2 main issues:
Reconstruction failed to alter the South’s social structure or its distribution of wealth and power which disadvantaged African-Americans.
Reconstruction left significant legacies, including the 14th and 15th amendments which would be used 100 years later to protect minority rights.
3 different kinds/plans:
1863 Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction (10% Plan)
10% of voters in 1860 election had to take oath of allegiance to Union and accept emancipation
Radical Republicans wanted slower readmission process
Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
1/2 of eligible voters had to take oath of allegiance
Andrew Johnson (Lincoln’s VP) rolled back many gains
racial segregation in public places
prohibition of interracial marriages
prohibition of jury service by blacks
blacks couldn’t testify against whites
blacks w/o lawful employment arrested as vagrants and auctioned off to employers who paid their fines
Republican goal of maintaining power; saw prospect of using southern black vote
Joint Committee on Reconstruction (Dec 1865)
Reconstruction Act of 1867
Civil Rights Act of 1875
Ex parte Milligan (1866)
Texas v. White (1869)
v. Reese (1876)
U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876)
Legacies of Reconstruction
Success or failure?
A misguided scheme that collapsed because of radical excess, or
A democratic experiment that did not go far enough?
Lack of land and reforms which would give African-Americans power to defend their interests as free citizens
Reconstruction left significant legacies, including the 14th and 15th amendments which remain as symbols of the democratic idealism that swept Congress in the 1860s .