Texas Reconstruction News

By: Beck Wiltshire and Colman Breckbill

Right now our U.S government is going through a process called Reconstruction, which is bringing the North and South back together as one . After a horrific defeat in the civil war the South is very poor, weak and their army is extremely sick and tired. Reconstruction needs to happen because, the south will not be able to survive as one country in the position they're in now.

President Lincoln wanted the South and North to reform as quickly and easily as possible so, he said once 10 percent of a state voters had taken the oath of loyalty, the state could form a new government and return to the union. Unfortunately, President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth causing the biggest man hunt in U.S history to this day. President Johnson's plan is a bit like Lincoln's but a lot stricter. With Johnson's plan, each state is required to nullify its act of secession, acknowledge that the U.S government would not pay its civil war debts, andante ratify the thirteenth amendment to the constitution.

The union general Gordon Granger recently came down to Galveston to announce that all slaves in Texas are now free. Juneteenth was the day Gordon Granger came to Galveston and announced that the slaves were free. On that day all the slaves were celebrating and happy, There were tons of barbecues and party's. The government organized a group of people called the Freedman's Bureau to help all the now freedmen in America with learning, food, water and shelters.

President Johnson has just appointed Andrew J. Hamilton as the new governor of Texas because, he has represented Texas in congress when the secession crisis began in 1861. Governor Hamilton selected ex confederate generals to be the delegates at the constitutional convention. This selection by the governor was very bias because, ex confederate generals were the most racist out of everyone.

Instead, of writing a new constitution, the delegates amended the constitution Texas had before the civil war. They nullified secession and the states war debt and abolished slavery. When ex confederate generals took control in office they refused to give African Americans rights. Then they enforced something called black codes which limited the rights of African Americans.

Congress has recently felt that presidents Johnson's plan is not working. So, they have let the radical republicans take control of reconstruction. The radical republicans are a group of republicans who believe that congress should control reconstruction. The radical republicans gained control by being much more strict to the south about reconstruction.

The radical republicans declared that all of the governments in the south were now illegal. Also, they made states military districts and each district was controlled by a military general. Finally, congress required many white southerners to take what was called the Ironclad oath. The oath pledged that the individual had not voluntary served in the confederate army or aided the confederacy. This oath kept many white southerners, including in thousand in Texas, from, voting, serving on juries, or holding public office.

General Charles Griffin registered male freedmen to vote all across the state. The KKK (Klu Klux Klan) was a group of white men who despised African Americans and anyone who supported the Union. The KKK also hated carpetbaggers and scalawags because they supported the union and came from the north down to the south. On March 4, 1864 a reported KKK attack has happened near the Sabine River. A witness has reported that the KKK found a African American mans house who voted for the Republican Party that day and burned down his house, crops and killed his horses.

Reconstruction has finally ended in Texas! White southerners in Texas are very upset because Governor Davis is changing their ways of life in Texas officially. Most freed people in Texas live along creek and river bottoms to stay away from the racism. Recently, the democrats have won a majority of the seats in the state legislatures. That means that the democrats will have the majority for a long long time.

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