Reasons why the South Won Reconstruction

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The Civil War marked a defining moment in United States history. Long simmering sectional tensions reached critical when eleven slaveholding states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Political disagreement gave way to war as the Confederates insisted they had the right to leave the Union, while the loyal states refused to allow them to go. Four years of fighting claimed almost 1.5 million casualties, resulting in a Union victory. Even though the North won the war, they did a horrible job in trying to win the peace, or in other words, the Reconstruction era. Rather than eliminating slavery in the South, the Southerners had a new form of slavery, which was run by a new set of codes called "Black Codes”. With the help of President Johnson, the South continued their plantations, in essence becoming exactly what they were before the war. Overall, the South won Reconstruction because in the end they got slavery (without the name), they got an easy pass back into the Union, and things reverted back to the way they had been prior the war. After the Civil War, the South needed to rejoin the North to become a United States. President Abraham Lincoln was very lenient with the idea of restoring the states with the Union. He developed a plan called the Ten-Percent Plan, which proclaimed that ten percent of the southern states’ population needed to pledge to be loyal to the United States. After Lincoln’s assassination, President Andrew Johnson took over. He was much more lenient towards the South than Lincoln was, giving the South the right to regulate their actions. For example, African Americans could be controlled, but still couldn’t be bought nor sold. Slavery technically ended, but the new sharecropper sy... ... middle of paper ... ...hing, and mob action, the South eventually wore down the political will of the North, allowing the South to go back to their old ways of life. The South won in Reconstruction in many ways. Rebuilding the South was one of its major focuses. Several canals, bridges, and railroads were rebuilt with Reconstruction funds. The Republicans in Congress agreed with southern legislatures on how important business was. For this, a large amount of money was gathered to help the South’s reconstruction. Even though slavery was abolished with the passing of the 13th Amendment, it still existed in the South in the forms of “Black Codes” and cults like the Ku Klux Klan. In conclusion, Lincoln won the war for the North, but President Johnson won Reconstruction for the South by allowing them to create their own laws to keep the former slaves down and keeping their Southern lifestyles.

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