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Who or What They Refer To, When This Was Important, and Why It Is Significant to Our Understanding of Us History

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Terms: Who or what they refer to, when this was important, and why it is significant to our understanding of US history

Black Codes: Taking advantage of Johnson’s policies, the southern states aimed to penalize “vagrant” blacks, defined as those who did not work in the fields for whites, and to deny blacks the right to vote, serve on juries, or in some cases even own land. People arrested under the Black Codes faced imprisonment or forced labor. When? Post Civil War, 1865-1867. Shows the conditions of blacks even after being freed after the war, at the time, and what they had to go through to get where they are at the present.


*Laws restricting black rights

*no guns

* couldn’t quit jobs w/ out “good cause”

*failure to obey led to imprisonment

Radical Reconstruction: This refers to the reconstruction of the South which is radical in terms of its provisions. This was quite different from the reconstruction that Lincoln had started and Johnson had continued. It involved terms such as full citizenship to blacks, civil rights amendments (13, 14 and 15) and Freedman’s Bureau. This was significant b/c it showed how US congress radically enforced rights of blacks in their times of need. 1868

Freedman’s Bureau: On March 3, 1865, Congress established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, also known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. The bureau’s chief focus was to provide food, medical care, help with resettlement, administer justice, manage abandoned and confiscated property, regulate labor, and establish schools. This is important to our understanding of US history because it showed US’s efforts to improve the lives for former slaves after the Civil War.

Sharecropping: During the reconstruction, sharecropping worked in collaboration with convict lease to re-employ former slaves in similar jobs to those prior to their emancipation. To avoid the worse situation of becoming convict laborers, farmers were forced to enter into extremely disadvantageous sharecrop agreements that generally left them permanently in debt to the landowner. This system, advancing more later on, laid the way for new laws being passed to bring this to an end.

Carpetbaggers: Northerners who moved to the South during the reconstruction. Many people, filled with reformist impulses, formed a coalition with freed slaves and southern whites in Republican Party. Another example is where hundreds of white women moved South, many to teach newly freed African-American children who, for the period their families were held in bondage, were prohibited by law from learning to read or attending school.

New South: This term is used to describe the South after the Civil War. The former confederate states were now forward looking, prepared to embrace industrialization and promote the reconciliation of blacks and whites. Basically, it is the rise of the South after the Civil War. No longer were they dependent on the outlawed slave labor or predominantly upon cotton, but they were part of the modern national economy.

Frederick Jackson Turner: “Frontier Thesis” published in 1893 – The spirit and success of the US is directly tied to the country’s westward expansion. He explains that this westward movement had shaped American development. According to him, the forging of the unique and rugged American identity occurred at the juncture between the civilization of settlement and the savagery of wilderness. He is significant to our understanding of US history in the way he created a sense of American identity and affected the social moisture of the time in the US.

Dawes Severalty Act: Passed in 1891, it eliminated common ownership of tribal lands and make it a system of private property w/ areas divided into allotments for individual Native American families. This was important after Civil War, when there started many conflicts b/w the natives and Americans towards the west. It ended up having disastrous effects on the native tribes it tried to help.

Little Big Horn: Occurred in 1876. The battle was the most famous action of the Indian Wars and was a remarkable victory for the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne. A U.S. cavalry detachment commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was annihilated. This was supposed to force the Natives into their reservations, but the result was quite shocking towards the nation.

Ghost Dance: 1890. Created as a result of a plains Indians vision that the “second coming” would destroy the whites settlements and bring back Native American prosperity. It mostly just encouraged fear into the whites supervising regulations, and

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