Radical Reconstruction

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Radical Reconstruction Following the Civil War came a period of regrowth and rebuilding known as Reconstruction. Reconstruction can be broken into different sections and types, one of which is Congressional, or Radical, Reconstruction. There are many scholarly debates about Congressional Reconstruction and its failures, successes, and its overall logistics. Another common debate concerning the Reconstruction period is its purpose and what the intentions of its instigators were. This paper will be discussing an article written by Frederick Douglass entitled Reconstruction. In this article Douglass discusses the Congressional session taking place in 1866. He calls upon the Congressmen to undo the "blunders" of the previous session of Congress. Black suffrage was an issue of great importance at this particular time. The right of the black man to vote had to be established in order for him to be truly free, as well as for the benefit and unity of the nation. With the end of the Civil War came an end to the established way of life in the South. President Johnson tried to shift the political and economic power from the plantation owner to small farmers through a process of disfranchisement. His goals for Reconstruction were somewhat selfish. He was enacting these Reconstruction policies to get reelected, to keep power away from the elite and give it to the yeomen, for some form of reunification of the nation, and to keep blacks from power. During this time of Presidential Reconstruction, Southern states were brought back into the union and ratification of the 13th Amendment took place. This Amendment guaranteed the freedom of African Americans. However, several laws were also put into place limiting the civil ri... ... middle of paper ... ...te and make it an undeniable right by either state or federal governments. The Constitution of the United States recognizes no distinction between one citizen and another and therefore race and color of skin should not be a factor in civil rights. The Constitution "declares that the citizens of each State shall enjoy all the rights and immunities of citizens of the several State,--so that a legal voter in any State shall be a legal voter in all the States". The Constitution is our most powerful document and has been the foundation of our country. As Americans we pride ourselves on our democracy and always have. The South was a very proud group of Democrats. Had they stopped and thought about where that political party gained its name they might have realized how wrong they were in desiring to withhold the democratic rights of a citizen of these United States.
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