Civil Rights Act of 1875

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John A. Macdonald
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Oliver O. Howard
Oliver O. Howard

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Tommy Dorsey
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Jefferson Davis
Jefferson Davis

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Restoring relations with the South
[The 12 year period following the Civil
War (1865-1877)]
The Road to Reunion Facts
• Conditions in the South
2/3rd of RR were destroyed
90% of bridges were destroyed
Farms and plantations were in shambles.
1000s of disabled soldiers
Cities had been leveled: Charleston, Richmond, Atlanta,
Savannah, (Columbia, SC = “wilderness of ruins”)
• Mississippi
– 1/3rd of white men of military age had been killed or disabled
– 1/5th of state’s revenue went to provide for artificial limbs for the
• Death total
– 620,00 men died in the Civil War
– North = 364,000 (1 out of 5)
– South = 258,000 (1 out of 4)
• $4 billion worth of property destroyed
• Freedom given to 4 million African Americans
Ten Percent Plan
Lincoln announced his plans for reconstruction in December 1863.
• Offered amnesty or official forgiveness of crimes to
Southerners who pledged an oath of loyalty to the United
States and accepted the elimination of slavery
• Applied to everyone except a few high-ranking
Confederate officials
• Once 10% of the voters in 1860 had taken the oath of
loyalty, those voters could set up a new government.
New additions
• Louisiana, Arkansas, and
Tennessee took advantage of
this plan and applied for
admission to the Union in 1864.
• Congress had problems with
this because they felt that
Congress was in control of the
admittance of new states.
Radical Republicans
or Radicals
• Some Republican members of
Congress wanted to punish the
rebellious Southern states and
destroy all Southern economic
and political powers.
• Opposed slavery and wanted
to use federal power to force
changes in the South.
Wade-Davis Bill
• Sponsors: Benjamin
Wade of OH and Henry
Winter Davis of MD
• Put South under military
• Required a majority of a
state’s electorate to take
the loyalty oath and the
abolition of slavery
• When a majority of the
white males of the state
make the pledge, the
governor can call a state
constitutional convention
• Can be elected only if you
took the oath
• Lincoln used a pocket
veto – didn’t sign it for 10
days will Congress was
not in session
13th Amendment
• Approved by Senate in April 1864 but
rejected by the House
• It finally was passed on January 31, 1865
with only 3 more votes than the 2/3rds
The institution that had
divided the nation no
longer existed.
Quote from Lincoln’s inaugural
speech on March 4, 1865
“With malice toward none;
with charity for all; . . . Let
us strive on to finish the
work we are in; to bind up
the nation’s wounds; . . . To
do all which may achieve
and cherish a just and a
lasting peace, among
ourselves, and with all
Frederick Douglass and John
Wilkes Booth attended the
second inauguration of
Abraham Lincoln.
Lincoln’s assassination
• Good Friday @ Ford’s
Theatre on April 14,
1865 while watching the
play Our American
• Assassin– John Wilkes
John Wilkes Booth
Reactions to Lincoln’s death . . .
• Radical Republicans –viewed it with relief
because they had feared that former
Southern leaders would regain power
under Lincoln (now they could enforce
their harsher views)
• Others viewed it as a tragedy.
• The shocked country deeply mourned.
Lincoln’s Funeral
• Funeral
– Gen. Grant openly
– April 21st a funeral
train carrying
Lincoln’s body began
its journey from D.C.
to his home of
Springfield, Illinois.
– The President became
one of the causalities
of the war.
President of
the United States . . .
Andrew Johnson
Views of the new President
• Vowed to keep the policies of Lincoln’
• Southern Democrat (TN)
• Radicals thought he’d keep the Southerners out
of office which would allow former slaves to take
• Former slave holder who cared little about the
rights of African Americans
• “White men alone must manage the South.”
• Represented the ideas of small farmers and
Johnson’s Plan for Reconstruction
• 2 proclamations:
– Offered amnesty and return of property – except
slavery – to all who take the oath of loyalty to the
Union (They could appeal to President for pardon.)
– Each state would be appointed a temporary governor
who would oversee the election of convention
delegates. Only those who have taken the oath could
vote or serve as delegates.
