Promotes radical Reconstruction policies

Poor Whites Reconstruction

After the Civil War ended in 1865, the United States continued to struggle with important and complicated issues. For example, Stevens and other federal lawmakers had to decide whether to punish the Confederate leaders, what process to use to readmit the Southern states to the Union, and how much assistance to provide in securing equal rights for the freed slaves. This difficult period in American history was called Reconstruction (1865-77). President AndrewJohnson (1808-1875 see entry) who...

Preparing for the Civil

By the time the Mexican War ended, Scott was known across America as a fierce fighter and a bold military strategist. In 1852, the Whig political party nominated him for the presidency of the United States. They hoped to take advantage of his fame and popularity. Divisions within the party over the issue of slavery hurt Scott's cause, though, and he was soundly defeated by Democratic Party candidate Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) in the general election. Scott remained in charge of America's army...

Joins the Confederacy

Lee and many other Americans viewed Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry as a sign that longstanding disagreements The Origins of Arlington National Cemetery In 1857, Robert E. Lee's wife, Mary Anna Randolph Custis Lee, learned that her father had died and left her his Virginia estate. This property, known as Arlington, included a fine mansion and beautiful grounds, but had fallen into a state of disrepair. Restoration of the estate became General Lee's responsibility, and he quickly took steps to...

Becomes an effective abolitionist speaker and writer

In 1836, a dispute between the students and faculty at Lane caused Weld to leave the school. He then turned his full attention to speaking out against slavery. He traveled to small towns around the country and made passionate speeches about the evils of the institution. Some people called him a fanatic, but many others were forever moved by the experience of hearing him speak. He ended up convincing thousands of people to support the abolitionist cause. For example, he brought six hundred new...

Andersonville Prison

In 1863, Wirz was assigned to a military prison in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. In March of 1864, he was ordered to take command of a prisoner-of-war camp outside of Ander- sonville, a village in Sumter County, Georgia. The Anderson-ville prison had opened one month earlier. Located on sixteen acres of open land, it was designed to hold about ten thousand men. For the first two years of the war, the two sides managed to limit the number of prisoners they held by engaging in prisoner exchanges. Each...

American Civil War Timeline

Battle New Orleans Civil War

1775 Philadelphia Quakers organize America's first antislav-ery society. 1776-83 English colonies' War for Independence against Great Britain ends with the formation of the United States. 1788 The U.S. Constitution is ratified, providing legal protection to slaveowners. 1793 Eli Whitney invents the cotton gin, which will dramatically increase Southern cotton production. 1803 President Thomas Jefferson purchases the Louisiana Territory from France. Yankee Doodle is written. George Washington...

Takes command of the allblack Fifty Fourth Massachusetts

In January 1863, the United States government authorized Governor John Andrew 1818-1867 of Massachusetts to put together a regiment of black soldiers from his state. Since there were not enough black men living in Massachusetts at that time, Andrew called upon prominent abolitionists and black leaders to recruit men from all over the North to form the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts Regiment. The Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts would be the first all-black regiment to represent a state in battle during...

Uncle Toms Cabin

Stowe's novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, became the single most important piece of antislavery literature in American history. The story first appeared as a series of short articles in National Era magazine in 1851. It proved to be extremely popular with Northern readers, and was published in book form in 1852. Uncle Tom's Cabin follows the lives of several black slaves who work for a cruel man named Simon Legree in the South. Through the experiences of Uncle Tom, Eliza, and others, the novel painted...