AP U.S. History Notes

Chapter 23: The Ordeal of Reconstruction, 1865-1877

ringleader - A person who leads others, especially in unlawful acts or opposition to authority. “What should be done with the captured Confederate ringleaders?…”

civil disabilities - Legally imposed restrictions of a person’s civil rights or liberties. “But Congress did not remove all remaining civil disabilities until thirty years later….”

posthumously - After death. “But Congress…only posthumously restored Davis’s citizenship more than a century later.”

mutual aid societies - Nonprofit organizations designed to provide their members with financial and social benefits, often including medical aid, life insurance, funeral costs, and disaster relief. “This gave rise to other benevolent, fraternal, and mutual aid societies.”

confiscation [confiscated] - Legal government seizure of private property without compensation. “…the bureau was authorized to settle former slaves on forty-acre tracts confiscated from the Confederates….”

dogmatic - Holding to strong ideas or opinions without evidence or proof. “…he was a dogmatic champion of states’ rights….”
lease To enter into a contract by which one party gives another use of land, buildings, or other property for a fixed time and fee. “...some [codes] even barred blacks from renting or leasing land.”

chain gang - A group of prisoners chained together while working. “A black could be punished for ‘idleness’ by being sentenced to work on a chain gang.”

sharecrop - An agricultural system in which a tenant receives land, tools, and seed on credit and pledges in return a share of the crop to the creditor. “…former slaves slipped into the status of sharecropper farmers….”

peonage - A system in which debtors are held in servitude, to labor for their creditors. “Luck-less sharecroppers gradually sank into a morass of virtual peonage….”

scalawag - A white Southerner who supported Republican Reconstruction after the Civil War. “The ‘scalawags’ were Southerners, often former Unionists or Whigs.”

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Aboukhadijeh, Feross. "Chapter 23: The Ordeal of Reconstruction, 1865-1877" StudyNotes.org. Study Notes, LLC., 17 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2024. <https://www.apstudynotes.org/us-history/vocabulary/chapter-23-the-ordeal-of-reconstruction-1865-1877/>.