Several Pillars of Reconstruction

0 Posted by - August 1, 2022 - CIVIL WAR, POLITICS, RECONSTRUCTION

In 1865, the South began rebuilding in a period known as Reconstruction. The three presidents who oversaw this period—Lincoln,  Johnson, and Grant. Each had differing views in regards to how the South should be brought back into the U.S. but only one would have greater, negative impact on the process.

Under Lincoln, the Republicans pushed for Black people to be able to vote while the President himself pushed for a gradual return.

Johnson opposed this when the Republicans pushed back, he iced out their votes and leaned more towards the South. His views and continued back and forth with the Republicans eventually led to him being impeached. Grant more or less moved more in Lincoln’s direction and set about clearing up the damage Johnson caused.



During the spring and summer of 1865, the states that comprised the former Confederate States of America began registration of voters. With the Fourteenth Amendment, Black people were considered citizens of the United States, giving Black men the right to vote.

Overall, roughly 1,363,000 citizens were registered with 700,000 being Black citizens. This block made up the largest voting pool in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina.



Another pillar of Reconstruction that tied into registering voters was rebuilding governments in the region. With Black men making up the voting population in several states, it was expected that Republicans would take several of them.

However, with Lincoln’s death, Johnson installed governors who were cooperative. His steps would anger the Republicans of the period resulting in a back and forth between the Oval Office and Congress.



This period also saw Northern politicians put into positions throughout the South. As senators and the like, the Republicans would carry out a number of policies geared towards establishing education, commerce, and travel in the region.

While they were actively rebuilding everything, it wasn’t viewed as a positive by native White Southerners as Black legislators were put in positions of power and for the most part, former Confederates were frozen out. Basically, Black people and Northerners were calling the shots for how the region would move forward.



To restrict the freedom of Black people in the South, many states enacted Black Codes. These codes made it so that Black citizens had to continue working the land on plantations they were on prior. It also prevented the ownership of firearms and barred them from the voting booth. Those who didn’t were fined.

With the Freedman’s Bureau still active, the Black Codes were axed by 1866. It wasn’t without a struggle as Johnson viewed Reconstruction done by 1865 after doing the minimum of what Lincoln aimed.



As a result, he viewed the Bureau as an excess since it counted as federal assistance. The status of Reconstruction bounced between the Presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress in 1866. This caused the Congress to effectively barred admittance to the House or Senate until Reconstruction was actually over.



The late 1860s didn’t see a huge amount of Black people holding seats in the former Confederacy. With the 1870s, the numbers increased with most being state positions and few being national positions. The majority of Black politicians came from the North, fled to the North from the South, or were free Blacks.



With Reconstruction came a lot of change in regards to how the South operated. This resulted in the rise of groups such as the KKK and an increase of violence towards Black people being viewed as vigilante justice. When Southern Democrats took control of the region, Jim Crow laws began to be implemented in different aspects of Southern life. By this time, presidents had taken office who mainly allowed for the South to govern itself. Both of these would result in Black people be either ran off for the voting booth or unable to vote because of taxes and fees.


1 Comment

  • Greg March 16, 2019 - 7:37 am

    Gramt had the right idea send ing federal troops in becuase he knew the mentallity of southern whites he had tomfight against these trashy peole have to be forced to obey laws bedford forrest and jess james still was killing black folks and there raiders like todaynwith trump these kkk natzi understand nothin but force and thats what it gonna takemif this worldmis serious about stopping facism