I. The Problems of Peace
After the war, there were many questions over what to do with the free Blacks, such as how to
reintegrate the Southern states into the Union, what to do with
, and who would be in
The Southern way of life had been ruined, as crops and farms were destroyed, the slaves had been
freed, the cities were burnt down, but still, and many Southerners remained defiant.
II. Freedmen Define Freedom
At first, the freed Blacks faced a confusing situation, as many slave owners re-enslaved their slaves
after Union troops left.
Other planters resisted emancipation through legal means, citing that emancipation wasn’t valid
until local or state courts declared it.
Some slaves loyally stuck to their owners while others let out their pent-up bitterness by pillaging
their former masters’ land, property, and even whipping the old master.
Eventually, even resisting plantation owners had to give up their slaves, and afterwards tens of
thousands of Blacks took to the roads to find new work or look for lost loved ones.
The church became the focus of the Black community life in the years following the war.
Emancipation also meant education for Blacks, but despite all the gains Blacks made, they still
faced severe discrimination and would have to wait a century before truly attaining their rights.
III. The Freedman’s Bureau
In order to train the unskilled and unlettered freed Blacks, the
was set up on
March 3, 1865. Union General
Oliver O. Howard
The bureau taught about 200,000 Blacks how to read (its greatest success), since most former
slaves wanted to narrow the literary gap between them and Whites; the bureau also read the word of God.
However, it wasn’t as effective as it could have been, as evidenced by the further discrimination of
Blacks, and it expired in 1872 after much criticism by racist Whites.
IV. Johnson: The Tailor President
came from very poor and humble beginnings, and he served in Congress for
many years (he was the only Confederate congressman not to leave Congress when the rest of the South
He was feared for his reputation of having a short temper and being a great fighter, was a dogmatic
champion of states’ rights and the Constitution, and he was a Tennessean who never earned the trust of
the North and never regained the confidence of the South.
V. Presidential Reconstruction
believed that the South had never legally withdrawn from the Union,
restoration was to be relatively simple. In his plan for restoring the union, the southern states could be
reintegrated into the Union if and when they had only 10% of its voters pledge and taken an oath to the
Union, and also acknowledge the emancipation of the slaves; it was appropriately called the