Wy, it's just ez clear ez Aggers, Clear ez one an' one make two, Chaps thet make black slaves o' niggers, Want to make wite slaves o' you




НазваниеWy, it's just ez clear ez Aggers, Clear ez one an' one make two, Chaps thet make black slaves o' niggers, Want to make wite slaves o' you
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For Further Reading, see page A-18 of the Appendix. For Web resources, go to http://ccrflcrge.hmco.com.


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■■■■■■I

In 1861 Robert Smalls was a slave in South Car­olina, while Wade Hampton was a South Carolina legislator and one of the richest planters in the South. The events of the next fifteen years turned each man's world upside down more than once.

Robert Smalls became a Union hero in 1862 when he escaped from slavery by stealing a Confederate ship from Charleston harbor and piloting it to the blockad­ing federal fleet. Thereafter, Smalls guided Union gunboats and toured the North recruiting black troops. Though he enjoyed celebrity status, Smalls en­countered racial discrimination in the North and found in 1865 that neither his heroism nor his free­dom entitled him to vote. But by 1868 that, too, had changed, and he began a career in politics. Smalls helped write his state's constitution, served in the leg­islature, and won election to Congress. There he de­nounced white violence and worked for educational and economic opportunity for his people. But Smalls was helpless to prevent the return of white control in South Carolina in 1877.

Wade Hampton joined the Confederate Army in 1861 and soon became a general. The South's defeat profoundly shocked him; and as Union forces closed in, he spoke wildly of "fore[ing] my way across the Mississippi" with "a devoted band of Cavalry" and continuing to fight. The postwar years brought further painful changes, including forced bankruptcy. In 1867 Hampton surprised other privileged whites by sup­porting suffrage for a few educated and propertied for­mer slaves. By 1876, though, Hampton's fortunes were again on the rise: Democrats nominated him for gov­ernor, promising that he would "redeem" South Car­olina from Republican misrule. Among Hampton's white supporters were the paramilitary Red Shirts who pledged to "control the vote of at least one Negro, by intimidation, purchase," or other means. Hampton won the governor's chair, then a seat in the U.S. Sen­ate, and eventually an honored place as a distinguished Confederate veteran.

As the careers of Smalls and Hampton suggest, Reconstruction was revolutionary, but revolutions can

On January 6. 1874, Congressman Robert B. Elliott of South Carolina made an eloquent defense of the pro­posed civil rights bill. After a review of legal issues, he called on Congress to ignore the opposition of south­erners, who he said had tried to destroy the nation, and deal justly with the Negro race, which had faithfully de­fended the Union. (Chicago Historical Society)

^11

Chapter 16 Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution, 1865-1877

go backward. Robert Smalls rose from bondage to ex­perience glory, emancipation, political power, and, ul­timately, disappointment. Wade Hampton fell from privilege to endure defeat, failure, bankruptcy, and, eventually, a return to leadership in his state. Unprece­dented changes took place in American society, but the underlying realities of economic power, racial preju­dice, and judicial conservatism limited Reconstruc­tion's revolutionary potential.

Nowhere was the turmoil of Reconstruction more evident than in national politics. Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson, fought bitterly with Congress over the shaping of a plan for Reconstruction. Though a southerner, Johnson had always been a foe of the South's wealthy planters, and his first acts as president suggested that he would be tough on "traitors." Before the end of 1865, however, Johnson's policies changed direction, and he became the friend and protector of southern interests. Jefferson Davis stayed in prison for two years, but Johnson quickly pardoned other rebel leaders and allowed them to occupy high offices. He also ordered the return of plantations to their original owners, including abandoned coastal lands on which forty thousand freed men and women had settled by order of General William Tecumseh Sherman early in 1865. Burdened by a train of thousands of black refugees following his army on the march to the sea, Sherman issued special Field Order Number 15 in February 1865. The order set aside 400,000 acres of land in the Georgia and South Carolina Sea Islands re­gion for the exclusive settlement of the freedpeople. Hope swelled among ex-slaves as 40-acre plots, mules, and "possessary titles" were promised to them. But President Johnson ordered them removed in October and returned the land to its original owners under army protection.

Johnson imagined a lenient and rapid "restora­tion" of the South to the Union rather than the funda­mental "reconstruction" that Republican congressmen favored. Between 1866 and 1868, the president and the Republican leadership in Congress engaged in a bitterly antagonistic power struggle over how to put the United States back together again.

