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Unit 6 - The Changing Face of America

  • Unit Question - Progress at what cost?  When should society control individuals?  How are diverse cultures alike and different?
  • Historical Context - Reconstruction, Immigration, End of Native American Uprisings
  • Final Assessment –  Reconstruction Quiz & Transcontinental Railroad Meets the Native Americans Quiz


June 19, 1865

What is Juneteenth?

Review / Discussion Questions:

  • When do the first Africans come to North America? 
  • What is the difference between African American history and US history? 
  • What years did the Civil War take place?
  • What is the Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation?  What year was it ordered?  What were its limitations?
  • What is Juneteenth? Is it a new holiday?  Should it be a national holiday?  Is it African American independence day? 
  • Historically an African American holiday from Texas, slowly it has expanded north.
  • How should Juneteenth be celebrated?  

Each year around June 19, Black communities across the country unite for a family reunion of sorts. Juneteenth activities feature the sights and sounds of Blackness: People enjoying art, music and food that connect them to a shared ancestry and history. They celebrate being their authentic selves. They celebrate freedom in both solemn and festive ceremonies.  This celebration marks a day in 1865 when enslaved Texans learned they’d be free—two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered and ended the Civil War and two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Initially a uniquely Texan observance, Juneteenth has now been recognized in some form in every corner of the country.  Read more: Learning for Justice: Juneteenth

Juneteenth Resources:  

Reconstructing America (The Start of The Reconstruction Era)

Let's discover Lincoln's vision of Reconstruction from Abe himself. Use the websites provided and read p. 11-16 in your new Reconstructing America mini-book to answer the Reconstructing America (The Start of The Reconstruction Era) questions in t your COMP books:  

Reconstructing America Questions
  1. Why did Lincoln believe he had the power over the act of reconstruction?
  2. What were the key points of Lincoln’s 10% Plan?
  3. In 1864, in response to Lincoln’s plan, Congress proposed their own plan for Reconstruction.  What is the Wade-Davis Bill?  What did Lincoln do?
  4. How did Johnson’s Reconstruction Plan differ from Lincoln’s? How was it the same?
Impeachment of
President Andrew Johnson

Discussion Questions:
Decide for yourself whether Congress' decision was the right decision?  Was it necessary?   In other words was it a political decision or the wrong-doing of President Andrew Johnson?  Review the Articles of Impeachment in your groups, summarize and explain to the class: 
Reconstruction Continued: 
Kind of (I guess)

Use the websites provided to answer the Reconstruction Continued: Kind of (I guess) questions in your COMP books:
  1. What did Congress expect the Freedmen’s Bureau to accomplish?  How long did the law intend for the Bureau to stay in business?  USE:  African American Records - The Freedmen Bureau
  2. Why do you think it was decided that the Freedmen's Bureau needed whites to govern? USE: - The Freedmen Bureau
  3. List at least five (5) Black Codes.  USE:  The Black Codes Defined
  4. Why did white Southerners believe that a separate code of laws applying only to “persons of color” was necessary?  USE:  The Black Codes Defined
  5. Northerners protested that the Black Codes of South Carolina and other Southern states attempted to restore slavery. Do you agree or disagree? Why?  USE:  Slavery by Another Name - Black Codes - PBS Video
  6. In layman’s (basic) terms, what did the Civil Rights Act of 1866 legislate? USE:  The Civil Rights Act of 1866
  7. What are the political and Constitutional consequences of Congress having a 2/3-majority vote?
  8. What were the 4 key points to the Congress’s Reconstruction Act?  USE:  BlackPast: Reconstruction Acts of 1867 and/or Facing History: The Reconstruction Acts

The South called greedy Northerners, Carpetbaggers

Time for Change:  Let’s find an old military hero like

George Washington, I mean Ulysses S. Grant

Read pages 28-48 in your Reconstructing America mini-book and answer the Time for Change: ...Ulysses S. Grant questions in your COMP books:

1) Who was the leader of the Radical Republicans?  What was Thaddeus Stevens opinion of Abraham Lincoln and his enemy Andrew Johnson and their individual plans for Reconstruction?  

2)  Was Thaddeus Stevens too radical or in other words too far ahead of his time?

3)  Who were the carpetbaggers?  How did this add to the problems in the South?  Give one positive example [Hint: p.36-39]

4)  What is sharecropping? Is sharecropping a new form of slavery?  [Hint: p.44-48]

5)  What economic problems did President Grant inherit upon his election?  How did he attempt to solve these problems? 

