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Reconstruction - American Civil War

Reconstruction - American Civil War
At the outset of the Civil War, to the dismay of the more radical abolitionists in the North, President Abraham Lincoln did not make abolition of slavery a goal of the Union war effort. To do so, he feared, would drive the border slave states still loyal to the Union into the Confederacy and anger more conservative northerners. By the summer of 1862, however, the slaves themselves had pushed the issue, heading by the thousands to the Union lines as Lincoln’s troops marched through the South. Emancipation changed the stakes of the Civil War, ensuring that a Union victory would mean large-scale social revolution in the South.

KKK Sharecropping | Slavery By Another Name Bento After the Civil War, former slaves sought jobs, and planters sought laborers. The absence of cash or an independent credit system led to the creation of sharecropping. Sharecropping is a system where the landlord/planter allows a tenant to use the land in exchange for a share of the crop. This encouraged tenants to work to produce the biggest harvest that they could, and ensured they would remain tied to the land and unlikely to leave for other opportunities. In the South, after the Civil War, many black families rented land from white owners and raised cash crops such as cotton, tobacco, and rice. High interest rates, unpredictable harvests, and unscrupulous landlords and merchants often kept tenant farm families severely indebted, requiring the debt to be carried over until the next year or the next. Approximately two-thirds of all sharecroppers were white, and one third were black.

Loyal White Knights - of The Ku Klux Klan Largest Ku Klux Klan Groups in America, For God Race And Nation, Join The Ku Klux Klan Ku Klux Klan - Facts & Summary In 1915, white Protestant nativists organized a revival of the Ku Klux Klan near Atlanta, Georgia, inspired by their romantic view of the Old South as well as Thomas Dixon’s 1905 book “The Clansman” and D.W. Griffith’s 1915 film “Birth of a Nation.” This second generation of the Klan was not only anti-black but also took a stand against Roman Catholics, Jews, foreigners and organized labor. It was fueled by growing hostility to the surge in immigration that America experienced in the early 20th century along with fears of communist revolution akin to the Bolshevik triumph in Russia in 1917. The organization took as its symbol a burning cross and held rallies, parades and marches around the country. The Great Depression in the 1930s depleted the Klan’s membership ranks, and the organization temporarily disbanded in 1944.

Reconstruction National Archives Andrew Johnson was the only Southern Senator to remain loyal to the Union during the Civil War. As a reward, the pro-war Southern Democrat was appointed as military governor of Tennessee, and later asked to join Abraham Lincoln's ticket as vice-presidential candidate. Reconstruction refers to the period following the Civil War of rebuilding the United States. Although the military conflict had ended, Reconstruction was in many ways still a war. Library of Congress LC-USZ62-175(5-1) This drawing of African American soldiers returning to their families in Little Rock, Arkansas, after the war captures the exhuberant spirit of many former slaves upon gaining their freedom. Slavery, in practical terms, died with the end of the Civil War. The period of Presidential Reconstruction lasted from 1865 to 1867. The Ku Klux Klan was co-founded by former Confederate cavalry general, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The Congressional elections of 1866 brought Radical Republicans to power.

American Experience | Reconstruction: The Second Civil War | Black Legislators The Civil Rights Act of 1866 granted citizenship and the same rights enjoyed by white citizens to all male persons in the United States "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." President Andrew Johnson's veto of the bill was overturned by a two-thirds majority in both houses of Congress, and the bill became law. Johnson's attitude contributed the growth of the Radical Republican movement, which favored increased intervention in the South and more aid to former slaves, and ultimately to Johnson's impeachment. 1866 Civil Rights Act 14 Stat. 27-30, April 9, 1866 A.D.

