Presentation on theme: "RECONSTRUCTION. After the Civil War, the South was defeated militarily, devastated economically, and many were just trying to rebuild their lives. Congress."— Presentation transcript:
After the Civil War, the South was defeated militarily, devastated economically, and many were just trying to rebuild their lives. Congress and the President had to decide how to reunite the nation – how to deal with former Confederates and former slaves.
Lincoln’s Plan – Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction. He wanted to reconcile with the South instead of punishing them.
Lincoln offered to pardon all southerners who took the loyalty oath. When 10% of the voters had taken the oath, a new state government would be organized. Confederate government officials, military officers, judges and members of Congress would not be pardoned.
Radical Republicans did not want to reconcile with the South. These were led by Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner.
They had three goals: ◦1. Prevent Confederate leaders from returning to power ◦2. Wanted the Republican Party to be powerful in the South ◦3. Wanted the federal govt. to help African Americans achieve political equality by guaranteeing the right to vote.
Wade-Davis Bill Moderates were caught in the middle of these plans. The Wade-Davis Bill (1864)- majority of adult white men in the Confederacy had to take an oath of allegiance before a new state govt. could be formed.
Wade-Davis cont. Each state would have to abolish slavery, reject all Confederate debts and deny all former Confederate govt. officials and military officers the right to vote.
Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, but Lincoln blocked it with a pocket veto. He did not want a harsh peace agreement with the South. He feared it would alienate southerners when the South was already devastated and thousands of freedmen were following Union troops seeking help.
How was Lincoln’s assassination harmful to the South?
Johnson’s Plan In the summer of 1865, with Congress in recess, Johnson began implementing his plan which resembled Lincoln’s. He would accept a loyalty oath from southerners, except for Confederate officers and officials. Southern states had to ratify the 13 th Amendment to abolish slavery.
By the time Congress returned in December, the process was well underway. Many were displeased that southern voters had elected many Confederate leaders to Congress.
Why did southerners feel like it was necessary to control the free black population? Southern states had also passed new laws, called black codes, to restrict the rights of freedmen. These included things like curfews, restrictions on property ownership and employment.
Military Reconstruction Congress formed a Joint Committee on Reconstruction to develop their own program. They proposed the 14 th Amendment which granted citizenship to former slaves – this would guarantee property rights and provide “equal protection under the law”.
1867 – Congress passed the Military Reconstruction Act. This divided the former Confederacy into 5 districts. A Union general was placed in charge of each district to maintain peace and protection.
Each state had to hold new constitutional conventions to design constitutions acceptable to Congress. They had to give the right to vote to all males and ratify the 14 th Amendment.
Johnson’s presidency was ineffective amid constant arguments with Congress. He was ultimately impeached and did not run for re- election. U.S. Grant would be the next president. Congress passed the 15 th Amendment – gave former slaves the right to vote.