Texas Reconstruction News By: Baxter Lowrimore and Cole Kosch

Reconstruction Begins

American reconstruction: Reconstruction is the effort to return the former Confederate states to the Union. It is critical to the future of the United States, for it will allow the US to function as it did before the war. This is extremely difficult however, given the lack of economic structure in the South.

Reconstruction at its early stages

Two Presidential plans

Former president Abraham Lincoln.

Two Presidential Plans: Lincoln's plan- to offer a pardon to all Southern states willing to swear an oath of loyalty to the newly reformed United States. As soon as 10% of the state's population have taken the oath, the state will be allowed to re-enter the union. Johnson's plan- to assign a temporary government to each former Confederate state until a permanent government can be established. Each state is also required to nullify its act of secession, pay its own war debts, and ratify the 13th amendment.

President Andrew Johnson

Slavery Ends in Texas

General Gordon Granger is a union commander who was sent to Texas to inform slaves that they were free. Granted, the news spread slowly, but when the news finally did spread around Texas, the freed slaves threw a massive celebration all across Texas. June nineteenth has forever been marked as a special day, and newly dubbed "Juneteenth" will undoubtedly be celebrated for years to come. The Freedman's Bureau is an organization that helps freed African Americans find education, good jobs, food, and shelter.

General Gordon Granger

New Texas Governor Appointed

Governor Andrew J. Hamilton

President Johnson is under the impression that his choice of Texas governor will further the Unionist cause. Clearly, he was gravely mistaken. Andrew Hamilton is not furthering the Unionist cause, but his allegiances lie somewhere else. Yes, he was a supporter of the Union during the war, but sadly most of his views tie in with those of the former Confedrates. A Texan convention was held, with the intent of rewriting the constitution and rejoining the Union. Instead, few revisions were made, the the constitution remained very anti equal rights; which would tend to happen when all of the delegates were former Confederates.

A New Constitution

Texas Constitution

The new constitution of Texas tried to give freed African Americans as few rights as possible. It limited voting, holding public office, testifying against white people in court, and other basic human rights. Ex-Confederate officers took control of the constitution writing, and refused to ratify the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments. They also implenented Black Codes, restricting the rights of freed African American people.

A riot targeting a freed man

Congress Takes Control

United States Congress

The United States Congress is trying to take charge of Reconstruction, because it feels that President Johnson's plan isn't working because it has produced very few changes in the South as of yet. The majority of Congress is a group called the Radical Republicans, a group devoted to securing equal rights for African Americans by any means necessary. Since two thirds of Congress is taken up by the Radical Republicans, they have the power to override the President's veto of their own Reconstruction plan. They quickly did this and took charge of all Reconstruction in the US.

A flyer for a Radical Republican Convention

Radical Reconstruction Begins

Radical Reconstruction

The Radical Republicans in Congress just launched their Reconstruction plan, which is considerably harsher than Lincoln's or Johnson's. It divides up the South into five military districts, requiring each to ratify the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. It also requires the South to give freed men the right to vote and hold public office, and repeal their black codes. In addition to this, Congress is requiring many white Southerners to sign the "Ironclad Oath" which states that the individual never knowingly aided the Confederacy in any way.

Freedmen Get the Vote

African American voters

General Charles Griffin has started registering freed African Americans to vote. Now, about 50,000 freedmen are able to vote. A new group of radical Democrats has arisen. They're calling themselves the KKK, and have very recently threatened and even killed people. They're targeting African Americans, and those who support rights for them. They're also after groups they call Carpetbaggers and Scalawags, because they supported reconstruction. Last night, they burned a government official's house to the ground. Luckily he wasn't home, but his family wasn't so lucky.

A meeting of the KKK

Reconstruction Ends

Governor Richard Coke

It is March of 1870, and Reconstruction has officially ended in Texas!! Thanks to the efforts of the Republicans here, we are officially a part of the United States of American once again! Governor Davis established a police force laregely comprised of Tejanos and African Americans, which is greatly resented by White Texans. Most African-Americans live in rural Texas now, largely in small communities on unused land. In 1872, Democrats won most of the seats in the state legislature, and a Democrat Richard Coke won the governor position, and they are trying to get taxes to the state they were before Reconstruction began.

Tejano police officer

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.