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Reconstruction The Freemen & Restoring the Union

Destruction of the Old South 

The war had utterly devastated the CSA • Physical destruction • Cultural destruction • Way of life was altered • Considerable economic displacement

Manassas Junction, Virginia

Richmond, Virginia

The Freedmen 

Sudden freedom was not what many former slaves thought it would be. Difficult transition for many freedmen. It was hard for the newly freed slaves to adapt to freedom. Many had high hopes. Sherman wanted to divide up parts of the CSA and give each Freedman 40 acres of land that had belonged to a confederate.

Southern Despair  

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White southerners faced a daunting task. Their states had been physically destroyed. Disease and hunger were problems. Capital was gone. Three sources of financial loss. • • •

Slaves were now free. Destruction of property. Confederate economic system destroyed, the CSA’s debts, currency, and bonds were void.

Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction 

Lincoln wanted to heal the Union quickly. “I shall destroy my enemy by making him my friend.” Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction was issued on Dec. 8, 1863. • It offered a full pardon, amnesty, to all southerners, except high ranking Confederate leaders, who would swear an oath of allegiance to the U.S. Constitution and would swear to follow all federal laws. • The “10 Percent Plan” would allow a state to rejoin the Union when 10 percent of the state’s residents had sworn their loyalty to the Union.

Lincoln’s approach 

Unlike Congress, Lincoln did not want to have a harsh reconstruction plan. Lincoln favored a flexible, lenient approach. We will never know if his ideas would have worked. Assassinated by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865.

Lincoln’s Private Car Funeral Coach

The Locomotive That Pulled Lincoln’s Funeral Train Photo Courtesy of H.L. Broadbelt Collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works

Lincoln’s Funeral Train in Pennsylvania

Photo courtesy of H.L. Broadbelt Collection of Baldwin Locomotive Works Negatives

Lincoln’s rail pass as a state legislator in Illinois. He was a strong advocate of rail transportation and a transcontinental railroad. He believed it would tie the west to the rest of the nation.

The Funeral Train on the Pennsylvania Railroad Photo courtesy of the Pennsylvania Railroad

Funeral Train Power In Ohio Photo courtesy of Dr. S.R. Woods

Final Leg of the Journey The Funeral Train heads for Springfield, Illinois Photo courtesy of the Illinois Central Railway

President Andrew Johnson 

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He was a Democrat. Unusual as Lincoln was a Republican. Selected for his proUnion beliefs as well as the hope that he could reach out to Southern Democrats and Unionists. Former slaveholder and tailor. Very little former education. Hated the wealthy Southern Planters. Very low regard for African-Americans. Did not have Lincoln’s political skill or the ability to compromise.

Johnson & Congress 

Initially Johnson got along with Congress. Wanted to punish high ranking CSA officials – this pleased Congress. Then he issued a blanket pardon to all confederates except CSA officeholders and wealthy landowners. He pardoned these on an individual basis.

Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan 

Only required the following: • Nullify their acts of secession • Abolish slavery • Refuse to pay CSA debts – a provision designed to hurt the wealthy planters who had financed the CSA.

Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan 

Would allow former CSA leaders to be in control of Reconstruction in their own state. Many were ex-CSA military officers who still wore their uniforms. Removed black Union soldiers from the South due to complaints. Recognized Mississippi’s new government despite the state’s failure to ratify the 13th amendment abolishing slavery.

The Black Codes 

Designed to deny former slaves their new found freedom. Prevented them from: • • • •

Holding meetings unless whites were present. Travel without a permit. Own firearms. Reestablished white control over black labor. Some states required 12 month labor contracts.

Congressional Objections  

Did not like the 10 Percent Plan. Did not trust the rebels to conform or protect the rights of the newly freed slaves. Also felt Congress should control Reconstruction.

Wade-Davis Bill 

Passed in the summer of 1864, it required the former Confederate states to abolish slavery and for a majority of each state’s white males to take a loyalty oath. Vetoed by Lincoln. He did not wish to be tied to a single plan of Reconstruction.