The Civil War and Reconstruction
1. After Ft. Sumterstarted the war, keeping the border states were Abe’s top concern. These were slave states that hadn’t left the nation. Throughout the war, Abe would make concessions to “keep them happy.” The border states never left.
2. All along the South felt that England would help them. The idea was
that King Cotton’s dominance would force the English into helping the
Southerners. This never happened, largely because Uncle Tom’s Cabin had
convinced the English people of slavery’s horrors.
3. The North had the advantage inalmost every category: population, industry, money, navy.
4. Both sides turned to a draft,the nation’s first. The draft was very unpopular and many riots broke out.
5. The North thought they could win in a quick war. After they lost at Bull
Run, the quick-victory approach seemed to have been a mistake. A
northern loss on“the Peninsula” at Richmondreinforced that this would be a long
6. The South started the war winning. Turning point battles, which the North won, took place at (a) Antietam just before Lincoln’s “Emancipation Proclamation”, (b) Gettysburg which effectively broke the South’s back, and (c) Vicksburg which helped the North control the Mississippi River.
7. Lincoln won a hard-fought reelection in 1864.
He did so by starting the “Union Party” made of Republicans and pro-war
Democrats and on the simplicity of the slogan, “You don’t change horses
8. General Sherman marched across Georgia and the South and reaped destruction. And the South began to lose battle after battle. These events drove the South to
surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.
9. After the war, the question was, “What to do with the southern states?” The more
moderate Republicans, like Lincoln and his successor Andrew Johnson, lost
out to the Radical Republicans who desired to punish the South.
10. The South was divided up into military districts. The southern states were not allowed to reenter the U.S.until the North’s stipulations were met.
11. For Southern blacks, these years were good politically. Since whites wanted nothing to do with the U.S., blacks voted and were often elected to state legislatures and
12. Economically, freed blacks fared worse. They were no longer slaves, but with little other options, they largely became sharecroppers. The end result was little different and little better than slavery.
13. In 1877, a presidential election was essentially a tie. A compromise was worked out, and the South gotthe U.S. Army to pull out. This left the southern blacks on their own—southern whites reasserted their power.
(by Richard Hengerstman)