thumbnail of American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; 
     Second Interview with Clarence E. Walker, Historian, University of
    California, Davis
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but just give me a picture of what are african americans freed slaves expecting within forty and one layers of the cha cha cha was a man who was the flying moth i think all citizenship of independents and maybe these black people want the land because i had grown up in a culture in which land was an important commodity and was also the basis for independence and autonomy and i know many of them are able to acquire land that is forty conservative union army soldiers are able to save money from their salaries to purchase land but others expect in some ways that they might possibly be able to get land if the property of their former masters is redistributed to them and lady is important because it
means that they'll be able to shape and control their own lives in a way that they had not been able to when they were slips land is also important because it's you know they worked in these places and it's their homes and you know many of these people they're not on the way things are the songs going to talk about is the sense of african americans so that kind of omission because of the sense of place but also because of the labor that they put into this place of generations as everyone has to talk about why he is the case because i had worked on this land for long period of time families generations of people made these black people felt that they own the land and it was through their development of this land and their labor that this land had been profitable but they have not received at all the wealth or the benefits for working this
land and so many of them have a very proprietary sense about these plantations and about the land that are they have worked on this and sort of that labor but what's the sense of what it becomes clear fairly soon the african american democracy where the government is not going to happen before in fact elected mayor see through us facilities are sending what's the impact of that information out to people begin to respond to that one thing the failure of commons john or fifteen to be realized creates a great deal of distress in the black community and on the other hand people understand that they're going to have to work and the important question now is the conditions under which they will work most of the three people do not wish to be returned to work are genes that remind them of
slavery they do not an option for example work in games you not want someone riding around on a horse with a current on his shoulder as the overseer had done under slaven and they also do not want to work under the conditions that they had worked with slate's many of them want to have time to pursue their own personal interest there is also the question of a roll in place of women in the workforce is many of the freed men do not want their wives to work in the theater having a virtual three people did though say that in many cases the wives stay home to care of their children the black man want their wives to have that liberty also if you read for example the paper of the african methodist episcopal church the region report their reports making sixty five nineteen sixty six nineteen sixty seven of the freedom and establishing homestead and what's a while or tending to the
children and being housewives and not working in the field with him that's good do you really want johnson in what was then put four point of view generally speaking as andrew johnson represent me when he comes onto the scene what we're going to talk with the dugout water it was a strict constructionist of the constitution before the war ii had been a representative of the farming classes all tennessee and he had been brought into the republican party about abraham lincoln as a symbolic effort to guarantee the loyalty of a border state the assassination of
lincoln elevator man with his position and who is little say was shall we say a questionable johnson finds himself allied with the party that is busily engaged in the expansive program for economic development but also happens to think that having freed slaves that those people require certain constitutional protections and johnson is opposed to granting oh those types of protections to black people he feels that black people should be subordinate to whites he feels that any effort to elevate the status of black people from agencies like the freemans bureau or civil rights activating sixty six even at a our actions aimed at discriminating against white people for the simple reason that no american government had done any solo
work for say the irish what the germans were immigrants but white immigrants would come to america is the president's party so it was there was an acceptable use in the ocean so you know the american government had used its resources prior to the emancipation of black people to hell an unfortunate class racial group in the united states in the sense that they had provided them with sports and social services that the freedoms bureau provides free dessert not been done for example for the irish in the eighteen forty three the germans and so there is this sense you did this for a while why didn't you do it for these like the one thing that you talked about foreigners are willing to talk about before was johnson and his view about the
expansion of federal power you talk a little about what johnson has a strict constructionist believes that the ultimate power in the american system resides at the state will not at the federal level he is a pulsating to an expansive program of government policies the air protecting and helping black people these it seems to him on this is here is what was the vibe there should be left to that here oh there's more masters of new digital system as we say is going through cover just that johnson is opposed to his vision of the top for him cause of the warning signs at the state level not at the national and
johnson believes that the republicans are engaged the newest usurpation of state authority to override state or ideological protections their whites in many cases participants are not have its own woes johnson and democrats want what was johnson's general motors had planned after the war was johnson's you about what caused justice into the larger picture of all american nor the northern americans view about what's happening in the country and what they believe shin i wanted to see with the larger north i think that although president johnson it's been castigated as a sort of monster that sort of you know work on the state that in some ways he's idea
