US History Overview 2 – Reconstruction to the Great Depression


– [Instructor] Where we
left off in the last video, the North had just won the Civil War. Unfortunately for Abraham Lincoln, it was two months after
he was assassinated. But now the North was dominant and essentially occupied the South. And we enter a period
called Reconstruction, and Reconstruction can
refer to one of two things and they’re somewhat related. One is just the
Reconstruction from the war. Obviously there was a lot of
damage done on both sides. But it’s usually referred
to the actual Reconstruction of the South and to some degree, kind of the reform of the South. I’m going to glaze over a lot of details, like I did in the last video. I might ignore some major events that you might find important. And I’ll get back to them, don’t worry. But the three big things that happened during Reconstruction, other than the fact of the
North occupying the South and essentially, to a large degree, suspending democracy in the South and installing its own
politicians, its own lawmakers, is that the United States passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. These are known as the
Reconstruction Amendments. In 1865, you have the 13th Amendment and this abolished slavery. Let me write this here. This ended slavery. We talked about the
Emancipation Proclamation and that was essentially Abraham
Lincoln’s executive order, this was a speech he made. But now it became official law in 1865. Then in 1868, you have the 14th Amendment which made everyone, every person born in the
United States a citizen, and this includes the freed slaves, so it’s kind of like,
the slaves are now free and they are also citizens. And then in 1870, you
have the 15th Amendment which gave all free men the right to vote. And obviously, now all men were free. There were no non-free men. So, the right to vote. And I emphasize the men
because even at this point, women did not have the right to vote. The right to vote. And the 14th Amendment also
introduced a due process which, I won’t go into the details
here, but it essentially said, “Look, the government has
to go under a due process “where it’s subject to its
own laws when determining “whether it can take away property from “or in some way, “infringe on rights of other people.” But we’ll probably do a whole
video on that in the future. But these were the real takeaways. So it really brought the
former slaves, at least by law, by these amendments, on equal standing. But we know that in
practice, that didn’t happen. And you fast forward to
1877, and you essentially have the Reconstruction
period formally ending. The occupation of the South formally ends. And as soon as the occupation
of the South formally ends, and democracy comes
about, you have a bunch of people coming to power. And at this point of time, the Republicans were
essentially the North, and these were the people
who were anti-slavery. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican. And the Democrats come
to power in the South. And we can talk about how
the different perceptions of the different parties change over time. But at this point, as soon
as the occupation ended, and I put democracy in quotes
because even in this period, the North has essentially
not occupied anymore, but the elections, these were things that were heavily contested. You have both sides of
them exerting force. And in particular, you
have the Jim Crow Laws being passed in the South. And they’re called the Jim Crow based on this parody in the early 1800s. It was a practice for white men in the South at this time, or even well before this,
in order to parody blacks they would paint their face black and they would act silly and all of this. And Jim Crow was the name
of one of these characters that was portrayed in the early 1800s. I think it was Jumping
Jim Crow, was the name. That’s where the laws come from. But the Jim Crow Laws essentially segregated blacks and whites in the South. Even though the idea might
have been that they were equal, the reality were that the
conditions for blacks, the places that they were
separated to, were far inferior. They had to use separate
drinking fountains, they had to use separate bathrooms. They couldn’t sit in the
same parts of theaters or in the same parts of buses. And these lasted all the way until the Civil Rights Movement,
all the way to the 1960s. Now, at the same time that
all of this was happening, you kinda had this post Civil
War boom in the economy, where you had this massive building of the railroads and steam engines. To some degree, it was the first, well, I don’t wanna say the first. There was many ages of mass innovation. But all of these things
tend to always lead to a little bit of a bubble. And then in 1873, what
you have happening is a lot of the governments of
the world start going off of the gold and silver standard, and they go to the gold standard. And what then happens is,
is that anyone who’s left on the silver standard or partially both, the gold and silver standard, their currency would devalue. And back then, it was viewed
as an unambiguous negative for your currency to devalue. We can later talk about that,
there’s more nuance there. So the United States
decide to follow suit. And actually, the big
actor here was Germany that decided to go off
of the silver standard and going on pure gold standard. And so the United States
decide to follow suit with the Coinage Act in 1873. But this leads to a huge, they
call it the Panic of 1873. There’s a couple of things here. One, it completely demolishes
the price of silver, although this was already
happening on a global basis. It hurts the silver miners
and the industries associated with the silver miners. But I guess more importantly, now this restricts the money supply. And I won’t go into all
of the economics of it. When you restrict the money supply, you essentially increase interest rates, and it essentially popped
the bubble that was forming due to the railroads and
all of the booming business. And then you essentially have the United States entering a depression. And that depression lasts from 1873, when the Coinage Act and
kind of this bubble burst, all the way to 1879. But lucky for the United
States, after that time period, after it recovered from the depression, it actually recovered
at this super fast rate, and this was one of the
fastest economic growths in US history. You had this huge influx of immigrants, tens of millions, from Europe. And by 1890, the United States
was now the richest country in the world on a per capita basis, which is amazing because
only a hundred years ago, it was kind of this
colony of Great Britain, or part of the British Empire. It was kind of this thing that the European powers didn’t
view as that relative. But now it was the richest
country in the world. And then you fast forward to 1898. And it starts to, essentially,
