Summary Objective 21

Students will examine the impact of the Compromise of 1877 and the removal of federal troops from the former Confederacy. Maps to Key Concepts 2, 8, & 10


What else should my students know?

21.A The Compromise of 1877 emerged from the contested presidential election of 1876. Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was given the presidency in exchange for the formal end of Reconstruction, including the removal of the last federal troops from the South.

21.B After the end of Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan and local and state governments attacked African American political participation, leading to the return of white Democratic rule in the former Confederacy.

21.C White Democratic governments across the South used Jim Crow legal codes to enforce new ways of controlling black labor and black bodies.

21D. A sustained campaign of racial terrorism, including public lynchings of thousands of African Americans, enforced white supremacy after slavery itself was ended.


How can I teach this?

  • During the Jim Crow era, Southern states used peonage and convict labor to force African Americans to work without pay for years and even decades. The PBS documentary Slavery by Another Name covers this period well.
  • States imposed literacy tests and the grandfather clause, which were designed to disqualify African Americans from voting. Literacy tests were unfairly administered to the black population. The grandfather clause, which obviously targeted African Americans, provided exemptions from these tests and from poll taxes only for voters—or descendants of voters up to grandchildren—who had voted prior to 1867.
  • From producers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren, An Outrage is a short documentary on lynching in the American South. The film and the accompanying viewer’s guide teach about the rise of white Democratic rule in the post-Reconstruction era and how African Americans resisted racial terror, in part by joining The Great Migration.
  • The digital project A Red Record documents histories of lynching throughout the former Confederacy, demonstrating the connection between lynchings and white supremacy after the Civil War.
  • Many hundreds of Indigenous and Latinx people were lynched throughout the West. The history is still being uncovered, but several online resources provide an introduction. The work of Ken Gonzales-Day in his Erased Lynchings project illuminates some of this history.



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