respected black people was very constant with the ideas of many people in the know but on the other hand one has to keep in mind those people that is a level of race many northerners felt that once the war was over that black people should receive certain animal constitutional protection and it is the policy of president johnson by encouraging the south to reconstitute itself in a fashion that is hostile to black freedom that drives many northerners away from his position what in a nutshell what is the johnsons what was johnson's plan in terms of reconstruction johnson's plan a reconstruction was basically because of the presidential the congress and the senate johnson's plan a reconstruction
is basically in the long term to detach from the republican party in the coalition of moderates since the attacks and bring them in line with the northern democrats and the southern democrats and hopefully thereby create some kind of constitution union card and it was rampant even a strict constructionist interpretation of the constitution this would then enable him to forestall any of the plans in the rally for the expansion of federal power and particularly in a sort of efforts aimed at improving the condition oh black people's lives in this out one of the things that i talk about that also that when when johnson is pardon the planet he's concerned with
oh what is described as a sort of black militancy are in the south and this is part of what he's trying to check talk what what is he seen and was despondent when you see his job johnson is seeing in many cases out a black population that the southerners only in their darkest movements would have thought are possible the same people who have abandoned the plant which is seeing people who are demanding if they're asked to go to work that they treated in a decent batch were telling their former owners but they will not work for low wages are telling their former owners that they should have a right their recent division also have the right to be able to sell them later and i'm mara liasson it's very disturbing not only did president johnson but also many of the whites in the south
who are allied with these people have been for centuries the beach waiting to believe that black people will only work on the winds supervision and the black people who are working and not working with saving their routines on items of consumption holy flu house in ways that seem to undermine the notion of black dependence on what is a very frightening thing one more question the social work's reception mentioned war our art when when sean comes the savannah knew about these as many as a thousand african americans campuses our own our northern whites or where this if they're what's their sense of what is happening or what should add northern whites only air of what's going on the south this is reported
in the newspapers it's brought back by soldiers returning from the war are and by the fact that last this is the issue that's at the forefront of government policy because this was completely unexpected no one thought that once the war be good that that would be in that they entered northern iraq is enormous filings of slate's live up in the camp from the plantations exiled the army's because the army's providing them with protection on some cases when they were harassing our driveway or trying to work on a former plantation where they work and so there is this sort of president at nature about this movement of people and the normal doesn't really know i think what did you mean with this because oh
oh there's an orator an expectation of many northerners it seems to me in terms of the movement of black population of the south they were working for the state was that he did not want them coming into know there was this anxiety that once the war was over it would be a massive exodus of black people up the mississippi river valley into the midwest and possibly ultimately into northeast in search of work so we're not very much and they would have if they had a choice like to see these people settled in the south working on the plantations where they had formally worked as slaves
that's right yes i think we are i think it was here that was northern opinion was formed around was a belief in freedom as an absence of slavery freedom to not only license it did not really new kids get to play and not be important people fall into environments that freedom is not just the meeting was asked that that freedom carries with it certain responsibilities it means that one has to have a jot down one has to be take a carousel in a way that you did not have to take yourself for me when you slip into lore this is the meaning of freedom that these people should entire lives the ideology of modern civilization that they should have jobs that they should come to those
jobs on time do there were doing well that they should say that they shouldn't that they should in short be nice those losses is all united states properly and investors the losses law though then there's the kinds of heroes the black people and no constitutional protections without the right rich and that comes about as a result of course of president johnson's media policy of reconstruction in the south where the images created by the southerners
yes that lacks a free but beyond that we're not appear to go and we think that is the sound that they should return this place is the world and they'll all should accept this information to quiet hour or this or this idea of freedom as the absence of slavery and my wrongs disasters with it since it also implies that as much as average americans they deserve going where internalized et cetera that there is no obligation or was an obligation from that some of more than the most northerners in terms of what the federal government need to provide no offense that sliver is assistant was that the government has no other role except to make sure that that they're taking medicine for it and
that was that what it will given when they were freed in eighteen sixty five was nothing but freedom this was also emancipation it you're free free now to make it in the world as other people and other men and women have made it before your emancipation the government's obligations many people were told to an eighteen sixty five did not only on this that freedom it they each that every individual or in the classical liberal fear still on his own and head to major work for him so they really ed sort of programs uphold called a social welfare there were going to be any sort of support it what you had to do
was to go out and caught a place in society for yourself without government support it wanted to that one way to get a sense of the one teacher can cure for us a sense of all these people are in terms of that what they represent this is just a local is a fringe group of these people viewed as in terms of a larger sense of what america is thinking the radical part of this political issue called the republican party they were the inheritors of the tradition of abolitionists they delete a number of them now or the
