Differences Between Presidential And Congressional Reconstruction

903 Words2 Pages

With the end of the Civil war in 1865, the new nation of the United States now faced challenges on restoring peace within the Union. The North, having won the civil war, now faced the task to implement reconstruction of the South. They came in contact with the questions of: What should happen to the freed slaves, should the freed slaves have rights, what should be done to the Confederate leaders, and how should the South be reconstructed? There were many different ideas and views on how Reconstruction should be handled, but only one succeeded more successfully than the other. Although they bear some superficial similarities, the difference between presidential and congressional reconstruction are clear. The president believed that Confederate …show more content…

Aside from the presidential reconstruction, the Congressional Reconstruction was also taking place. The Congressman disagreed with both Lincoln and Johnson’s plans for Reconstruction. Their main two goals was to integrate African Americans into society by granting them citizenship and the right to vote, and the second goal was to destroy the political powers that former slaveholders had in the South. They first implemented these ideas by passing the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave African Americans citizenship and forbade states from passing discriminatory laws. Although the black codes came about and Andrew Johnson vetoed the bill, Congress had the power to override his veto. This shows that even though the President is the leader of the nation, the Constitution guarantees that Congress has some measure of influence over the President and may chose to block his procedures, Check and Balances. With success, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which states that all persons born or naturalized in the United States are citizens of the country. All citizens were entitled to equal protection under law and be given their rights. The Congress agreed that if the Confederate states ratified the Fourteenth Amendment they could come back into the Union. Having not followed the Congress request, Congressed passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867. This forced the Confederate states to undergo Reconstruction as the Congress wanted. To ensure that Southerners could not change their state constitution in the future, they passed the Fifteenth Amendment and the last congressional Reconstruction law, another Civil Rights

More about Differences Between Presidential And Congressional Reconstruction

Open Document