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The meaning of freedom: the promise of reconstruction 1865-1868/who supported radical Reconstruction why - Research Paper Example

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Shelli Luna Ernest I. Bridges African-American History 1, November 17, 2011. Who supported radical Reconstruction? The end of the American Civil War marked the beginning of the reconstruction era. The reconstruction era is deemed as one of the most important historical periods in America but it also came to be among the most turbulent periods in the history of America…
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The meaning of freedom: the promise of reconstruction 1865-1868/who supported radical Reconstruction why
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Download file to see previous pages President Abraham Lincoln quickly moved to put in place policies for reconstruction and restoration of the south. President Lincoln wanted to reintegrate the south into the union as soon as possible after the war so as to facilitate the reconstruction. He was one of the forefront supporters for the restoration of the south. Lincoln was aware that once the southern states were brought back into the union, the republicans were going to be weakened unless they changed their political strategies. Lincoln wanted to maintain peace while at the same time attract former republican loyalists in the south to his side. This period was characterized by a lot of instability because policies of the northerners such as abolition of slavery did not particularly go down well with southerners. Furthermore, the southerners were bitter for losing the war. The radical republicans were opposed to the manner of re integration that was proposed by Lincoln partly because it was likely to make them weak politically2. Lincoln proclaimed amnesty and reconstruction in 1863 and offered full pardon plus return of property to people of the south who were willing to swear allegiance to the United States. The ten percent plan was introduced. It gave southerners the right to create a state government if a ten percent threshold for voters that took oath was reached. This plan was not well received by the Republicans. The Republicans advocated for equal rights to be employed to freedmen but a tough stance to white people from the south. Senator Benjamin Wade who represented Ohio and Senator Henry Davis who was the state of Maryland representative came up with a bill to counter Lincolns plan. They advocated for a harsher plan in form of the Wade-Davis bill3. This bill required 50% of males in succeeded states to take the oath of allegiance in order for elections to take place. Although congress passed the bill, it was vetoed by Lincoln. After the assassination of President Lincoln in April 14, 1965 Andrew Johnson became president. It was during Johnson’s time that the southerners were readmitted into the union. President Johnson came up with The Presidential Plan4. The presidential plan was primarily based on what Lincoln had previously wanted to implement. All land that had been confiscated was returned to the owners. During congresses recess, Johnson approved new constitutions for the states that had seceded. The constitutions provided for the election of a governor and a legislative body to oversee the running of each state. He also readmitted states that adopted the abolition of slavery through ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment. President Johnson granted pardons to those that took the oath in accordance to the ten percent plan. However, high level confederate officials and other persons who owned property with a value that exceeded $20,000 was not granted pardon. It was a requirement for states to abolish slavery in order to be readmitted. Several amendments in the form of the 13th 14th and 15th amendments were made. These were mainly to protect the rights of African Americans at the time. The Reconstruction Acts which were passed in 1867 played a crucial role in the readmission process of the southern states5. It was during the era of reconstruction that interracial democracy was first practiced. This brewed a lot of controversy especially due to the participation of African ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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