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Reconstruction era of the United States - Essay Example

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Era of reconstruction in the United States lasted twelve years beginning 1865 after the civil war that took place years earlier in an attempt to redress the issue of inequality in slavery, political and economic legacies that were put in place at that time…
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Reconstruction era of the United States
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Download file to see previous pages Therefore, reconstruction witnessed changes that were far-reaching in the political life of America, which included developing new laws and amending the constitution, which later altered both the federal system and what people defined as American citizen. Republican Party was brought to power in the Southern part of America thereby redefining government responsibilities. Origin of reconstruction in the US During reconstruction period, the greatest American Negros led in asserting themselves of African Americans’ development and enjoyment of equal rights (Le Blanc 2010, p.96). President sparked reconstruction plan in 1863 in the form of ten percent plan to be implemented by the congress. This plan had one-tenth of pre-war voters taking an oath in order to establish a state government in order to weaken Confederacy. The plan went into operation in several parts of the Union-occupied Confederacy although it did not achieve much support from the locals. Wade Davis Bill that was enforced in 1864 delayed plans of forming the Southern government and in place made many voters take loyalty oath; this bill on equality of the slaves accompanying Southern government into Union convinced some Republicans. Lincoln later expressed his views of the blacks, being intelligent and serving in the Union Army had the right to enjoy their right to vote. Reconstruction in the Presidency After the assassination of Lincoln, Andrew Johnson took the presidency and began to work on Presidential reconstruction by pardoning Southern whites while restoring their rights politically and assets except for the slaves. President Johnson outlined how the new state governments are going to be created, abolished slavery, implemented repudiation of secession, and abrogated the debts of Confederate. On the other hand, Confederacy enacted the law requiring all African Americans to sign labour contracts on a yearly basis hence limiting the economic options of the freed slaves, this law only did a reestablishment of plantation discipline; it was strongly resisted by African Americans. Senator Charles and Thaddeus Stevens who was a representative suggested establishing Southern government based on equity of the law. The Civil Acts Rights 1875 was to protect all Americans regardless of race and all would have access to public facilities (Smith and Wynn 2009, p.165). Moreover, the Congress did not seat all the elected representatives and senators, and in place passed the Civil rights bill and Freemen’s Bureau, which was to oversee transition of slaves to freemen. This bill gave a definition of an American Citizen as a person born in the US and has the right to enjoy equality before the law of the land. Johnson rejected this bill after several personal stubbornness, racists’ convictions and beliefs in states’ rights. The rejection of this bill created rapture between Johnson and the Congress making Civil rights Act to become law over presidential veto. Therefore, the government was able to guarantee Americans equity to all regardless of gender or colour. Radical Reconstruction in the US After the congress elections of 1866, the congress begun reconstruction afresh and by 1867, Reconstruction Act was enacted and through this act, the South was divided into five military districts, outlining how the governments will be enacted. All the former Confederate were readmitted in 1870 and almost all of them were under the control of Republican Party. During this time, the black ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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