Chapter 12 - Reconstruction (1865-1877)

Summary

Though the outcome of the Civil War cemented the Union, the years that followed plunged the nation into dramatic social and economic changes. While African Americans obtained their liberty and southern society was transformed, Reconstruction involved a redefinition of social, economic, and political relationships between the North and South, as well as between the races.

Chapter Outline

Section 1: Presidential Reconstruction

The Reconstruction plans of both Presidents Lincoln and Johnson focused on pardoning the Confederate states and restoring the Union quickly.

Section 1: Creating a Poster: The Freedmen's Bureau

Using the links below, research a Freedmen's Bureau project and create a poster to inform freedmen about the project.
Freedmen's Bureau Online
Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees Act

Section 2: Congressional Reconstruction

As Southern states moved to limit freedmen's rights, Congress took over Reconstruction and passed new laws to protect the freedom of African Americans. This led to the enactment of the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments.

Section 2: Drawing a Political Cartoon: Carpetbaggers

Use the links below to learn more about Southerners' perception of carpetbaggers, and then draw your own cartoon of a carpetbagger.
Carpetbaggers
Carpetbaggers from The Handbook of Texas

Section 3: Birth of the "New South"

A major focus of Reconstruction was the rebuilding of southern cities and the extension of southern railroads. The end of slavery brought about new patterns of agriculture in the South, while expansion of cities and industry led to limited economic growth.

Section 3: Virtual Field Trip: Levi Jordan Plantation

Visit the Levi Jordan Plantation in Brazoria County, Texas and learn how freed African Americans working on this plantation adapted to life as tenant farmers and sharecroppers after the Civil War.

Section 4: The End of Reconstruction

In the 1870s, white Democrats regained power in the South, and public interest in Reconstruction declined. The Supreme Court narrowly interpreted the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments and placed the control of Americans' basic civil rights in the hands of states.

Section 4: Writing a Newspaper Article: Presidential Election of 1876

Using the links below, research the presidential election of 1876. Then, prepare a newspaper article about this presidential election.
Election of 1876 (Infoplease)
Rutherford B. Hayes

 

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