The American Promise, Ch 16 Outline

The American Promise Value Edition, Combined Version (Volumes I & II): A History of the United States

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I. Wartime Reconstruction A. "To Bind Up the Nation's Wounds" 1. President Lincoln's second inaugural address suggested that deep compassion for the enemy guided his thinking about peace. 2. Lincoln's plan for reconstruction, issued in December 1863, was designed primarily to shorten the war and end slavery. 3. His Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which included full pardons for rebels willing to renounce secession and accept the abolition of slavery, angered abolitionists, who thought that the president was making a mockery of African Americans' freedom. 4. Congressman Henry Winter Davis and Senator Benjamin Wade sponsored a bill that demanded that at least half of the voters in a conquered rebel state take an oath of allegiance to the United States before reconstruction could begin, prohibited ex- Confederates from participating in the drafting of new state constitutions and also guaranteed the equality of freedmen before the law. 5. Lincoln refused to sign the Wade-Davis bill into law and proceeded to nurture the formation of loyal state governments under his own plan. 6. Lincoln endorsed suffrage for southern blacks for the first time in April, 1865, only four days before his assassination. B. Land and Labor 1. The most critical of all of the problems raised by the North's victory was the South's transition from slavery to free labor. 2. The question of what to do with federally occupied land and how to organize labor on it engaged former slaves, former slaveholders, Union military commanders, and federal government officials long before the war ended. 3. Up and down the Mississippi Valley, occupying federal troops announced a new labor code that required slaveholders to sign contracts with ex-slaves, agreeing to pay them wages and to provide food, housing, and medical care. 4. Planters complained because the new system fell short of slavery, yet African Americans found the new regime to be too reminiscent of slavery to be called free labor. 5. In January 1865, General William T. Sherman set aside part of the coastal land south of Charleston for black settlement. 6. In March 1865, Congress passed a bill establishing the Freedmen's Bureau, which distributed food and clothing to destitute Southerners and eased the transition of blacks from slaves to free persons. 7. Despite the flurry of activity, wartime reconstruction failed to produce agreement about whether the president or Congress had the authority to devise and direct policy or what proper policy should be. C. The African American Quest for Autonomy 1. Ex-slaves never had any doubt about what they wanted freedom to mean—all the rights they were forbidden during their enslavement.
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2. Whites contended that without the discipline of slavery, blacks would revert to their "natural" condition: lazy, irresponsible, and wild. 3.
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The American Promise, Ch 16 Outline - I Wartime...

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