Sharecropping and tenant farming Sharecropping was common throughout the South well into the twentieth century, and required the work of entire families. In this famous photograph, a six year-old girl picks cotton in Oklahoma. (Photograph by Lewis W. Hine. More about the photograph) After the Civil War, thousands of former slaves and white farmers forced off their land by the bad economy lacked the money to purchase the farmland, seeds, livestock, and equipment they needed to begin farming. Tenant farmers usually paid the landowner rent for farmland and a house. Sharecroppers seldom owned anything. Over the years, low crop yields and unstable crop prices forced more farmers into tenancy. Next: Life on the land: Voices

Carpetbaggers & Scalawags - American Civil War In general, the term “carpetbagger” refers to a traveler who arrives in a new region with only a satchel (or carpetbag) of possessions, and who attempts to profit from or gain control over his new surroundings, often against the will or consent of the original inhabitants. After 1865, a number of northerners moved to the South to purchase land, lease plantations or partner with down-and-out planters in the hopes of making money from cotton. At first they were welcomed, as southerners saw the need for northern capital and investment to get the devastated region back on its feet. They later became an object of much scorn, as many southerners saw them as low-class and opportunistic newcomers seeking to get rich on their misfortune.

14th Amendment | Constitution | US Law Amendment XIV Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. Section 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among the several states according to their respective numbers, counting the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed. Section 3. No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any state, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any state legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any state, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. Section 4. Section 5.

The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow . Jim Crow Stories . The Ku Klux Klan The Ku Klux Klan was originally organized in the winter of 1865-66 in Pulaski, Tennessee as a social club by six Confederate veterans. In the beginning, the Klan was a secret fraternity club rather than a terrorist organization. (Ku Klux was derived from the Greek "kuklos," meaning circle, and the English word clan.) The Klan spread beyond Tennessee to every state in the South and included mayors, judges, and sheriffs as well as common criminals. -- Richard Wormser

Our Documents - 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Voting Rights (1870) Passed by Congress February 26, 1869, and ratified February 3, 1870, the 15th amendment granted African American men the right to vote. To former abolitionists and to the Radical Republicans in Congress who fashioned Reconstruction after the Civil War, the 15th amendment, enacted in 1870, appeared to signify the fulfillment of all promises to African Americans. Set free by the 13th amendment, with citizenship guaranteed by the 14th amendment, black males were given the vote by the 15th amendment. From that point on, the freedmen were generally expected to fend for themselves. African Americans exercised the franchise and held office in many Southern states through the 1880s, but in the early 1890s, steps were taken to ensure subsequent “white supremacy.” The most direct attack on the problem of African American disfranchisement came in 1965.

Sharecropping Sharecropping was an agricultural labor system that developed in Georgia and throughout the South following Reconstruction and lasted until the mid-twentieth century. Under this arrangement, laborers with no land of their own worked on farm plots owned by others, and at the end of the season landowners paid workers a share of the crop. Origins Sharecropping evolved following the failure of both the contract labor system and land reform after the Civil War (1861-65). Sharecropping developed, then, as a system that theoretically benefited both parties. Though the system developed from immediate postwar contingencies, it defined the agricultural system in rural Georgia for close to 100 years. The Labor System The particulars of sharecropping agreements differed from place to place and over time, but generally those workers who could offer nothing but their ability to perform farm tasks made arrangements that overwhelmingly favored the landlord. Sharecropper Life End of Sharecropping

TENANT FARMING AND SHARECROPPING When the Civil War ended, the big question concerned the state of the freed slaves of the South. Recovery of the southern economy depended on getting the freedmen back into the cotton fields. During the period of Reconstruction the Radical Republicans in Congress tried to convert the freedmen into small free-holding farmers, but the former slaves were simply not ready to manage their own farms. What emerged out of necessity was southern farm tenancy, a system of near slavery without legal sanctions. Instead of working in gangs as they had on antebellum plantations, the freedmen became tenants. The planter or landowner assigned each family a small tract of land to farm and provided food, shelter, clothing, and the necessary seeds and farm equipment. In the decades after Reconstruction tenancy and sharecropping became the way of life in the Cotton Belt. As farm tenancy grew, a tenancy ladder evolved. Between 1900 and 1910 the numbers of white tenants doubled. BIBLIOGRAPHY: David E.

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