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ss study guide Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

reconstruction era stu

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

1863- 1865

Lincoln's War Time Recons­tru­ction


Lincoln set up a process for political recons­tru­ction of the state govern­ments in the South so that Unionists were in charge rather than secess­ion­ists.
• Full presid­ential pardons would be granted to most Confed­erates who (1) took an oath of allegiance to the Union and the U.S. Consti­tution, and (2) accepted the emanci­pation of slaves.
• A state government could be reesta­blished and accepted as legitimate by the U.S. president as soon as at least 10 percent of the voters in that state took the loyalty oath.

Andrew Johnson

After Abraham Lincoln's murder in 1865, his vice-p­res­ident, Andrew Johnson, became president. He sought to recons­titute the Union quickly. His Procla­mation of Amnesty and Recons­tru­ction in May 1865 provided sweeping “amnesty and pardon” to rebellious Southe­rners. He provided Southern states with a clear path back to readmi­ssion.

April 1865- December 1865


Jonhson and the Recons­tru­ction

• Johnson gave a full pardon to all White Southe­rners and allowed them to reclaim, previo­usly, confis­cated land
• This land was originally confis­cated since these White Southe­rners took up arms against the United States and was, under Lincoln’s Recons­tru­ction, supposed to be parceled out to African Americans to began small farms
• Johnson indivi­dually pardoned many high-r­anking Confed­erate generals and politi­cians and allowed them to take positions of power
• These politi­cians created Black Codes that limited African American freedom
• At the same time the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist group, was establ­ished which physically assaulted and intimi­dated African Americ­ans. 

Congre­ssional Recons­tru­ction 1865-1868

The second round of the Recons­tru­ction dominated by Congress and featured policies that were harsher on Southern Whites and more protective of freed African Americans.

Freedman's Bureau Act

President Johnson originally vetoed the contin­uation of the Freedmen’s Bureau on the grounds that it interfered with States’ Rights, gave preference to certain groups more than others, and cost the federal government too much money
The bureau acted as a welfare agency, providing food, shelter, and medical aid for both Black and White Americans left destitute by the war
Congress overrode the presid­ent’s veto, but the Bureau was chroni­cally underf­unded

Civil Rights Act of 1866

Precursor to the 14th Amendment that establ­ished African Americans as citizens and defined what citize­nship wa
President Johnson vetoed this bill, but Congress overrode his veto – it was officially ratified in 1870

Recons­tru­ction Bill 1867

Led to “Radical Recons­tru­ction” because many thought that neither justice nor healing was properly secured after the Civil War
This bill required states to ratify the 14th amendment before being readmitted to the Union

Jonhson Impeached - February 1868

Johnson challenged the consti­tut­ion­ality of the new law by dismissing Stanton. The House responded by impeaching Johnson. He was charged with 11 “high crimes and misdem­ean­ors,” thus becoming the first president to be impeached.



The election of Grant on March 4,1873


15th Amendment- February 3, 1870

• Last Recons­tru­ction Amendment
• Consti­tution prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s “race, color, or previous condition of servit­ude”

Enforc­ement Acts-  1870 & 1871

• They were criminal codes which protected Africa­n-A­mer­icans’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws
• Allowed the federal government to intervene if states were not upholding these rights 



Panic of 1873

• Catalyst was the failure of Jay Cooke and Company, an investment banking firm, principle banker of the Northern Pacific Railroad and of wartime government loans -> allowed people to get bonds and loans for the first time
• Failure : New York Stock Exchange closes for 10 days, factories default, forecl­osures are widespread -> President Grant is blamed

Democratic Party Rise

Depression was blamed on Grant and the Republican Party -> switch to Democratic
Republican focused heavily on Recons­tru­ction initia­tives, while the Democrats did not
Recons­tru­ction officially ended in 1877.

Civil Rights Act of 1875

Last federal civil rights law enacted until the 1950s
Aim to “protect all citizens in their civil and legal rights” but had no means to enforce this legisl­ation

Removal of Federal Troops

Unwritten Compromise of 1877 – Hayes said he would remove troops from South, which allowed him to get enough votes to become president
Troops were protecting Republican govern­ments in South -> removal equals the govern­ments becoming Democratic and ostrac­izing Black Republ­icans

Voter suppre­ssion in the late 1870s

Reemerged when Democratic Govern­ments gained control of the South