become a bit of an empire. Until this time, United
States kind of kept to itself. It wasn’t really interested in controlling other
nations or other people. But in 1898, until 1898, Cuba was a Spanish colony. And there had been many revolts try against the Spanish by the Cubans. And the United States, or the Americans, were fairly sympathetic to the Cubans. After all, here’s another
country in the New World, again, trying to revolt
against a European power. And the Spanish were pretty infamous for cracking down pretty hard. So in 1898, while there was
a revolt against the Spanish, the United States set some ships over to Havana Harbor, essentially to protect American interests. This might resonate a little bit relative to maybe the Mexican-American War, that we kind of send things
close to another country to protect our interests and make sure nothing crazy happens. Then while in Savannah
Harbor, not Savannah, while in Havana Harbor,
you have a battleship, a US battleship called
the Maine, the Maine, that explodes and sinks. And this is an actual picture of it. This is fun because we’re
entering the point in history where pictures start to become relevant. Although, even in the mid
1860s, you had pictures. That’s a picture of Abraham Lincoln. The Maine gets sunk. The people who wanna
declare war on Spain say, “Hey, Spain must’ve blown up the Maine.” Although it’s still a complete mystery on what was the actual cause. Some people say it was
just a random explosion. There’s even conspiracy
theorists who believe that the United States did
it to itself intentionally to justify entering the
war, while some say, “Hey, no. Spain did it
for whatever reason. “It didn’t like this American
fleet in Havana Harbor.” But regardless to say,
after this happened, it allowed, it made the
American public angry, the American government angry, and they declared war on Spain. And it was actually a
very short-lived war. They won pretty handedly. The big takeaway from
the Spanish-American War is that the United States
essentially became an empire. It started to have control
of other countries, and in particular, it had
temporary control of Cuba. But it also, because it
won, it got control of Guam, which is right over there, and
it still has control of Guam. It also got control of the
Philippines from Spain, and it maintained control
of the Philippines until the end of World War II. And it got control of Puerto Rico, which is still part of the United States. It’s not an official state but it is United States territory. So at this point, the United
States becomes an empire. And then you fast forward to 1914. War breaks out in Europe. I need to do a whole series
of videos on World War I. But war breaks out in Europe. Particularly, the two strongest powers that are really at each
other at this time period, are the British Empire and Germany. You have this situation
where United States is trying its hardest to stay neutral. Obviously, the American
people were predominantly of English descent, it’s an
English speaking country. So there were some sympathies
for the British Empire, for Great Britain. But they wanted to stay neutral. But what you had happening
is that the British had a blockade of the Germans. They really had a strangle hold. And the Germans wanted to
have a blockade of the British because Great Britain was an island. It was an island, it could
really maybe win the war if it could somehow strangle the island, if it could blockade the island. But unfortunately for Germany, it did not have as strong of a navy. So you get close to 1917,
actually 1915, 1916, 1917, Germany starts to get desperate. So it sends its submarines
into the Atlantic. They say, “Well, if we can’t
blockade Great Britain, “at least maybe we can
start harassing ships “or even blowing up ships that are trying “to trade with Great Britain
and that’ll make people “afraid to, it’ll
essentially be the equivalent “of a blockade.” And at first, Germany
does some minor things. But as the war goes on, it
gets more and more desperate. It gets more and more desperate,
and it starts attacking civilian ships, cruise liners, Americans start dying
because German u-boats are just willy-nilly, just
essentially torpedoing ships. So the US doesn’t tolerate it anymore, enters the war in 1917. Germany didn’t take the
United States that seriously up to that point. But it learned, and we’ll
do a whole series of videos on this, that it should have. And then you fast forward to 1918, and the United States
was definitely one of, the British were doing alright, but the United States
really turned the tides. No one really expected
how large of a power they had essentially
gotten involved in the war. Then you fast forward to
1918 and the war ends. The real takeaway of this, I
mean there’s a bunch of these and we’ll talk more about this
in depth in future videos, is that it ended some of the nations that were on the losing end. Austria-Hungary no longer was a nation, at least in this form. The Ottoman Empire no longer
was a nation in this form. And as we will learn later,
there were huge reparations by the victors on Germany,
and that to a large degree, may have led to World War II. But we won’t talk in depth
about that right now. The other things that started
to happen at this point, in 1920 you have the 18th and the 19th Amendments being passed. The 18th enacted Prohibition, where all of a sudden,
you made alcohol illegal in the United States. And you know the irony of it is, that’s when you have all of these movies about these bootleggers and
you have this whole crime scene that develops around illegal alcohol. But at the same time
the 19th Amendment was maybe a little less controversial. And the 19th Amendment, it finally gave women the right to vote. Right to vote. And one of the arguments against having women the right
to vote before this time was, “Hey, you know, only men are
fighting for the country. “Only they have the right to vote. “Only they can be soldiers.” But during World War I, and this happened not just in the US, this happened
worldwide in World War I, that because so many men were fighting, women really had to take
up the slack domestically. And they, essentially, were
a big part of the war effort in terms of just working at the factories and producing things. So that was probably one
of the big things that, on kind of a global
basis, all of a sudden, women started to get the right to vote. Also, at this period,
you have in the 1920s, you have another post-war economic boom that really develops into
a post-war economic bubble all the way until 1929. And then you have the stock market crash, and then I think some of us know that, after that period, the
Great Depression ensues. And the Great Depression continues. And this was a global Great Depression, and it continues all the way to the US entry in World War II. And I’ll leave you there.

