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ReconstructionThe Better Angels of our Nature
Abraham Lincoln’s Inaugural Address•In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to "preserve, protect, and defend it.“ I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.--March, 1861
Source: Congressional Research Service
Objectives•What was reconstruction?•What was the impact of slavery?•What was the legal basis of reconstruction?•Did reconstruction fail?
Why did we fight the Civil War?•States’ Rights or Slavery?
The Civil War
States’ Rights•Federalists vs. Anti-Federalists•The balance of federal powers and those powers held by the states as defined in the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution •Article VI, paragraph 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.•Southern States demanded the Bill of Rights (first 10 amendments to the Constitution) because of their fears of the Federal government being to powerful. In theory, protecting States’ Rights thereby protects individual rights.•Southern States used the States’ Rights argument to secede from the union causing the Civil War. They claimed that any individual state had the right to choose slavery or not.
Reconstruction, 1865-1877•Reconstruction was the process of bringing the North and South back together after the Civil War and integrating former slaves in to the mainstream of American society
Reconstruction, 1865-1877•After over 250 years of slavery, social customs, local and state laws, attitudes, everything was impacted
Slavery•Portuguese the first to engage in Atlantic Slave Trade based on need for sugar plantation workers•Spanish first brought slaves to Cuba•Main destination for African slaves was Brazil•The rest of the Europeans began slave trading in 17thcentury•1619 Jamestown Colony