In the South plantations and
homes were burned during the war. The fields were left unattended. The
Confederate money was worthless. The Southerners felt very beaten. Because
of this Lincoln wanted to make it easy for the Southern states to rejoin the
Union. Many Northerners were angry over this.
Lincoln asked only four things of
to free the slaves
Confederate government disband
new state governments for each
Southern state be formed
no former leaders of the
Confederate or high ranking officers could be a part of the new government
Many Northerners thought Lincoln was
being too easy on the South.
On April 14, 1865 only five days
after the Confederate army surrendered, Lincoln was killed at Ford's Theater
in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. The Vice President Andrew Johnson became
President. He tried to go ahead with Lincoln's Plans in Congress.
A group called the Radical
Republicans in Congress wanted to punish slave states and passed many laws
that were hard on the South. Lincoln probably could have changed this
because he was a Republican and well respected. Johnson was unable to. The
13th Amendment was passed in December 1865. It said that slavery was
The Ku Klux Klan was formed. This
was a group which burned, whipped, and murdered Blacks and carpetbaggers.
Slave states made laws called the
Black Codes. These were to keep Black people from voting, serving on juries,
getting jobs, owning land, or going to school.
The federal government set up the
Freedmen's Bureau to work against the Black Codes. They gave food,
clothing, medical care, and set up schools for the Blacks.
The 14th Amendment was passed. It
said all Blacks were citizens of the United States and all laws against
Blacks were unconstitutional. Congress also divided the South into five
military districts. Each of these had a general in charge of the region. The
general sent troops out into the district to make sure the Blacks were given
A group of Northern people came to
the South to find power and money. They were called carpetbaggers. They took
money for getting laws passed, giving railroad rights, and helping certain
people. Most carpetbaggers were only looking to make themselves rich and
were not looking for the good of the South.
The 15th Amendment was passed. It
gave Blacks over the age of 21 the right to vote.
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