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The Reconstruction era...
Item # 556528
June 27, 1865
NEW YORK HERALD, June 27, 1865
* Reconstruction of the South
Front page has headlines including:
* The Right to Vote Extended to the Virginia Rebels
* The Status of the Negro Established
* THE HEALTH OF JEFF. DAVIS
* The New Governor--Reopening of the Railroads
* The Reconstruction of South Carolina
* FREEDOM OF TRADE
Also: "Proclamation By President Johnson" signed in type: Andrew Johnson. Other news of the day throughout. 8 pages in nice condition.
wikipedia notes: In the history of the United States, "Reconstruction" refers to the period during and after the Civil War, between 1863 and 1877, when the U.S. focused on abolishing slavery, destroying all traces of the Confederacy, and "reconstructing" both the South, and (with three new amendments) the U.S. Constitution itself. "Reconstruction" is also the common name for the general history of the post-Civil War era in the U.S. between 1865 and 1877. Discussions of reconstruction within the national government began earlier: as soon as the war began in 1861, Lincoln and his people talked about how to end the war. Under Abraham Lincoln, presidential reconstruction began in each state as soon as federal troops controlled most of the state. The usual ending date is 1877, when the Compromise of 1877 saw the collapse of the last Republican state governments in the South, although some historians stretch the era to the 1890s.
Reconstruction addressed how secessionist Southern states would regain self-government and seats in Congress, the civil status of the leaders of the Confederacy, and the Constitutional and legal status of Freedmen (the freed slaves). After the Civil War, violent controversy erupted throughout the South over how to tackle such issues, as former Confederates organized in paramilitary groups to resist defeat, including secret vigilante groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
The Constitutional Amendments and legislative reforms that laid the foundation for the most radical phase of Reconstruction were enacted from 1865 until 1871. By the 1870s, Reconstruction had made some progress in providing the Freedmen with equal rights under the law, and Freedmen were voting and taking political office. Republican legislatures, coalitions of whites and blacks, established the first public school systems in the South. Beginning in 1874, however, there was a rise in white paramilitary organizations, such as the White League and Red Shirts, whose political aim was to drive out the Republicans. They also disrupted organizing and terrorized blacks to bar them from the polls. From 1873 to 1877, conservative white Democrats (calling themselves "Redeemers") regained power in state elections throughout the former Confederacy. Several states retained for many years constitutions which had been rewritten during Reconstruction. Others used separate legislation to overturn some Reconstruction measures.
In 1877, President Rutherford Hayes withdrew federal troops, causing the collapse of the last three remaining Republican state governments. Starting in 1890, 13 years after Reconstruction ended, southern states used disfranchising statutes and constitutions to put in place devices, such as poll taxes, literacy tests and the use of whites-only primaries, and through extralegal means, which prevented most blacks from voting. By 1900 Southern white Democrats established a one-party rule and enforced a system of racial segregation that continued in varying degrees throughout the South into the 1960s.
Bitterness from the heated partisanship of the era lasted well into the 20th century. But in other ways, whites in the North and South undertook reconciliation, which reached a height in the early 20th century. This reconciliation coincided with the nadir of American race relations. During this period there were increased lynchings and violence, especially in the South; an increase in racial segregation throughout America, and disfranchisement of most African-Americans in the South. Laws were different in each state, but most embodied the same kinds of restrictions for blacks . Commonly, codes compelled freedmen to work. In many states, if unemployed, blacks faced the potential of being arrested and charged with vagrancy. Many of those that did work had their day regulated. Codes dictated their hours of labor, duties, and often assigned to them as agricultural workers.
Passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were constitutional legacies of Reconstruction. These amendments established the rights on which blacks and reasonable whites later based extensive litigation, leading to US Supreme Court rulings starting in the early 20th century that struck down disfranchising provisions. In addition, the Civil Rights Movement contributed to passage of legislation in the mid-1960s to protect civil and voting rights, and to additional constitutional amendments to protect and expand the franchise.
Category: Post-Civil War