HIS 109 Test 1 Notes .docx - Reconstruction Aftermath o...

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Reconstruction Aftermath: o South was desolated o 250,000+ confederate soldiers died (20% of adult white male population of the region) o Thousands of more were ill and sick (no antibiotics) (many came back with amputated limbs) o Most white southern families lost men o 4 million blacks emerging from slavery and most had nowhere to go (proposals to give land or income but don’t go through congress) o Women took over farms most of the time The defeated south: o Confederate currency was worthless (many went from rich to poor) (now figure out how to eat and live) o Union $ were scares in the south (many had to resort to bartering) o Most had little personal property o Many families had no adult males o With emancipation of slaves, the whole southern economy had to be rebuilt o Widespread starvation and homelessness o Direct cost to the south was $3.3 billion (cost of putting union back together) o North wants to rebuild south in north image o 13th amendment freed slaves o Didn’t want blacks to have education because they will ask questions and some wrote letters to loved ones on other plantations o Small number of white people owned slaves o 1920s economy was GREAT but half of people were under poverty level o Plantation owners sometimes owned hundreds of slaves Competing notions of freedom: o African americans: end to slavery (proposals of redistributing resources and legal equality) o All African americans wanted independence from white control o Perpetual slavery: maternal lineage (become slave if mother is slave because white men raped slaves and they were seen as property) o Reconstruction amendments: 13 (freed slaves), 14 (citizenship), 15 (male right to vote) (voting is a privilege not a right) Black churches: o The first social institution fully controlled by African americans o Forms one of the cornerstones of the African American community to this day o Before emancipation, southerners law required white preachers (many had regularly used scripture to justify slavery)
o Black churches became the center for not only religious life but many other activities: schools, picnics, political meetings Freedmen’s bureau: o Government created the freedmen’s bureau (General Oliver O. Howard 1865) (an agency of the army) o Distributed food to former slaves o Made efforts to settle blacks on the lands of their own o Also offered assistance to poor whites o To ensure equal judicial access for blacks and poor whites o Only had authority to operate for one year o By the end of war, other options were emerging o Established schools staffed by missionaries Masters and mistress: mistress took anger out on slaves o Planters o Yeomen farmers o Poor white: felt superior to slaves because they were free; after 13 th amendment poor whites still felt superior because they were white; jim crow laws had homeless black men arrested o Former slaves (economy order) African American schools: o Freedmen’s bureau created schools o By 1869 the FB was supervising nearly 3,000 schools with 150,000 students in the south o About ½ teachers were former slaves o

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