Many people had different views and ideas about Reconstruction. There was much debate about how the Confederate states, which included Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia, should be readmitted into the Union. Some people believed that the states should be treated as territories, and others believed that the southern leaders should be punished instead of the states. Still, others believed that the South still belonged to the Union because secession was illegal. During the Civil War, on December 1863, President Lincoln announced his 10 % Plan for Reconstruction. Many Northerners considered it to be too mild, but the blacks condemned it for ignoring saying nothing about civil rights fir the freedmen and ignoring black suffrage. Lincoln’s plan was never carried out because he was assassinated less than one week after the Civil War. However, while Lincoln was president, a national debate developed over whether Congress or the President should establish the Reconstruction policy.
Following Lincoln’s tragic assassination, President Andrew Johnson took on the accountability of making Reconstruction a reality. Andrew Johnson wanted to use Lincoln’s ideas of reconstruction but in a modified form. Since Congress would be in recess for eight more months Johnson decided to go ahead with his plan. Johnson's goal in reconstruction was to grant amnesty to all former Confederates (except high officials), the ordinances of secession were to be revoked, Confederate debts would repudiate, and the states had to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment. Once the states swore to a loyalty oath to abide by the conditions they would be allowed to return to the Union. After swearing to the oath Confederate States would be allowed to govern themselves. With this power the states implemented the creation of a system of black codes that restricted the actions of freed slaves in much the same way, if not exactly the same way, that slaves were restricted under the old law. The end result of his plan was a hopeless conflict with the Radical Republicans who dominated Congress, passed measures over Johnson's vetoes, and attempted to limit the power of the executive concerning appointments and removals.
His idea was known as the ten percent plan in which ten percent of a states qualified voter would take a loyalty oath to be readmitted into the Union. This would allow the south to get back into the main stream and find some solutions to its many problems. Unfortunately for Lincoln and unfortunately for America, Lincoln would be assainated only one month after the south surrendered. This presented America with one more hurdle to overcome, and that hurdle was to initially be jumped by the newly appointed President Johnson.
The Meaning of Reconstruction America has gone through many hardships and struggles since coming together as a nation involving war and changes in the political system. Many highly regarded leaders in America have come bestowing their own ideas and foundation to provide a better life for “Americans”, but no other war or political change is more infamous than the civil war and reconstruction. Reconstruction started in 1865 and ended in 1877 and still to date one of the most debated issues in American history on whether reconstruction was a failure or success as well as a contest over the memory, meaning, and ending of the war. According to, “Major Problems in American History” David W. Blight of Yale University and Steven Hahn of the University of Pennsylvania take different stances on the meaning of reconstruction, and what caused its demise. David W. Blight argues that reconstruction was a conflict between two solely significant, but incompatible objectives that “vied” for attention both reconciliation and emancipation.
Although Lincoln and Johnson both passed Reconstruction plans that helped reunite the north and the south, ultimately Congress was not satisfied and passed its own plan. Lincoln passed a rather forgiving Reconstruction plan because in his opinion, the Confederate states had never seceded from the Union. The Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction included a ten percent plan, which “ would recognize them as people of the states within which they acted, and aid them to gain in all respects full acknowledgement and enjoyment of statehood, even though the persons who thus acted were but a tenth part of the original voters of their states” (W...
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.
His stance was on his beliefs in Unionism and states’ rights–– he believed the federal government had no right to determine voting requirements at the state level, so under his reconstruction, he returned land that was confiscated from Union army and given to freed slaves back to prewar owners. His leniency caused southern states to enact a law called “black codes” designed to restrict African American’s activity and make their freedom a labor force. This enraged the North and Congress, which proceeded to them passing the Freedmen’s Bureau and Civil Rights Bill and needing Johnson to put his signature. The last of reconstruction was Radical Reconstruction. In this time, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which divided the South temporarily into five military districts and outlined how male suffrage was to be organized. The law required southern states to ratify the 14th amendment and following this, Congress approved the 15th amendment. Radical Reconstruction as by far the most progressive in allowing African Americans to participate in public life, the South’s first state-funded public school systems, taxation legislation, and laws against racial
The American Civil War came to a terrible and bloody end with six hundred thousand casualties and the North winning and the South losing. Southern soldiers returned from the war and found their home in ruins. Lots of people lost their homes, land, businesses, and their way of life. Many Southerners faced starvation due to the high food prices and the widespread of crop failure. The Confederate money that was used by Southerners was now useless. Numerous banks collapsed, and the merchants went bankrupt because people couldn’t pay their debts. The people of the South were penniless and broken. (“Post”)
One of the first goals of Reconstruction was to readmit the Confederate states into the Union, and during the debate in Congress over how to readmit the states, the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments were ratified. The United States had three different presidents between 1865 and 1877, who all had different opinions as to how the actions of readmitting the states should be carried out. President Lincoln devised the Ten Percent Plan in an effort to get the Confederate states to rejoin the Union. In Lincoln's plan, all Confederates, other than high-ranking officials, would be pardoned if they would swear allegiance to the Union and promise to obey its laws. Once ten percent of the people on the 1860 voting lists took the oath of allegiance, the state would be free to form a state government, and would be readmitted to the Union. Many of the Republicans in Congress were angered by this plan, because they believed that it was too lenient. After President Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency with a new plan, which became known as Presiden...
Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States during the beginning era of Reconstruction, had plans to free slaves and grant them freedoms like never before. In 1863, before the war had ended, Lincoln had issued a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction for the areas of the South that the Union armies occupied. This proclamation was also called the 10 percent plan. It suggested that a state could reenter the Union when 10 percent of that state’s 1860 vote count had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States and pledge to abide by emancipation. Although this policy was put into place to help shorten the war, it also forced governments to further Lincoln’s emancipation policies and abolish slavery. Radical Republicans opposed this plan because they feared it was too lenient towards the South, fearing that his moderate plan would leave in place the political and economic structure that permitted slavery in the South. Many Congressmen believed that only until the South could be dismantled and rebuilt with more Northern philosophies, slaves would never be able to enjoy the benefits of freedom: social, political, and economic freedom.