Before these struggles were over, Congress had impeached the president, enfranchised the freed men, and given them a role in reconstructing the South. The nation also adopted the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, ushering equal protection of the law, a definition of citizenship, and universal manhood suf­frage into the Constitution. Yet some underlying real­ities never changed. Little was done to open the doors of economic opportunity to black southerners, and throughout this period of upheaval, the cause of equal rights for African Americans as the central aim of Re­construction rose and fell.

By 1869 the Ku Klux Klan employed extensive vi­olence and terror to thwart Reconstruction and under­mine black freedom. As white Democrats in the South recaptured state governments, undoing the political revolution, they encountered little opposition from the North. Voters had grown weary and suspicious of the use of federal power to prop up failing Republican governments. Moreover, as the 1870s advanced, in­dustrial growth accelerated, creating new opportu­nities and raising new priorities. A new economic depression after 1873 refocused northerners' atten­tion. Political corruption became a nationwide scan­dal, bribery a way of doing business. "Money has become the God of this country," wrote one disgusted observer, "and men, otherwise good men, are almost compelled to worship at her shrine."

Thus Reconstruction became a revolution eclipsed. The white South's desire to take back control of their states and of race relations overwhelmed the national interest in stopping them. But Reconstruction left en­during legacies the nation has struggled with ever since. ■

Wartime Reconstruction

■Civil wars leave immense challenges of healing, justice, and physical rebuilding. Anticipating that process, Reconstruction of the Union was an issue as early as 1863, well before the war ended. Many key questions loomed on the horizon when and if the North suc­ceeded on the battlefield. How would the nation be restored? How would southern states and leaders be treated? As errant brothers, or as traitors? What was the constitutional basis for readmission of states to the Union and where, if anywhere, could American statesmen look for precedence or guidance? More specifically, four vexing problems compelled early thinking and would haunt the Reconstruction era throughout. One, who would rule in the South once it was defeated? Two, who would rule in the federal gov­ernment, Congress or the president? Three, what were the dimensions of black freedom, and what rights under law would the freedmen enjoy? And four, would Reconstruction be a preservation of the old re­public, or a second revolution, a re-invention of a new republic?

Wartime Reconstruction

important events

1865 Johnson begins rapid and lenient

Confederate leaders regain power White southern governments pass

restrictive black codes (ingress refuses to seat southern

Thirteenth Amendment ratified

1866 Congress passes Civil.Rights Act arid

renewal of Freedmen's Bureau over

(Congress approves Fourteenth Amendment Most southern states reject Fourteenth

In Ex pane Milligau the Supreme Court reasserts its influence

In congressional elections, Republicans win more than two-thirds majority, a renunciation of Johnsons plan of

1867 Congress passes Reconstruction Act and

"Tenure of Office Act Secretary of State William Seward arranges

purchase of Alaska Constitutional conventions called in

1866 House impeaches Johnson; Senate

Most southern states gain readmissiou to

the Union under Radical plan Fourteenth Amendment ratified Gram elected president

1869 Congress approves Fifteenth Amendment ... (ratified in 1870)

1870 Congress passes first F.nforcement Act

1871 Congress passes second F.nforctment Act . and Ku KJux KlanAct

Treaty with England settles/i/^^w//claims

1872 .Arnne^ty Act ffte

■ Confederals^^.tjom r|^iferib^s: ^ '.^w^g'^:

Liberal RepubKca^^

. . Debtors targe .g^Je&imeat- ^.k^^je&^^isi;

' in^cj^latjan . /,■■'' v?--^-"

.GrantreHecfced '■

187£ Sfaughier-Hintse. cases Knott poorer: of ^ ' ■ -Fourteenthto^dment: -;' :\-C'-x. . Panic of 1 $73 sends eeoboiny into exferided .' depression, lei^

unein^loyrpenrarid libqf-rf&'--"''^/.;.^(; 1874. Graint vetoes increase iri -supply:of p£jj#

. pemocrats win majority inV-tfow&of: ; \f. .. Representatives.; - ::.J-'^:.