• New state constitutions could be written.
• Had to ratify 13th amendment, declare secession
illegal, and agree not to pay Confederate debts
Radical Opposition
• Johnson’s plan had allowed the return of
Confederate leaders.
– Mississippians elected a former Confederate general
as governor.
– Georgia voters chose Alexander Stephens (VP of
CSA) as US Senator.
• Johnson could have called for new elections but
that would be admitting that his plan had failed.
• Instead, he gave pardons to nearly every
Confederate leader who asked for it.
In 1865, Jefferson Davis
tried to flee into Mexico.
He was caught and imprisoned for
two years.
Black Codes
These were not as strict as the slave codes before the Civil War.
• These were restrictive laws that applied only to
African Americans. (They were denied the right
to vote, an opportunity to learn, and freedom to
– SC – AA had to have licenses to do any jobs other
than farm work.
– MS – prevented them from buying or even renting
– Vagrancy laws in many states imposed fines on
unemployed AA. They would be auctioned off to
white landowners who paid their fine.
• President did nothing.
Civil Rights Laws
Freedmen’s Bureau
• Created in March 1865
• It worked to provide education, housing,
and other improvements for African
Americans in the South.
• Johnson vetoed the bill.
The Freedmen's Bureau spent $17,000 to
help establish homes and distribute food,
established 4,000 schools and 100 hospitals
for former slaves. This Bureau also helped
freedmen find new jobs.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
• Radicals response to the Freedmen’s Bureau
• Guaranteed African Americans some basic rights
of citizens, such as owning property and bringing
• Johnson vetoed it.
• Radicals and Moderate Republicans made
history with the 1st override of a presidential veto
on a significant matter.
• They went on to pass the Freedmen’s Bureau
over the President’s veto.
Bill of Rights finally
apply to ALL Americans.
Thanks to the
Civil Rights Act
of 1866
14th Amendment
Defined citizenship to include African
Johnson fought
against its
Between 1865 and 1868,
Wisconsin, Minnesota,
Connecticut, Nebraska, Ohio,
New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and
Michigan denied suffrage to
African Americans.
Radical Reconstruction
By 1868, LA, AL, AK, FL, NC,
and SC had met the new
requirements of rewriting
their constitutions to allow for
the freedom of African
Americans and regained their
Command of the Army Act, 1867
It severely limited the
President’s power as
commander in chief.
Tenure of Office Act
It required Senate
approval for the President
to remove any
government official,
including cabinet
members, whose
appointments had
required its consent.
Johnson’s reaction
• He had long wanted to get rid of Secretary
of War, Edwin Stanton, because Stanton
openly sided with the Radicals.
• So he dismissed him during a
Congressional recess.
• Stanton barricaded himself inside his office
and refused to be fired.
• The issue went to the Supreme Court.
• On February 24, 1868, for
the first time in American
history the House voted
126 to 47 to impeach a
• According to the
Constitution, the House
can vote to impeach the
President for “high crimes
and misdemeanors.”
• Most charges against
Johnson arose from his
dismissal of Secretary of
War, Edwin Stanton,
which allegedly violated
the Tenure of Office Act.
Johnson claimed the act
was unconstitutional.
Years later the Supreme
Court agreed.
Johnson’s impeachment
• House – sole power of impeachment
• Senate – acts as the jury
• Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court – acts as
• To be officially removed from office, one has to
be found guilty by 2/3rd of the Senators.
• FINAL VOTE: 35 to 19 (1 ballot shy of the 2/3rd
• Checks and balances in action
Election of 1868
Presidential Election of 1868
• Radical Republicans chose
General Ulysses S. Grant.
• Democrats nominated
Horatio Seymour (former
governor of NY)
• Winner is . . . with 214 out
of 294 electoral votes . . .
President of
the United States
General Ulysses S. Grant
The Plight of Workers
• To have social and economic
status in the South one
needed land
• Tenant farmers – farmed land
that they rented
• Sharecroppers – people who
worked the owner’s land and
received a share of the crops
in return
The Freedmen’s Bureau
• An agency of the army directed by General
Oliver O. Howard.
