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The Daily Gazette (1) Flipbook PDF

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All about reconstruction and its effect on our great nation!

The Daily Gazette Blueprints of the New South What did the elite want to do to our country?

Amending Our Way of Life Learn how the government helped bring more equality to freed slaves!

Blueprints of the New South By: J.D. Crowe

Our awful president, Andrew Johnson.

When the Civil War was ending, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln knew he had to devise a plan to help rebuild the broken South. It was named “Lincoln’s Ten-Percent Plan”, and it stated that 10% of a southern state’s population had to swear an oath to be reinstated into the union. This was smart because it was easy on the states to help them feel welcomed back into the union, and, on top of that, Lincoln offered pardons to Confederate citizens to be recognized as U.S. citizens again, unless they were ex-Confederate officials or government workers. Hungry for revenge on the South, Congress passed the Wade-Davis bill which required 50% of a southern state’s population to swear an “ironclad oath”, but Lincoln pocket-vetoed and ultimately killed the bill. If the bill had not been pocket-vetoed, Lincoln could have lost the next election due to appearing as a radical republican or further angered southern states. Despite this disagreement, Congress and Lincoln both agreed on helping the freedmen. Similarly to Lincoln’s special field order no. 13, which ordered Tecumseh Sherman to redistribute the confiscated land in the south to freedmen and poor whites, Congress created and passed the Freedmen’s Bureau, which also attempted to redistribute confiscated land. Along with this, the bill was helpful to the freedmen and poor whites by giving them access to food, housing, and legal help. When Lincoln was assassinated in April of 1865, The new President, Andrew Johnson, had different plans for reconstruction in the South. His plan, although similar in most ways to Lincoln’s, required the southern states to ratify the 13th amendment and allowed for all ex-Confederate military and government officials to petition to be recognized as U.S. citizens and hold office again. After these men became in power again, the South’s government looked very similar to the pre-war Confederate government. In addition to this, Johnson ordered that all confiscated land be returned to its original owners and pocket-vetoed Congress’s Civil Rights Bill of 1866, stating that it was discriminatory towards whites and that blacks should not be allowed the “same rights of property and person" as whites. Infuriated by Johnson’s racism and actions, Congress and its radical republicans were determined to change Reconstruction to how they saw fit; Radical Reconstruction began. Their first course of action was to override the President’s pocket-veto, a first for congress. This was an important action because it showed the political power that congress contained and it attempted to help the freedmen in a racist society. From here, Johnson had been, for the most part, finished with Reconstruction, but Congress still had a few things left to do while their power lasted.

Amending Our Way of Life By: Travis Tritt

The fourteenth amendment to the constitution, and the tremendous fortieth Congress of the United States, who passed it.

While Johnson was president, in 1865, the 13th Amendment, that formally abolished slavery, was ratified by all southern states and passed. This was our government’s first major step in bringing equality to the people of America. Next, during Radical Reconstruction in 1866, Congress was determined to pass amendments which they saw fitting to truly make us the land of the free. The first amendment they passed was the 14th Amendment. This change to the constitution was a big step towards equality in America since it prohibited “states from abridging equality before the law.” In other words, men of all races had the same legal and civil rights. This was important to the Freedmen since they were considered excluded from the law by beforehand, and received much worse treatment and punishment in society and court. If states were to deny a person the same rights based on their race, the 14th amendment stated that said country would receive a deduction of state representatives. Additionally, this amendment denied ex-Confederate officials the right to ever hold office again. Next, in 1870, The 15th Amendment was passed. This amendment introduced universal men’s suffrage, prohibiting federal and state governments from denying a man the right to vote based on the color of their skin. This amendment was a major stepping stone from a civil rights point of view because it allowed the blacks to have their own voice in society. Now, they were finally allowed to help elect equality focused government officials, though it did not come without a fair share of hardships to follow.

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Granting Rights By: Hank WIlliams Jr.

In 1868, Ulysses S. Grant was elected as the 18th president of the U.S. His plan was to

peacefully approach harmonization with the south, while also focusing on helping the freedmen. In 1870, Grant helped ratify the 15th amendment, which gave black men the right to vote. While this came with many hardships for the freedmen, his intentions were innocent. Later on in 1871, when Grant saw the lengths that whites were going to just to prevent blacks from changing their way of life, he passed the KKK act to limit the evil, racist group’s activities. His act allowed him to suspend Habeas Corpus and punish those who were murdering innocent blacks. The people of America were unsatisfied, with one side, the South, claiming that it infringed on states’ rights, and the other side, the North, arguing that it was not enough to stop the South’s detrimental acts. Despite this, Grant continued with his plan and stationed federal troops throughout the south to enforce the law. While this did not completely eliminate the problem, it showed blacks that there was hope in their cause with some white people. The black community has Grant to thank for stopping many possible acts of violence and for their right to vote in America. By the end of his second term, it was apparent that Grant’s war skills and cause translated very well to the Office of Presidency.

President Ulysses S. Grant and the moment he decides to sign the KKK act. H e is one of the few Presidents ever to suspend Habeas Corpus.

Representation at a Cost By: Jimmy Buffett Despite the 15th amendment giving blacks the right to vote, the racist whites of the south were determined to keep oppressing them in any way they could. Working around the law, rich southerners were able to virtually take away the blacks’ representation in the country. They did this by setting up poll taxes and literacy tests to be taken before one could vote. Poll taxes were required to be paid two years prior to the election, or one could not vote. This was difficult for blacks to overcome since they had just come out of slavery a few years prior. Crazy enough, if blacks could pay, when they showed up to vote in the elections two years later, they forced to interpret part of the constitution. Not only were ⅗ of all blacks too illiterate to read, but the others who could read were unlikely to pass since the clerk who judged their literacy was white and would choose the most difficult passages for them to interpret. Sadly, when federal troops left the South in 1877, voting would be the least of their problems. They would then be forced to defend their lives from white supremacists, no matter where in the south they resided.

White citizens made it known that they did not want blacks to vote in “their” election.

Injustice from Justice By: Willie Nelson Following the freedom for all slaves, certain white people became very frustrated. They believed that blacks could never be as good as whites, and that they should do anything they can to oppress black people again. Their first course of action was to create black codes. These were blatantly racist rules set by the whites in order to make the blacks feel lowly. These rules included a limit to the amount of land they could own and a limit to their jobs to prevent them from getting well paid jobs. In effect, blacks gained little progress in the economy and with increasing social status. With blacks determined for freedom even after the whites’ oppressive laws, whites turned to violence to try and silence the black community. A group called the Klu Klux Klan spread to all southern states by the 1870s. At night, KKK members would go around and enforce a curfew for all black folk walking around. In order to get blacks to listen, they would instill fear into them by murdering and beating anyone who objected. In addition, The KKK would force freedmen back onto their former plantations by force to work for low wages. This made it difficult for the freedmen to escape the low levels of society and feel equal to the men surrounding them. Even today, the Klan still exists and strikes fear into any minority who sees them.

KKK members gather around their leader, the Grand Wizard. Their main goal was to oppress blacks.

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