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Reconstruction in Alabama

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Richard Bailey


Alabama Department of Archives and History


Reconstruction in Alabama examines the post Civil War period in Alabama and addresses the role of the new Alabama Republican Party in creating a new Alabama. This dramatic period witnessed many changes in Alabama, including the emergence of black officeholders, black schools and churches, universal public education, and enlarged rights for women.

Born in Montgomery, Richard Bailey holds degrees from Alabama State University and the Atlanta University, and received the Doctor of Philosophy degree in American History from Kansas State University. He has traveled and studied in Europe and Africa through a joint fellowship from Cleveland (Ohio) State University, the University of Massachusetts, and the American Forum for International Travel and Study. His columns have appeared in newspapers across the state and he is the author of They Too Call Alabama Home: African American Profiles, 1800-1999 (1999). The fifth edition of his book Neither Carpetbaggers Nor Scalawags: Black Officeholders during the Reconstruction of Alabama, 1867-1878 is forthcoming in 2009.

This ArchiTreats presentation is made possible by the Friends of the Alabama Archives and a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The public is invited to bring a sack lunch and enjoy a bit of Alabama history. Coffee and tea will be provided by the Friends of the Alabama Archives. For more information, call (334) 353-4712.

Length: 52:58

Content Areas: Social Studies

Alabama Course of Study Alignments and/or Professional Development Standard Alignments:

SS2010 (4) Alabama Studies
9. Analyze political and economic issues facing Alabama during Reconstruction for their impact on various social groups.
Examples: political—military rule, presence of Freedmen's Bureau, Alabama's readmittance to the Union
economic—sharecropping, tenant farming, scarcity of goods and money
  • Interpreting the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • Identifying African Americans who had an impact on Alabama during Reconstruction in Alabama
  • Identifying major political parties in Alabama during Reconstruction
    SS2010 (5) United States Studies: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    12. Summarize successes and failures of the Reconstruction Era.
  • Evaluating the extension of citizenship rights to African Americans included in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States
  • Analyzing the impact of Reconstruction for its effect on education and social institutions in the United States
  • Examples: Horace Mann and education reform, Freedmen's Bureau, establishment of segregated schools, African-American churches
  • Explaining the black codes and the Jim Crow laws
  • Describing post-Civil War land distribution, including tenant farming and sharecropping
    SS2010 (10) United States History I: Beginnings to the Industrial Revolution
    15. Compare congressional and presidential reconstruction plans, including African-American political participation. [A.1.a., A.1.b., A.1.c., A.1.d., A.1.e., A.1.i., A.1.k.]
  • Tracing economic changes in the post-Civil War period for whites and African Americans in the North and South, including the effectiveness of the Freedmen's Bureau
  • Describing social restructuring of the South, including Southern military districts, the role of carpetbaggers and scalawags, the creation of the black codes, and the Ku Klux Klan
  • Describing the Compromise of 1877
  • Summarizing post-Civil War constitutional amendments, including the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments
  • Explaining causes for the impeachment of President Andrew Johnson
  • Explaining the impact of the Jim Crow laws and Plessey versus Ferguson on the social and political structure of the New South after Reconstruction
  • Analyzing political and social motives that shaped the Constitution of Alabama of 1901 to determine their long-term effect on politics and economics in Alabama (Alabama)


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