admired throughout the North and was endorsed by Union veterans. Although he was a strong military leader, Grant proved to be a passive president with little skill at politics.
purchase of Alaska
Alaska was ceded to the United States by the Russian Czar Alexander II in a treaty signed on March 30, 1867. Secretary of State William Henry Seward arranged the $7.2 million purchase at 1.9¢ per acre. Critics ridiculed this purchase as "Seward‟s icebox," but it expanded American territory at a reasonable price.
Secretary of State William Seward
Seward was the American Secretary of State who handled diplomatic issues during and after the Civil War. He was involved in the Trent Affair and his most notable act was the purchase of Alaska. This purchase was denounced at the time as "Seward‟s folly, but it added a significant amount of territory to the United States.
After his election in 1848, Napoleon III proclaimed himself the Emperor of France, instituted reforms, and rebuilt Paris. His successful imperialist ventures were overshadowed by a failed campaign in Mexico to create a French-Mexican Empire and the Franco-Prussian War, which resulted in his deposition.
Maximilian in Mexico
Maximilian was instructed by Napoleon III in 1864 to establish a French empire in Mexico, but the Mexicans were hostile to Maximilian and loyal to President Juárez. The United States invoked the Monroe Doctrine as justification for their demand for French nonintervention. Although the French drove Juárez‟s army from the capital, Maximilian‟s empire disintegrated when French troops withdrew.
Treaty of Washington, 1871
The Treaty of Washington was a treaty arranged by Hamilton Fish. In it, the U.S. and Great Britain settled many minor disputes such as the Alabama claims, which had arisen during the U.S. Civil War. The treaty also provided for arbitration of disagreements over the Canadian-American boundary and fishing rights.
Secretary of State Hamilton Fish
Fish served as Grant‟s secretary of state. He arranged the Treaty of Washington, which settled disputes with Britain over the Alabama claims the and Canadian-American boundary. Also, he prevented American filibustering expeditions against Cuba from escalating into war with Spain.
Grant‟s private secretary, Orville Babcock, was unmasked in 1875 after taking money from the "whiskey ring," a group of distillers who bribed federal agents to avoid paying millions in whiskey taxes. On May 10, 1875, 16 distillers in areas of Saint Louis, Milwaukee, and Chicago were captured.
Scandal caused a short-lived financial crisis in the United States that occurred on Friday, September 24, 1869. The panic was precipitated when two financial speculators, James Fisk and Jay Gould, attempted to corner the U.S. gold market. Fisk and Gould probably made a profit of about $11 million through their manipulations.
Salary Grab Act
In the Salary Grab Act of 1873, Congress voted a 100% pay raise and a 50% increase for itself. Both raises were made retroactive two years back. The public was shocked, leading to a Democratic victory in the next congressional election. The act was later repealed, but it was another example of the corruption of the postwar government.
Officials of the Union Pacific Railroad created a fake construction company, called the Credit Mobilier, in order to cheat the government out of money allotted to the construction of the Union Pacific Railroads. Grant‟s vice-president, Colfax, was linked to this scandal.
Bribing of Belknap
William E. Belknap was Grant‟s secretary of war. He took a bribe to sell lucrative Indian trading posts in Oklahoma. Belknap resigned in 1876 when voters learned of his corruption. Although Grant was not personally involved, he loyally defended his subordinates.
The Liberals Republicans‟ revolt marked a turning point in Reconstruction history. They split the Republican party, supporting the Republican southern policy while attacking regular republicans on several key issues and denouncing Grantism and the spoils system.
election of 1872
In 1872, Republicans unhappy with the reelection of President Ulysses S. Grant formed the Liberal Republican party and nominated as their candidate the journalist Horace Greeley. Although he was also endorsed by the Democrats, Greeley was defeated, and the new party collapsed.
Panic of 1873, depression
Transforming the northern economy, the Panic of 1873 triggered a five-year depression. Banks closed, farm prices plummeted, steel furnaces stood idle, and one out of four railroads failed. However, once the depression began, demand rose. This issue divided both major parties and was compounded by the repayment of federal debt.
Waving the bloody shirt
During the election of 1876, the Republicans backed Rutherford Hayes against the Democratic candidate, Samuel Tilden. They resorted to a tactic known as "waving the bloody shirt," which was used in the last two elections. The tactic emphasized wartime animosities by urging northern voters to vote the way they shot.
Greenbacks, Ohio Ideas
During the Civil War the Union had borrowed money through the sale of war bonds, known as Greenbacks, to private citizens. Senator John Sherman of Ohio and other Republican leaders obtained passage of the Public Credit Act of 1869, which promised to pay the war debt in "coin." Debtors favored the Greenbacks because they could repay debts easier with this inflated currency.
Specie Resumption Act
The Sherman Specie Resumption Act promised to put the nation effectively on the gold standard in 1879. With some convincing, it changed the minds of the Republican voters who also wanted to continue Greenbacks for the sake of "easy money." Grant signed this act. Unfortunately, robber barrons schemed to corner the gold market.
The Greenback party was formed in 1876 with James Weaver as its presidential candidate. The party adopted the debtors‟ cause, fought to keep greenbacks in circulation, and promoted the inflation of farm prices. The party elected 14 members to Congress . As prosperity returned, the Greenbacks faded.
election of 1876
The presidential election of 1876 resulted in neither Democrat Samuel Tilden nor Republican Rutherford Hayes receiving the 185 electoral votes necessary to become president. There were 20 disputed votes, and a Congressional committee gave all of these to Hays, making him president. In exchange, he ended military rule of the South.