78 Replies to “US History Overview 2 – Reconstruction to the Great Depression”

  1. @b3rd4 Do you really find it more disappointing than the Soviet Union, the British Empire, the Spanish Empire, the French under Napoleon, the Germans under Hitler, the Japanese Empire during WWII, the Ottoman Empire, or the Romans? These were all superpowers in their day. The US is definitely not perfect, but I'd say it looks pretty good in comparison.

  2. Yay, more history!

    I don't think the USA is all that disappointing. We have a lot to be proud of- and admittedly a lot to be ashamed of. But who doesn't? The secular constitution of which we were founded by as well as the principles we hold to be universal has at least, undoubtedly, made the US the least tyrannical of all superpowers.

    Am I wrong?

  3. @Territomauvais We have a saying "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely". In that regard, the US did fairly well. I think much would have been worse if France/GB/Germany/Spain had had the same amount of power at this time.

  4. @b3rd4 Lol. I like how you summarize the most unanimous response or perspective people have against america either blindly or just as a group. no offense but its like the most common idea people have about America yet they are like the engine needed to run the world. the only time one would ever hate a superpower; in the context of the world never else. LOL! I just find it funny.

    PS. I am a Canadian. So i would apologetically could careless. eh!

  5. @SalsaTiger83 I agree completely. France continues to a menacing extent its colonial adventures in Central & Northern Africa. Neither Germany, Spain, nor the UK have a constitution suitable to wield the power America has had dumped into its hands. Even with our wonderfully written constitution though; look at how epic America's contemporary failures are…

    We are far from having a Superpower who is universally good for its people; and neighbors.

  6. Excellent HD videos! It it would be nice if there would be some in chem, physics. Do you do any Anatomy, Genetics, Microbiology, and other college sciences? By the way, your an extraordinary facilitator!!

  7. im so happy that you made more history vides Sal, But i though we were gonna go into world history, thats what you left off.

  8. @Territomauvais
    No, but isn't it sad that superpowers have to be tyrannical at all?
    Comparing to define who was the least tyrannical is so SAD, really. It just assumes the world has no chance of being led by a big nation that will help smaller ones, so all we can really strive to be is the LEAST BAD one.
    That's just sad, IMO.

  9. @Territomauvais what is it with Americans bashing the French all the time? There is no colonialism going on. What remains is something called "international relations". And who said your constitution is superior? Basically Germany's constitution is a much more modern version, and allows for nice little things like "real" majority voting and keeping lobbyism and corruption tightly in check. What I meant was the colonial powers of say 100-200 years ago, with totally different polities than today's

  10. @SalsaTiger83 I'm not an American bashing the French- I live in reality. And the reality is France and its former colonies have strong economic ties to each other- and France sees to it that they use military force to protect their interests in said countries without any international approval.

    Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, how about Rwanda?!- In which the French military intervened only on the side of those committing the genocide. This is colonialism by definition. Sorry.

  11. @Territomauvais your view on history looks a little biased. Try to perceive more details and judge less… It is easy to arrive at conclusions, but very hard and misleading to argue about morals.

  12. I'm enjoying your overviews from 30,000 ft. I have one correction: the Spanish-American War began when Spain declared war on the U.S., not the other way around. Keep 'um coming!

  13. May I request a video on the Gilded Age? AP exams are in ten days for US History and the WHOLE class struggled on it during yesterday's review day than any other topic. Thank you, it would be fantastic!