illegality others were not so convinced of the quality of what people with one way also was it always as many northerners theory that black people should have the equal protection talk a lot and in this sense they slow for a number of people in the know i'm not but but within the party they are a very minority of their tiny front in the war but they're still very small minority oh yes well what i think you have to keep in mind that the radicals were minority whip in the republican party not a violent group
but they head that is a plan and a commitment to their point of view and the ability to articulate in a way that slowly but surely they're able to convince their peers their presidential plan of reconstruction is not working that in terms of the larger terms of wonder one more holiday with it well in terms of the broad population of the north there also won minority as the abolitionists had been but slowly but surely people come does he there may be some element of embarrassments that the south china sea its refusal to be on the status quo ante bellum this to say to change its mind about black people and the violence visited upon black people in new orleans and the memphis writes of
eighteen sixty six that's as many people in that role as the rebels have been convinced that something has to be done to get laughs more costly how how does johnson's view of stevens and the radicals are at that protest as the war is ending and begins a bit of a leak is the initial relationship with one of the guards suspicion in which thing we don't know what to make of this man but on the other hand he's made all these statements about how he wants to be the moses and how is the us that the plant is needed economist for leading
the south out the eu and so this initial moment when the moderates and conservatives in the republican party were able to convince the radicals sort of cool their suspicions about president johnson that is time for us they are deeply suspicious of him because obviously because of his veto do his hostility and the show was over rights activity and sixty six would strike at the heart colorado diesel cost implications to the newly freed freed what when johnson vetoes songwriter what is once it's that was why is he so opposed to this is also flying face of what is now
not just a much larger a coalition of what's at stake and he thought that he would now have support off people even more than in the south and he's right where he is largely ignored either be a substantial portion of people in the north you know feel that because the house behavior be it the black holes were these race riots making sixty six and other violence is being visited upon black people of the south as amelia not is set at the time of the working on this is really not have guessed except it's all not only that black people are free but that they should have certain constitutional protections that they should be equal before law and so the president has
basically means the context in which he's operating along with again johnson's position would you think that you could use a largely because of interpretation of the constitution states rights versus federalism or isn't something of a sudden more this is as simple as that and why it is that president johnson's provisional constitution was a strict instructions we need of course that most homicide at the local level wrong and that there are many people united states than the party though say republicans understand that the opposition he's in some kind of all danger
unless they can shore up support for the program which they want to pursue in the south by attracting sufficient number of voters to help the elected congress people who will support the republican program of reconstruction well let's talk a little about the fourteenth amendment in utah or the new book that i'm interested in are african americans are doing this on top of us mrs kerry says that she was a ford didn't need to to black life and when it comes out of this well it means first volume essays got that state would be the fourteenth amendment a slow gradual movement away from being a white supremacist state because it's not preachy get your citizenship one
last month it now means that black people have certain constitutional protections that they had not had before in the history of the country and it also means that the door is slowly but surely being opened like the princes of the year in american politics this is his issue you are the one i think to classes and i do not mean to suggest that got one is different from the other i just need you have two
places what i'm referring to sort of when i used the phrase divisive citizenship i mean that there are only two classes of people in united states and be citizens black and white he i'm not trying to suggest although it will be in actuality case that once this idea that that particular law only with the adoption of the fourteenth amendment while he's now joined by glass as a citizenship class of the united states in this debate over the passage of this month during his men out of congress in what's johnson's position on this amendment what is what's the argument for his opposition on his arm of the opposition to the grocer's occasion about and that light will not positively i mean by that that lesson and some of the citizens of the united states use a version
for all that the federal government is taking an authority from space because up until that time this had been a question determined by state now now that it's all written by the schedule that the interesting thing about that because we don't think about that as if this is a huge issue for another show used to federal government having wireless or a dozen settlers who are still there were the threat and what the fourteenth amendment did was to make federal citizenship i'm a national sensation
and then the waste means that the states citizenship except it also means that the problem defies citizenship easy now and germs that they don't have that how you this is something that creates two levels of citizenship a federal animal to eat crickets he's hinted that we have and we talked about that but that's part of the business is that the federal government is doing something that they don't have distorted what they're about to do which is take this that people like me out president johnson uses the phrase
unprecedented in a lot of his messages about this new class of citizenship and that suggests of course that these have not been the case in the past but that this was unusual and it is unusual because here you have a state in the nineties under once they bring into its vitality four million people who had have the time of the constitution because it is that they were not citizens of the united states and so you have been a remarkable transformation and the concept of a citizen of the city and the government in this as people in this
thirteen to a lot of white people because they cannot leave the capacity says states but when people are not capable of exercising the judgment and foresight that is required to be a citizen a democratic republic and the news that says yes but he says there's actually a long novel about poor whites in the south and who are very end china made it clear for viewers that the south was not all planners and that their purple but the problem for once and sentenced today one in the south and you have this glass of the local whites that largely refer to people who were