6)  Why is it that by President's Grant second term major criticism of his cabinet is wide-spread North and South, East and West?

7)  What is the legacy of Grant's presidency? 

                         President Ulysses S. Grant:  A Closer Look
             18th President 
"Unconditional Surrender"  
President U.S. Grant:  A Closer Look Resources:

Now decide what to make of President U.S. Grant:
(Assessment OF Learning) 


BONUS:  How does U.S. Grant get that awesome nickname (left)?  Read: Civil War Trust-Ulysses S. Grant: The Myth

  Grant Carrying the Weight
The Good 
"Hero of Appotomax" 
  • Supported civil rights of African-Americans
  • 90% of African-Americans voted for U.S. Grant
  • Signed the Enforcement Acts of 1870 & 1871 (KKK Acts)
  • Signed the 15th Amendment
  • Established military districts to protect African-Americans in the South
  • Fixed the Black Friday Scandal 
  • Signed the Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Signed the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act
  • Attempts a "Peace Policy" with Native Americans in the West
  • His book Civil War Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant is one the best selling books in US history
 The Bad
"Usless S. Grant" 
  • Corruption of Grant’s Administration  
  • Credit Mobilier Scandal
  • William "Boss" Tweed & Tammany Hall
  • Black Friday Scandal
  • Panic of 1873
  • Whiskey Ring
  • Salary Grab
  • Sanborn Incident of 1874
  • Crticized for the failures of Reconstruction
  • Failed "Peace Policy" with Native Ameicans in the West

"Let Us Have Peace"

- President 

Ulysses S. Grant

Courtesy of M.K. Clancy (class of 2017)

Courtesy of Samantha Kraus (class of 2024) 

Courtesy of Sasha Irivarren (class of 2021)

Courtesy of Noa Tschoe (class of 2021)

North or South:  

Who Killed Reconstruction? 

The Compromise of 1877 

(End of Reconstruction)

Some historians have suggested that the time period known as Reconstruction was really the Second Civil War and that it was the fault of the North for their neglect or refusal to solve the problems of slavery and the Black Codes.  

Read the PBS Reconstruction: The Second Civil War article to answer #1 & #2: 

  1. What do you think?  Should the failures of Reconstruction be considered the Second Civil War?
  2. Who deserves the blame?  North or South?  You must decide and be able and willing to debate!

The war is over and a central element of the Southern economy--slavery--has been abolished.  As former slaves demand wages and former masters strive to maintain profits, an inherently unfair system of sharing labor and land develops known as sharecropping (above left).  If you think Reconstruction couldn't get any worse under President U.S. Grant, then I am sorry but think again.   The election of 1876, the Compromise of 1877, and Presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes will end all Reconstruction efforts of the Radical Republicans.  

Read the Khan Academy: Election of 1876 & Compromise of 1877 Article  to answer #3 & #4: 

3.  What would the end of Reconstruction mean for African-Americans?  

4.  What is the meaning of the images below?

NOTE: Use additional resources for any help or clarifications necessary.  

Reconstruction Study Guide

  • Lincoln’s 10% Plan
  • Wade-Davis Bill
  • President Andrew Johnson’s (10%) Plan
  • President Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment
  • Congress Overrides Johnson
  • Civil Rights Act
  • Freedmen’s Bureau
  • 14th Amendment
  • Reconstruction Act
       - Military Districts
       - Command of Army Act
       - Tenure of Office Act
  • President Ulysses S. Grant
  • Carpetbaggers
  • Sharecropping & Tenant Farming
  • 15th Amendment
  • 40 Acres and a Mule
  • Collapse of Reconstruction
  • Ku Klux Klan
  • Enforcement Acts
  • Civil Rights Act of 1875
  • Democrats Redeem South
  • Compromise of 1877

Hell on Wheels:  

Stories of the Transcontinental Railroad 

Read p. 58-67 in your Reconstructing America mini book and then answer Hell on Wheels: Transcontinental Railroad questions in your COMP books: 

  1. What was the perception or opinion of the Transcontinental Railroad?  Meaning did people view this as a good thing for this nation or something that exploited the immigrants and the working man of our country?
  2. Why did the Chinese and Irish immigrant populations come here and work the railroads?
  3. Name three positives that came out of the Transcontinental Railroad and industrialization?
  4. Name three negatives that came out of the Transcontinental Railroad and industrialization? 
  5. What was the Homestead Act and who did it benefit?
  6. Why does the government set up competition between the two railways?
  7. What is the experience of Native Americans when meeting the railroad?  What does the government plan to do to protect settlers from Native Americans? 

