Reconstruction (jan 4, 1865 – jan 1, 1877)
- Period where the US tried to transform the organization and society of former Confederate states
- Determined how the South would take over its own governance
- New Republican state govts. offered a variety of reconstruction programs, but Confederates were suspicious of these efforts and claimed corruption within state leadership
- Many Black Americans won seats in government in early Reconstruction
- Ex. Hiram Revels -- first Black senator (Mississippi)
- South Carolina became the first state legislature with a Black majority after 1868 elections
THE "NEW SOUTH"
- Term used to describe the post-Civil War South
- Proponents of the New South called for a move from plantations to a mixed econ. with more industrialization
- Hope that Northern industries and businessmen would flock to the South
- However, plantation owners continued to control the majority of Southern land following Reconstruction, with the est. of sharecropping
CARPETBAGGERS AND SCALAWAGS
- Carpetbaggers: Northerners, esp. Republicans, who came to the South to participate in Reconstruction governments
- Scalawags: white Southerners working for or supporting Southern Republican reconstruction govts.
- It was believed that these people were only helping Southern governments for financial/personal gain
CRITICISMS OF RECONSTRUCTION GOVTS.
- Corrupt, Incompetent, dominated by carpetbaggers, vindictive
- How Corrupt? Significantly, but probably not more than in other parts of the country at the time
- Incompetence? Overstated, Rep. govts. tended to be more democratic, and had impressive accomplishments despite extremely difficult conditions, opponents spread image of the incompetent black legislator
- Not really dominated by Carpetbaggers, freedmen took politics very seriously, qualified blacks often deferred to whites as more electable
- Vindictive? Not really, punishment was just three executions, a few in jail, amnesty for all in 1872
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