After the Civil War buildings were in ruins as well as the government, and they need to be rebuilt, this time is known as reconstruction. Because the government was in tatters, there is no law and people are doing whatever they please. Texas as well as the South is in pretty bad shape, building and towns destroyed and government officials running for their lives.
Two Presidential Plans
Lincoln does not want to punish the South too severely or else risk the U.S tearing apart again, so his plan is based on loyalty. But sadly Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth while watching a play. Johnson's plan for reconstruction involved 3 steps, the south had to nullify its act of secession, they had to ratify the 13th Amendment, and had to acknowledge that the U.S. would not pay for its debts.
Slavery Ends in Texas
Gordon Granger, a general for the Union, came to Texas to ratify the 13th amendment, and when he did so was called Juneteenth. Juneteenth is what the African Americans called it when slaves were freed in Galveston. The Freedmans Bureau is sent down to the Southern states by the North, its purpose was to help freed slaves get jobs and learn.
New Texas Governor Appointed
Johnson appointed Andrew J. Hamilton as the new Texas Governor because Andrew is a Unionist and because Texas liked him. Hamilton and the South appointed all ex-soldiers of the confederacy as the delegates of the Constitutional Convention. The Constitution is biased on putting blacks as second class citizens.
A New Constitution!
The constitution nullified secession and the states war debts and abolished slavery. The confederates refused to ratify two amendments of the constitution. The thirteenth amendment, which outlawed slavery, and the fourteenth amendment, which protected the rights of freedmen. The Texas legislature enacted laws called black codes that restricted the rights of freedmen.
Congress Takes Control!
Congress felt that Johnson´s plan was not working because it was to soft on the South. The Radical Republicans changed that by overturning Johnson´s plan and using their own. The Radical Republicans felt that the South had not been punished enough so they made the requirements harder.
Radical Reconstruction Begins!
Congress stated that the governments in the south were illegal, and so they divided the south into 5 military districts. Under Congresses plan soldiers were put in every district, and a general to command each. Congress wanted the south to ratify the 14th and 15th amendment. The Ironclad Oath stated that the taker had not voluntarily served in the confederate army.
Freedmen Get The Vote!
General Charles Griffin and the Freedmen's Bureau registered freedmen to vote across the state. By 1868, nearly 50,000 freedmen had been registered to vote. The Ku Klux Klan was founded in Tennessee in 1866. The Ku Klux Klan was an organization that used violence against African Americans. The KKK opposed carpetbaggers and scalawags because they were supportive of African Americans rights.
Reconstruction ended in Texas on March 1870, but many whites were upset it would not truly end while the Radical Republicans were in Charge. Most Freedmen still lived in rural areas and worked for white landowners. In 1872 Democrats won a majority of the seats in the state legislature. They immediately took steps to reduce the governors power and they abolished the state police force, they put the blacks back as second class citizens. And for the next 105 years it stayed that way.