Congress and the Remaking of the South, 1865-1866

Andrew Johnson lacked Lincoln’s political skills and instead exhibited a stubbornness and confrontational approach. Introduction President Johnson and Congress’s views on Reconstruction grew even further apart as Johnson’s presidency progressed. Congress repeatedly pushed for greater rights for freed people and a far more thorough reconstruction of the South, while Johnson pushed for leniency and a[…]

Reconstruction after the Civil War

Reconstruction-era governments did make genuine gains in rebuilding Southern states devastated by the war. By Tina Ulrich, Joelle Hannert, Tom Gordon, Michelle Schneider, Michele Howard, Ryan Bernstein, and Justin Guillard Lincoln’s Plan for Reconstruction Overview The first great task confronting the victorious North — now under the leadership of Lincoln’s vice president, Andrew Johnson, a[…]

Treason or Loyal Opposition? The Copperheads and Dissent during the Civil War

Were the Copperheads traitors or merely exercising the right to criticize the government? To what extent did federal power increase during the Civil War? By Rachel Rooney and Margaret Storey Introduction The following documents offer perspectives on the Northern wing of the Democratic Party, which opposed the Civil War. These Peace Democrats urged an immediate,[…]

Social and Economic Factors in the Reconstruction Era

Reconstruction’s influence of and effects upon religion, education, industry, and taxation. Organized Religion Freedmen were very active in forming their own churches, mostly Baptist or Methodist, and giving their ministers both moral and political leadership roles. In a process of self-segregation, practically all blacks left white churches so that few racially integrated congregations remained (apart[…]

A History of Reconstruction after the Civil War

The of the aftermath of the Civil War and the brief attempt to “reconstruct” the U.S. South on the basis of democracy and political equality for the freed Black slaves. The formal emancipation of African American slaves and the victory of the Union Army in the Civil War constituted a significant but incomplete advance for[…]

Andrew Johnson and Reconstruction

The views of the Vice President rarely matter too much, unless something happens to the President. In 1864, Republican Abraham Lincoln chose Andrew Johnson, a Democratic senator from Tennessee, as his Vice Presidential candidate. Lincoln was looking for Southern support. He hoped that by selecting Johnson he would appeal to Southerners who never wanted to[…]