The "Golden Spike" (also known as "The Last Spike") is the ceremonial final spike driven by Leland Stanford to join the rails of the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States connecting the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads on May 10, 1869, at 

Promontory Summit, Utah Territory.

BONUS:  The Transcontinental Railroad was cut right through the Sierra Nevada at a point named the Donner Pass. So why is it called the Donner Pass?  What happened to the Donner Party?  

Best (or Worst) of the West

Hollywood has made all of the following outlaws and entertainers famous or infamous depending on one's perception.  Some of these stories became part of the American folklore (see Dime Novels below).  Your assignment is to pick an outlaw or entertainer or area of your interest below, then answer the following questions.  Remember the good stories because you will be teaching!  If there is a Wild West outlaw that you are interested in researching that didn't make this list, like the Apache Kid, then just ask or email Mr. Streit and odds are it will be fine!  

Before the West

Lawmen turned Outlaws of the Wild West

Entertainers of the West

After the West
  • Bonnie & Clyde (Not the Wild West, but an amazing story I had to fit in somewhere)

Best (or Worst) of the West Questions:

  1. How does your outlaw or entertainer become so famous?  Give us the good stories!  
  2. What was their childhood like?  Why did they decide on a life of crime or entertainment?
  3. How does your outlaw/entertainer's story end?
  4. How is your outlaw connected to the Westward Expansion (Manifest Destiny), The Civil War, the Transcontinental Railroad, the Homestead Act, or Industrialization (Gilded Age)?  Explain at least one.
  5. Should your outlaw/entertainer be remembered as famous or infamous?  Why?

The End of Native American Uprisings

“I Will Fight No More, Forever”, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce

Read p. 80-88 in your Reconstructing America mini-book and answer The End of Native American Uprising questions in your COMP books: 

  1. The movement West by Americans whether by false ideologies like Manifest Destiny, or the Gold Rush, or the Transcontinental Railroad, or the Homestead Act created what problems for Native Americans?
  2. What problems arose by Native Americans being forced to live together on reservations?
  3. What did the Plains Indians depend on to survive?  Why?
  4. What was General Sherman's "final solution" to the Indian problem?
  5. Why did the Native Americans call African Americans the "Buffalo Soldiers"?
  6. What was the result of the Battle of Little Big Horn?
  7. What was the result of Wounded Knee?
  8. Why did the Indian policeman kill Sitting Bull?
  9. What was the Ghost Dance Movement?  Why did this movement strike fear in the U.S. government?
  10. Can a modern, industrial country protect native peoples and the natural environment?

Grattan Incident Gravesite

Tragedy of Wounded Knee 

The Real Question

The Real Question: So when does the U.S. government policy change from moving the Native American tribes to the west, then reservations, and to finally a policy of extinction?    

I suggest the policy starts (see gravesite image above)

 here:  Grattan Incident/Conquering Bear, but you will select from the list below.

HW:  The Real Question - Use the following links (select one) to answer The Real Question and decide for yourself, but you MUST decide and be prepared to discuss.  In other words, when in history does this policy of extinction (genocide) become official?:

American Indian Wars (During the 1600s)

The Minnesota Massacre, or Dakota War of 1862

Sand Creek Massacre

Treaty of Fort Laramie of1868 (Black Hills)

History Channel Videos: The Battle of Little Big Horn

Dawes Act (1887)

PBS: The West - General Philip Sheridan Total War Policy

Battle of Palo Duro Canyon

Teaching American History: The Ghost Dance Movement

US History: Wounded Knee Massacre

Transcontinental Railroad Meets the 

Native Americans Study Guide

  • Transcontinental Railroad
  • Barbed Wire
  • Mormons
  • Homestead Act
  • Battle of Little Bighorn
  • Promontory Point, Utah
  • Oklahoma Land Rush
  • Role of Women
  • Role of African Americans
  • Role of Chinese
  • Role of Irish
  • Massacre at Wounded Knee
  • Chief Joseph
  • Sitting Bull
  • Buffalo Soldiers
  • Sand Creek Massacre
  • Ghost Dance Movement