1875 Several Grant ap^bmr^:^ '. ".. corruption' '.

. Congress passes yfe&it'Qiw Wffis:^;';;'?:1, ■ . Congress requites1 that afi^';i8$8 $£ee$fe%fe; be convertiblejini»''go)4:;.'''''V; 'y%':.-::i;'.-: Dembcraitic'^a'rty. continue* id.'.'refe^a*-..

control 6fsou^ . .supremacy caiiipaigns-.' ^..^r

1876 US.v; GriMfeivHdt^

weal^p Ft>urt63r^ ■' Presidential election id^sp^^i:,^^"^/■•V^:V^'-!-f : 1877. Congress elects H"ayes.p're«i4eftt'.;';. \y0-.^--l' Exodu^ters .rbi^te-'to/Kans^ .. y .■'■>; .v

.-'■' ■ southern states not-^\^o^i9^^:hjf:m '!'•:;-. p. Qeriioera^

Abraham Lincoln had never been antisouthern, though he had grown to become the leader of an antislavery war. He lost three broth­ers-in-law killed in the war on the Confederate side. His worst fear was that the war would collapse at the end into guerrilla warfare across the South, with surviving bands of Confederates carrying

Lincoln's

10 Percent Plan

on resistance. Lincoln insisted that his generals give lenient terms to southern soldiers once they surren­dered. He planned early for a swift and moderate Reconstruction process. In his Second Inaugural Ad­dress, delivered only a month before his assassination, Lincoln promised "malice toward none; with charity for all," as Americans strove to "bind up the nation's wounds."

Chapter 16 Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution, 1865-1877

Congress and the

Wade-Davis Bill

In his "Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruc­tion," issued in December 1863, Lincoln proposed to replace majority rule with "loyal rule" as a means of reconstructing southern state governments before hostilities ended. He envisioned Reconstruction as a process of experimentation. He proposed pardons to all ex-Confederates except the highest ranking mili­tary and civilian officers. Then, as soon as 10 percent of the voting population in the 1860 election had taken an oath and established a government, it would be rec­ognized. Lincoln did not consult Congress in these plans, and "loyal" assemblies (known as "Lincoln gov­ernments") were created in Louisiana, Tennessee, and Arkansas in 1864, states largely occupied by Union troops. These governments were weak and dependent on northern armies for survival.

Congress responded with great hostility to Lin­coln's moves to readmit southern states in what seemed such a premature manner. Many Rad­ical Republicans, strong proponents of emancipation and aggressive pros­ecution of the war against the South, considered the 10 percent plan a "mere mockery" of democracy. Led by Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania in the House and Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in the Senate, congressional Republicans locked horns with Lincoln and proposed a longer and harsher approach to Re­construction. Stevens advocated a "conquered prov­inces" theory, and Sumner, recovered from his beating at the hands of Preston Brooks (see page 375), em­ployed an argument of "state suicide." Both contended that southerners had organized as a foreign nation to make war on the United States and, by secession, had destroyed their status as states. They therefore must be treated as "conquered foreign lands" and reverted to the status of "unorganized territories" before any process of readmission could be entertained (by Con­gress).

In July 1864, the Wade-Davis bill, named for its sponsors, Senator Benjamin Wade of Ohio and Con­gressman Henry W. Davis of Maryland, emerged from Congress with three specific conditions for southern readmission: one, it demanded a "majority" of white male citizens participating in the creation of a new government; two, to vote or be a delegate to constitu­tional conventions, men had to take an "iron-clad" oath (declaring they had never aided the Confederate war effort); and three, all officers above the rank of lieutenant, and all civil officials in the Confederacy, would be disfranchised and deemed "not a citizen of the United States." The Confederate states were to be defined as "conquered enemies," said Davis, and the process of readmission was to be harsh and slow. Lin­coln, ever the adroit politician, pocket-vetoed the bill and issued a conciliatory proclamation of his own an­nouncing that he would not be inflexibly committed to any "one plan" of Reconstruction.

The timing of this exchange came during Grant's bloody campaign in Virginia against Lee. The out­come of the war and Lincoln's reelection were still in doubt. Radical members of his own party, indeed, were organizing a dump-Lincoln campaign for the 1864 election. On August 5, Radical Republicans issued the "Wade-Davis Manifesto" to newspapers, which con­tained an unprecedented attack on a sitting president by members of his own party. They accused Lincoln of usurpation of presidential powers and disgraceful le­niency toward an eventually conquered South. What emerged in 1864—1865 was a clear-cut debate and a potential constitutional crisis. Lincoln saw Recon­struction as a means of weakening the Confederacy and winning the war; the Radicals saw it as a longer-term transformation of the political and racial order of the country.

In early 1865, Congress and Lincoln joined in passing two important measures that recognized sla­very's centrality to the war. On Janu-

.__t """ ary 31, with strong administration
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