  14. @Smielle1 Elaborate? :p.

    France gets involved militarily in other countries (former colonies) affairs without any international guidance; and you don't hear a word of it on American news.

    Why would you presume I've been living in a cave, haha?

  15. A bit too general, but a good overview nonetheless. I only hope that you can get enough quality vids up before the AP US test next friday.

    As always, keep up the good work Sal!

  16. Thanks for the history of 'Jim Crow.' I knew what the term meant, but was unaware of when or how it came into play.

  17. I love this series, and the timing is perfect since the AP US History exam is coming up really soon!

  18. @theamazingempiricist as if this is actually gonna help us in a DBQ situation… *cries in corner*

  19. I'd love if you made a video going in depth into the gilded age. I think the people really need to know this time more in depth.

  20. i would really appreciate a video on the great depression. it seems like khan has a great mind for economics and history and marrying the two could be very informative. also i don't know about those with more pedagogical experience but im entering high school and still haven't header a word about this important event. (PS. it would be super topical ;))

  21. DonT forget that the 15th amendment doesn't give people the right to vote it strictly states that people cannot be barred from voting based on their race or color. Congress or the individual states can still limit individuals' ability to vote if they so chose.

  22. @KevinVancouver2 lol i think there is little interpretation for history, all these things really happened and have been studied , what in here is wrong?

  23. @KevinVancouver2 *America's history, *its, *they're. Thank you for playing YouTube idiocy bingo. You managed to hit many squares- poor grammar, insults to America, hasty generalizations, disdainful yet vague dismissal of someone's work, and, of course, your free space, but did not manage to get a Bingo. Shucks. Have a lovely day.,

  24. I have a credit by exam on july 5th and i have to get a 90 or above to get credit for the class
    Thank You for this

  25. Great video! but i still wonder what is the Japan role in WW1. And why they become aggressor in WW2? perhaps part 3 will explain. Yeah~ great video:)

  26. The amendment was ratified February 3, 1913 but the Federal Reserve wasn't created until December 23, 1913.

    Technically its unconstitutional and illegal via Article 1 Section 10 in the US Constitution because it prints money not backed by anything instead of using gold and silver.

    "No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts"

  27. For sure?

    I've checked a lot of the facts personally and it's just a little bit harder to asses the actually cause of the Maine's sinking. However I will inform you that it was a EXTREMELY out dated ship. And would have been highly susceptible to an internal explosion. From that fact and other information it is commonly stated that it sunk because of an internal explosion of the forward magazines.

    How and why they exploded is another question. 😉

  28. While I do agree that it is difficult to eke out an argument against a text book… you would be surprised to know that they revise books yearly sometimes 😉 And sir, my history textbook states: "The sinking of the Maine was one of the major events leading to the Spanish-American War. It is still uncertain who or what caused the explosion that sank the ship". My book dates 2004, yours?

  29. Oh really? I didn't know that they reviewed it yearly, good info man! 😀 Yea my book doesn't clearly state the main san because of the mines , but it said that that might have been the cause; so yea. My book is 2009.

  30. Lincoln was assassinated on April 15th, 1865. President Johnson officially declared a virtual end to the war on May 9, 1865.

  31. exactly. the fed is supreme we will not have florida franks or california ruppies. just the almighty US Dollar. those framers had some serious foresight.

  32. This is just….Bad.  I don't understand how if a teacher simply lectures with notes and a few visuals, she would be rated ineffective or told she's not using "best practices".  But everybody raves about Khan Academy.  Cuz it's TECHNOLOGY.  Or something.  Besides that, this is just pretty bad history.  You completely leave out the political battles of Reconstruction.  I know it's meant to be an overview, but…still.  Just bad history.  I don't get it.

  33. the the the the repetition of the narrator. It starts, it starts, it starts to distract if you are, if you are, if you are able to pick up quickly on what is being said, than this delivery can become distracting. It becomes distracting. I'm not making fun of someone with a stutter, or a nervous repetition in their speach, but it makes this video unwatchable, it's unwatchable, it's unwatchable to me.

  34. what is that political cartoon in the Low Right corner until from start to 3;30? Caesar with an American coin for a head?

  35. 1890: "America was the richest country in the world!"

    1913: *Wilson signs America over to private central banks.

    Fast forward to 2016: We are enslaved with unplayable debts woo hoo!

  36. You need to research the basis for the Civil War a little more. It was not about slavery at all. It was about trade policies imposed and the south rebelling.

  37. General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant on April 9, 1865. President Lincoln was assassinated April 14th, 1865 and died Apr. 15th, 1865 at approximately 7:22 in the morning. With Lee's surrender it essentially ended the American Civil War, except for some last hold outs.

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