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georgia readmitted to the union

georgia readmitted to the union

georgia readmitted to the union

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georgia readmitted to the union
georgia readmitted to the union

georgia admitted to the union

January 2, 1788

Georgia readmitted to Union, July 15, 1870

On this day in 1870, Georgia became the last former Confederate state to be readmitted into the Union after agreeing to seat some black members in the state Legislature. Subsequently, Democrats won commanding majorities in both houses of the General Assembly.

Civil War and Reconstruction

The election of Abraham Lincoln to the presidency in 1860 renewed hostility between northern free states and southern slave states. When South Carolina seceded from the United States in late 1860, Georgia soon followed and joined the Confederate States of America.

On the morning of April 12, 1861, the first shot was fired from a Confederate battery and the Civil War began. The war lasted four bloody and devastating years before General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army surrendered in 1865. The period of rebuilding as a nation after, known as Reconstruction, lasted for several more years. Browse the page below to read about Georgia’s role before, during, and after the Civil War.


The presidential election of 1860 renewed hostilities between northern free states and southern slave states when Abraham Lincoln won the election without carrying any southern states. On December 20, 1860, a convention of South Carolina delegates met in Charleston and passed an “Ordinance of Secession.”

Within six weeks, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas followed. On February 4, 1861, these seven states held a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, to organize a new government for the Confederate States of America. At the convention, the delegates adopted a constitution and elected Jefferson Davis president.

Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee also withdrew from the United State, and the Confederate capital was moved to Richmond, Virginia

The seceded states argued that all states had entered the Union of their own free will and could secede if they felt the Constitution, as an agreement between the states, was not being respected.

Leaders in the Confederate States of America

Leaders in the Confederate States of America maintained that the federal government was distinctly hostile to slavery and the election of Lincoln reinforced that anti-slavery feeling. The Confederate States wanted a peaceable separation, but the United States government saw secession as an illegal act of rebellion and wanted a peaceable preservation the Union.

Reconstruction in Georgia

As a defeated Confederate state, Georgia underwent Reconstruction from 1865, when the Civil War (1861-65) ended, until 1871, when Republican government and military occupation in the state ended. Though relatively brief, Reconstruction transformed the state politically, socially, and economically.

Aftermath of the Civil War

As the Civil War ended in early May 1865, Georgia’s Confederate governor, Joseph E. Brown, surrendered to Union authorities and was paroled. After attempting to convene the Georgia General Assembly, however, he was arrested and briefly imprisoned in the District of Columbia.

Brown left behind a war-ravaged state, devoid of civil order and fast approaching chaos. Politically rudderless and economically destitute, Georgia faced the future with a white population, which had

numbered more than 590,000 in 1860, depleted by some 40,000 Georgians who had been killed or permanently dispersed by the conflict. The state’s Black population, principally more than 460,000 newly freedpeople, confronted a new world with hope and uncertainty.

In late June

In late June 1865 the Military Department of Georgia was established. For the state’s whites and Blacks, the U.S. Army provided a measure of stability, as well as much-needed food rations in some portions of the state. The soldiers’ numbers during the period from 1865 to 1871 fluctuated greatly, from around 9,000 (June 1865) to more than 15,000 (September 1865), but for most of the period their numbers totaled less than 1,000.

Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-1866

In mid-June 1865 U.S. president Andrew Johnson appointed as provisional governor of Georgia James Johnson, a Columbus Unionist who had “sat out” the war.
Following Governor Johnson’s directive (and President Johnson’s Reconstruction plan), elections were held for delegates to a constitutional convention that met in late October 1865 in the capital at Milledgeville. Voters—restricted to white adult males who would take a loyalty oath—numbered only some 50,000 in a state in which 107,000 had cast votes in the prewar presidential election of 1860.

Herschel Johnson


Herschel Johnson

the leadership of origina antisecessionist Herschel Johnson, the convention’s delegates framed a state constitution that repealed the Ordinance of Secession, abolished slavery, and repudiated the Confederate debt. Otherwise.

the framers made few changes to the constitution of 1861. Major alterations included a prohibition of interracial marriage and a limit on the term of governorship to two two-year terms.
On November 15, 1865, Georgians elected a new governor, congressmen, and state legislators. The balloting, though not subject to the restrictions of the earlier vote for convention delegates, yielded a dismal turnout of only 38,000 voters.
Voters repudiated most Unionist candidates and elected to office many ex-Confederates, though several of these—including the new governor, old-line Whig Charles Jones Jenkins.
—had originally opposed secession, had sought and secured pardons at war’s end, and had sworn allegiance to the United States.

Georgia’s Freed Populace

At the time, politics seemed a luxury few Georgians could afford. Along with its crippled agrarian economy, Reconstruction Georgia faced daunting challenges relating to labor.
During harvest time in 1865, many of the emancipated people tested the limits of their freedom. Flocking to towns, where they encountered overcrowding and a shortage of food, large numbers of Black Georgians fell prey to epidemic diseases.
Meanwhile, on farms and plantations that had depended on slave labor, harvests were small, with poor planning and miserable weather further diminishing them. Corn and wheat were scarce in late 1865.
The state’s traditional money crop, cotton, plummeted in 1865 to around 50,000 bales from a high in 1860 of more than 700,000 bales.
Complicating the situation, rumors suggested that the freedmen would soon be given freeholds and plowing animals.
The widely anticipated “forty acres and a mule” for formerly enslaved individuals stemmed from Union general William T.
Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, issued from Savannah in January 1865
Under that order, federal authorities confiscated “abandoned lands” along the coast and distributed them to freedpeople.
distribution proved temporary, however, as most of the land was soon restored to its original owners. Nonetheless, some Black families were able to buy or lease land from the government.

The End of Presidential Reconstruction

President Johnson’s Reconstruction program had begun during a lengthy congressional adjournment that extended from March to December 1865. When the Thirty-ninth Congress convened at the end of the year, the Radical Republicans argued that Johnson had exceeded his power in restoring the former Confederate states.

Georgia during Reconstruction

At the end of the American Civil War, the devastation and disruption in the state of Georgia were dramatic. Wartime damage.

Wartime Reconstruction, or “Forty acres and a mule”

At the beginning of Reconstruction, Georgia had over 460,000 freedmen.[3] In January 1865, in Savannah, William T. Sherman issued Special Field Orders, No. 15, authorizing federal authorities to confiscate abandoned plantation lands in the Sea Islands, whose owners had fled with the advance of his army, and redistribute them to former slaves. Redistributing 400,000 acres (1,600 km²) in coastal Georgia

resource: wikipedia

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