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Ch 17 - Chapter Seventeen Reconstruction 1863-1877 Part One...

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Chapter Seventeen Reconstruction, 1863—1877
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Part One: Introduction
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Reconstruction, 1863-1877 What does this painting indicate about the task of Reconstruction?
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Chapter Focus Questions What were the competing political plans for reconstructing the defeated Confederacy? How difficult was the transition from slavery to freedom for African Americans? What was the political and social legacy of Reconstruction in the southern states? What were the post-Civil War transformations in the economic and political life of the North?
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Part Two: American Communities
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From Slavery to Freedom in a Black Belt Community? In Hale County, former slaves showed an increased sense of autonomy, expressing it through politics and through their new work patterns. One planter described how freed people refused to do “their former accustomed work.” Former slaveholders had to reorganize their plantations and allow slaves to work the land as sharecroppers, rather than hired hands. Freed people organized themselves and elected two of their number to the state legislature. These acts of autonomy led to a white backlash, including nighttime attacks by Ku Klux Klansmen intent on terrorizing freed blacks and maintaining white social and political supremacy.
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Part Three: The Politics of Reconstruction
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The Defeated South The South had been thoroughly defeated and its economy lay in ruins. The presence of Union troops further embittered white Southerners. The bitterest pill was the changed status of African Americans whose freedom seemed an affront to white supremacy.
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Abraham Lincoln’s Plan During his life, Lincoln had promoted a plan that: authorized amnesty for those swearing an oath of allegiance once 10 percent of a Confederate state’s voters registered their oaths they could establish a state government. Lincoln used a pocket veto to kill a plan passed by Congressional radicals Redistribution of land posed another thorny issue. Congress created the Freedman’s Bureau and passed the Thirteenth Amendment
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Andrew Johnson and Presidential Reconstruction Andrew Johnson, the new president, was a War Democrat from Tennessee. He had used harsh language to describe southern “traitors” but blamed individuals rather than the entire South for secession. While Congress was not in session he granted amnesty to most Confederates. Initially, wealthy landholders and members of the political elite had been excluded, but Johnson pardoned most of them. Johnson appointed provisional governors who organized new governments. By December, Johnson claimed that “restoration” was virtually complete.
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The Radical Republican Vision Radicals Republicans wanted to remake the South in the North’s image, advocating land redistribution to make former slaves independent landowners.
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