Notes - September 5 2012 Reconstruction 1863-1877 Freedmens...

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September 5, 2012Reconstruction 1863-1877Freedmen’s BureauAided the transition from slavery to freedom-ReliefDistributed food, clothing to refugee’s in south (white and black)-Justice in CourtsCreated courts to adjudicate conflicts between whites and blacks, and helped draw up contracts between laborers and land owners Extra judicial courts: not federal or state courts but helped blacks with contracts with land holders (so illiterates wouldn’t be taken advantage of) – advocate for laborers-EducationFreedmen’s bureau schools: white volunteers from North to teach in these bureaus schoolsTaught reading, writing, etc. AND politics and government (so they know their rights and can be good citizens themselves)They are no citizens, so they can vote – learn to be good citizensObstacles for bureau-Hostility from white southerners (fear of political, social equality)-Lack of adequate funding (expensive civil war, etc.)-Relied on army (had to have army protection, schools were big targets for violence, but army was rebuilding south, resisting change and fighting Indians on western front)-Not all agents committedMany were not committed to black civil rightSuccesses of bureau-Protected the interest of black workers-Ensured AA justice in courts (at least short term)-Bureau schools were success some were strongholds for AA school systems across south more lasting impact than other partsDecember 1865 13thAmendment abolishing slavery-Response southern legislature passed black codesBlack CodesIntended to insure that slavery would continue in fact if not in name-A way for them to go around 13thContinued legalized discrimination between blacks and whitesVaried from state to stateAll based on “Mississippi Plan”-In Mississippi, were not allowed to purchase land share cropping-This law meant they could not continue livelihood (faming) unless they left state, share cropping, or tenant farmingContinued slavery in a sense (couldn’t get out of contracts)
Federal government couldn’t prevent b/c they were states rights oriented, and blacks were in no position to advocate for themselves-In South Carolina, couldn’t own city lots, meaning you are forced out of urban areas, keeping them in farming situations-‘Vagrants’ punished with severe fines (loitering, not having job)-March 1866 congress passed first of civil rights act14thamendment citizenship to everyone born in the US-Necessary after the Dread Scott case (AAs were not people but more like furniture), which said if you were born a slave, you are always a slave15thamendment: right to vote regardless of previous position 1865 – Lincoln assassinated (lenient policy kept us together)Andrew JohnsonAlso lenient plan for amnestyPardons to many white southerners-Restored political and property rights (excluding slaves)Excluded confederate leaders and planters, landholders whose war property more than $20,000 how different from Lincoln was going to punish southern elite-However planters received political pardons after the fact

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