not plantation owners and live in marginal live in the piedmont in the ultimate areas of the south he called plantation says that nineteen eighty was that once his loyal to the idea all black support mission levin said that they did not upset ever the possibility that was black people were freed they would ever be equal all white people was the reason for those beliefs was what i might call a certain common sense racism and that is they have to think that black people were so fierce because they were
slaves moreover the very conditions of life live and his information to white people only reinforces this idea of black inferiority about how that works as a holster of song strange injury as it is about black lives and what was their work too can the eighties that was a native state that black people ought to social political and cultural hear what what at the end of the war what out of what people in this class see their chances what are they looking for well education is a religion not only a lot of people but it's also a revolution i think
that the thing is now they have to face the fact that their skin privilege he's got that before the civil war the mere fact that they will walk out with sufficient reason for them to feel entitled to do whatever they want to but now that laughable autumn theory free and will soon be citizens of the united states means that they have to compete with these new elements in the marketplace a lot of those results of the visions of how it is a very frightening name is this one of johnson's trial is concerned about and we usually when we when we think of the war he taught himself so connected to this classic the president johnson it's very much because the cost of the classical whites himself concerned about the future placed on black people in southern society
he like many of these theories does not only lie hagel says the right stuff to work even free fire area and a couple of them about them was roman so the three big energy's but people looking for political arena for opportunity mixing seventies where this was this was this energy coming from mobile was to help people
what were those to show in terms of the big big question in this of soldiers people a moment in which to sort themselves in ways that they used for now assert themselves and just received white community so that you have the people once free now on the streets of cities like memphis and war is behaving in ways this was inappropriate leads to these kinds of all classes that are already making sixty six volvo citizen want visitors and it uses
assertiveness on the part of what's a fact that soldiers and others come out of the definitive communities suggest but something has gone wrong with that is that is where they start off of the yen ha ha them where they wind up a mormon women will wind up in terms of the radical that's wrong so more than a blatant as in strife in which some six hundred thousand men were killed or died from wounds and also in battle and by the end of the war many people in the north are very very
ready to get on with their lives and not thinking about reasons for thinking about without being intransigent they just lost to be reconciled with these people who made for this role and so in a sense than it seems to mean that reconstruction is really wrong on president in terms of all the way that it falls falls in reaction to a series of all political crises there are the product of southern intransigent that the lord is revitalized the game to somehow bring about what he believes to be a justice in as i bought so the intransigence and leadership of president johnson so by the
end of the world have gone from not as they're expecting any involvement of being supporting funding from the end of awards from not expecting any sort of involvement in the south for the volunteer really want to or support health are supporting the idea that the right idea of truth and in the south and the idea that she should be in the south he's held only by minority population and that is the radicals who believe that the south has forfeited its rights within the union and that the south to be treated as called it crosses on loans and to use our state at sixty five ratings six in those times but as of the fall that you become much more acceptable i will say probably becomes much more acceptable because there is a growing apprehension
This record is featured in “Reconstruction Interviews.”
Series
American Experience
Episode
Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
Raw Footage
Second Interview with Clarence E. Walker, Historian, University of California, Davis
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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cpb-aacip/15-xs5j961h1q
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Description
In the tumultuous years after the Civil War (1863-77), America grappled with how to rebuild itself, how to successfully bring the South back into the Union and how to bring former slaves into the life of the country. Walker talks about expectations of freed slaves, failure of Sherman's General Order 15, freedmen wanted wives at home, Andrew Johnson out of step with his party and unwilling to do anything for blacks at the national level, black consumers undermining the notion of black dependence on whites, Northern anxiety about blacks moving north for work, Thirteenth amendment, radical republicans, suspicion of President Johnson, Fourteenth amendment, what is citizenship?, riots and southern intransigents.
Topics
History
Race and Ethnicity
Politics and Government
Subjects
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, Reconstruction, Confederacy, voting rights, slavery, emancipation
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(c) 2004-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Duration
0:43:23
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Duration: 0:43:23

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Citations
Chicago: “American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Second Interview with Clarence E. Walker, Historian, University of California, Davis ,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 27, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-xs5j961h1q.
MLA: “American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Second Interview with Clarence E. Walker, Historian, University of California, Davis .” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 27, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-xs5j961h1q>.
APA: American Experience; Reconstruction: The Second Civil War; Second Interview with Clarence E. Walker, Historian, University of California, Davis . Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_15-xs5j961h1q