In Chicago, a disastrous fire destroys nearly four square miles of the city, leaving 300 people dead and 100,000 homeless. The city soon redevelops and rebuilds, emerging as a major industrial and economic center.
President Lincoln announced a program for reconstruction in his Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. Part of Lincoln’s plans for Reconstruction included the Ten-Percent Plan, which allowed each Southern state to be readmitted to the Union once ten percent of its voters swore an oath of allegiance to the Union.
In his annual message to Congress, President Lincoln urged passage of Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery in the United States. The Emancipation Proclamation had freed only those slaves in states still at war. The permanent emancipation of all slaves required a constitutional amendment. In April 1864, the Senate passed the Thirteenth Amendment to abolish slavery in the United States. Opposition from Democratic congressmen prevented the amendment from receiving the required two-thirds majority in the House. Only after Lincoln was...
Northerners who moved to the South during Reconstruction were derogatorily known as “carpetbaggers.” Carpetbaggers were thought of as opportunists looking to exploit Northern and Republican dominance over the defeated South.
Buffalo soldiers were members of African American calvalry regiments of the US Army who served in the American West between 1867 and 1896. Buffalo soldiers were charged with escorting and protecting trains and western settlers on the frontier from American Indians as well as outlaws. They often clashed with Indians of the Plains and Southwest and took part in nearly 200 engagements. They earned the repuation of brave and disciplined members of the Army.
The Ku Klux Klan was organized as a secret society during Reconstruction to restore white supremacy. The Klan used violence and intimidation to restrict and terrorize African Americans. In 1870 and 1871, Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Enforcement Acts to limit Klan activity and increase sanctions on perpetrators. Organized Klan activity fell off, but the Klan re-surged and re-organized in 1915 after the release of D. W. Griffith’s film The Birth of a Nation.