Essay on U.s. Congressional Reconstruction : The End Of The Civil War

Essay on U.s. Congressional Reconstruction : The End Of The Civil War

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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 states had never left the Union, and should be readmission into the United States as quickly as possible, while the congressman felt that by seceding, the southern states had given up all of their rights. Unlike the presidential reconstruction, the congressional reconstruction was more successful in implementing laws and rules for the Reconstruction of the South.
Following the war, President Abraham Lincoln primary goal was to make the South’s readmission into the United States quick and simple as possible. He believed that individuals of the Confederate states rebelled, not the states themselves. Even before the war had ended, Lincoln issued two policies, the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction in 1863, which dealt with the reconstruction of the South. The Proclamation, 10 percent plan, stated that once 10 percent of the voting population in any state had taken the oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Union and pledged to free their slave by ratifying the Thirteenth Amend...

... middle of paper ... and be able to block procedures of the other branches if they are to abuse their power. This fundamental called Checks and Balances, plays a big role in the reconstruction of the South. Although the president is the leader of the nation, he is only given power, if he were to exert too much power; other branches are capable to veto his acts. Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson were also very lenient towards the South with their reconstruction plan that the South were able to create Black Codes, a discriminatory law, the very thing that Reconstruction wanted to get rid of. The congressional reconstruction was more efficient in their plan and they also were not lenient to the South for their secession. By having both efficient plans and being strong on what they believed was right, the congressional reconstruction was more successful in their plan for reconstruction.

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