Reconstruction and the Fourteenth Amendment

As the Civil War came to a close, the nation faced the monumental task of rebuilding the union. Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, and the Radical Republicans in Congress all had different ideas about how to accomplish this task. In the wake of violent riots in Memphis and New Orleans, the Radical Republicans took control and pushed forward the Fourteenth Amendment to address some of the challenges of  reconstructing the nation.

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
8.82
Explain the significance of 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
8.83
Analyze the choice of Andrew Johnson as Vice-President, his succession to the Presidency, his plan for Reconstruction and his conflict with the Radical Republicans.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.8
Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is sound and the evidence is relevant and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character's thoughts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.9
Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes and topics (e.g., opposition of good and evil) and patterns of events (e.g., the quest) in...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.8.1
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1
Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts,...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.3
Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence and...
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
GLE 0401.3.2
Write in a variety of modes and genres (e.g., narration, description, personal expression, imaginative writing, response to literature, response to subject...
GLE 0401.4.1
Conduct research to access and present information.
GLE 0801.2.7
Participate in work teams and group discussions.
GLE 0801.3.3
Organize ideas into an essay with an introduction, developing paragraphs, conclusion, and appropriate transitions.
GLE 0801.4.2
Gather relevant information from a variety of print and electronic sources, as well as from direct observation, interviews, and surveys.
GLE 0801.4.3
Make distinctions about the credibility, reliability, consistency, strengths, and limitations of resources, including information gathered from websites.
SPI 0401.8.2
Identify characters, setting, and plot in a passage.
SPI 0801.2.7
Select the most appropriate strategies for participating productively in a team (e.g., gain the floor in orderly ways, meet or set deadlines for completing each...
SPI 0801.2.8
Identify the functions and responsibilities of individuals within an organized group (i.e., reporter, recorder, information gatherer, leader, timekeeper).
SPI 0801.3.5
Select appropriate time-order or transitional words/phrases to enhance the flow of a writing sample.
SPI 0801.4.2
Identify levels of reliability among resources (e.g., eyewitness account, newspaper account, supermarket tabloid account, Internet source).
SPI 0801.5.9
Make inferences and draw conclusions based on evidence in text.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.IKI.9
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
TSS.ELA.4.RI.KID.3
Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific...
TSS.ELA.4.RL.IKI.9
Compare and contrast the treatment of similar themes, topics, and patterns of events in stories from different cultures.
TSS.ELA.4.RL.KID.3
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in a text, such as a character's thoughts, words, or...
TSS.ELA.4.W.RBPK.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade 4 standards for reading.
TSS.ELA.8.RI.IKI.8
Delineate and evaluate the rgument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims and the...
TSS.ELA.8.RI.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing relevant textual evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.RL.KID.1
Analyze what a text says explicitly and draw logical inferences; support an interpretation of a text by citing relevant textual evidence.
TSS.ELA.8.SL.CC.1
Prepare for collaborative discussions on 8th grade level topics and texts; engage effectively with varied partners, building on others' ideas and...
TSS.ELA.8.SL.CC.3
Delineate a speaker's argument and specific claims, evaluating the soundness of the reasoning and relevance and sufficiency of the evidence; identify...
TSS.ELA.8.W.RBPK.9
Support interpretations, analyses, reflections, or research with evidence found in literature or informational texts, applying grade 8 standards for...
TSS.ELA.8.W.TTP.1
Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 
  • The student will analyze the writings of Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson to determine their plans for Reconstruction.
  • The student will use evidence from primary sources to determine how successful each plan was.
  • The student will analyze text and illustrations of the Memphis and New Orleans race
  • riots to determine what took place during each event.
  • The student will analyze the text of the Fourteenth Amendment to determine its impact on Reconstruction policy in the wake of violence in Memphis and New Orleans.
Essential and guiding questions: 

How did the U.S. approach reconstructing the nation in the wake of the Civil War? How did the Fourteenth Amendment seek to address the failures of early Reconstruction policy?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Ask your students to analyze the political cartoon “Mending the Family Kettle.” As students analyze the source, discuss the symbolism and the message the cartoon conveys. For a detailed description of the cartoon, check out the Encyclopedia of Virginia.
  • The Fourteenth Amendment is a powerful tool that has been used to extend equal rights to marginalized communities since its  ratification. Using the primary source set The Legacy of the Fourteenth Amendment, discuss the how this amendment has been used at different points in our nation’s history. 

Helpful Hints

Materials:

  • Fourteenth Amendment Worksheet
  • Reconstruction Timeline
  • Venn Diagram
  • Primary Source Analysis Tool
  • Index cards or post-it notes