• Distributed food to million of former slaves
• Made efforts to settle African Americans on
their own land
• Provided medical help
• Tried to help them find jobs
• By 1867- it had started 46 hospitals and
staffed them with doctors and nurses.
• At first the Bureau provided for the sale of
land to freed people.
• African Americans began working the land
in hopes of buying it.
• President Johnson’s Reconstruction
program ordered this land back to its
original owners.
Bureau’s achievements
lay in education
• Started free public schools for African American
men, women, and children
• Private organizations like missionary societies
supplied teachers and books.
• 1869-more than 247,000 students attended
4,329 schools
• Established colleges like Howard University, Fisk
University, and Hampton Institute
• Bureau ended in 1872
Before the Civil War, there
were laws banning African
Americans from wearing
things that would make them
look white.
Wearing hats
Carrying canes
Looking white people in the eye
In summer of 1865, some freed
people began donning on hats,
twirling canes, and refusing to
yield the right of way to whites.
Ku Klux Klan
KKK comes from the
Greek word “Kiklos”
which means circle.
• Terrorist bands formed to
defend the South’s old way
of life
• Took names like --- the
Regulators, the Knights of
the White Camelia, and the
Ku Klux Klan
• Pulaski, TN – former
Confederate cavalry leader
Nathan Bedford Forrest
organized the KKK in 1866 -- it became the most
powerful of the protective
Ku Klux Klan
• Wore hoods over their heads to hide their identity
• Padded horses’ hooves to silence their approach
• At first, they claimed that they wanted only to scare African
Americans who acted too independently.
• Launched a reign of terror and began whipping and
murdering those who refused to be scared
• Killed 1000s of African Americans and their white friends
• Beat and wounded many more and burned homes,
schools, and churches
• President Grant used the Civil Rights Act of 1871 to
arrest 5,000 Klansmen across the South.
• For a while, they were disbanded.
African Americans in politics
• 1868 - 700,000 turned out
for the Republican party
and contributed to Grant’s
• Grant appointed 2 African
American justices of the
peace in D.C.
• Held 15 or 20 percent of
political offices
• Held offices as lieutenant
governors, secretaries of
state, and treasurers in
state gov’ts of SC, FL,
MS, and LA
• MS elected 2 to Senate
(Hiram Revels and
Blanche Bruce)
• Southern states sent 20
to House of
• SC elected 8 to Congress
Term that Southerners
used to refer to
Northerners who moved
to the South during
Reconstruction looking for
business opportunities
• Were former Whigs or
Southerners interested in
the economic development
of the South joined
Republican governments.
• Most Southerners
considered scalawags
Civil Rights Showdown
Civil Rights Act of 1875
• 1870 – Sen. Sumner introduced a bill to
limit racial discrimination in public places
such as streetcars, hotels, churches, and
• 1874 – His bill came before the House—
former VP of CSA led the opposition
• While the Civil War had brought them
political freedom, this bill would offer them
civil freedom as well.
Civil Rights Act of 1875
• Senate passed the bill in May 1874 (2
months after Sumner’s death).
• Feb. 1875, the Civil Rights Act of 1875
passed in both houses and went into
• However, the Justice Dept. made little
efforts to enforce it and it was ruled
unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court
in 1883.
African Americans’ struggle for
equality would continue into
the twentieth century.
It means separating people of
different races.
• Poll taxes – required votes to pay a fee
each time they voted
• Literacy tests – asked voters to read and
explain a difficult part of the Constitution
• Grandfather Clause – permitted more
whites to vote – if the voter’s father or
grandfather had voted in 1867, then the
voter was excused from the poll or literacy
Jim Crow Laws
• Southern states passed laws that
separated blacks and whites in schools,
churches, restaurants, theaters, trains,
streetcars, playgrounds, hospitals,
beaches, and even cemeteries
Plessy vs. Ferguson
• 1896 – Supreme Court allowed
segregation as long as separate facilities
for blacks and whites were equal.
• Only Justice John Marshall Harlan
dissented. The former slave owner from
KY wrote, “The law regards man as man
and takes no account of his color when his
civil rights are involved.”
Laws passed during
Reconstruction became the basis
of the civil rights movement
almost 100 years later.

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