Plans For The Reconstruction
President Lincolns plan was fairly simple. All he wanted to do was to bring them back into the union quickly he wasn't going to hold a grudge against the south because destroying the south was never his plan. Throughout the war he was just trying to save the union instead. He even started the reconstruction before the war ended. On December 8 1863 Lincoln issued the proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction. This let bygones be bygones for any southerner (besides high authorities) who pledged their allegiance to the constitution and excepted the laws against slavery. Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes booth on April 14 1865.
After the death of Lincoln, President Johnson took office. He was a Democrat, and had a slave before. He was very racist and didn't take it easy on African Americans at all. His plan was to have them abolish slavery "nullify their acts of secession", and to not pay debts owed to confederate government. It was a lot like Lincolns plan besides the fact that Johnson was going to be much harder on the south.
The plan the congress had was very simple as well. Their main priority was to keep confederates out the government. They wanted to give African Americans equal opportunities except to vote. Radical republicans were very different though. They wanted to do everything very aggressive. They were the ones being mean and allowing discrimination against African Americans. They were not nice people.
Three Civil Rights Amendments
The first civil right amendment was the thirteenth amendment. This amendment was passed on April 8 1864, and was very important because it abolished slavery. The next one was the fourteenth amendment. This was passed in June 1866. It required all states to extend equal citizenship to African Americans and to all people born or neutralized in the united states. It denied the states the right to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process of law as well. The last Amendment was passed in February 1869 and that was the fifteenth amendment. This one allowed black people to vote because it says it doesn't matter of race color or previous condition of servitude.
The Black Codes
The Black Codes were some of Johnson's ideas. they were meant to limit the freedoms of former slaves. They were a lot like the slave codes. They were different in each state. The commons ones did things like prohibited blacks from having meetings without whites present. They couldn't do things like travel without permits, own guns, attend schools with white people, or serve on juries. They had to work for people to live in a town. These and many others were enforced with the black codes.
Racism and Discrimination
The 15th Amendment was big when it comes to who could vote. It was passed in February 1869 and it says "The right of citizens of the united states to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the united states or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude." Women and children still couldn't vote but now black males could. They were enjoying that right too.
Ku Klux Klan
The Ku Klux Klan was a very mean group of white southerners that didn't like black people. Their goal was to stop black people from voting. The "Grand Wizard" was Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was the head of the group. They wanted to kill the radicals. They burned down homes, schools, and churches, and stole livestock to try and get rid of black people and some whites. African Americans tried very hard to stop the klan. Finally the enforcement acts were passed and they were able to stop terrorists with military force.
African American Efforts
African Americans saw the reconstruction as a new beginning and had lots of new opportunities. equal citizenship was very close. Many of them voted, and started the union league. This group built schools and churches for black people. They launched education institutions as well. Many got into politics. Over 600 black people were elected for representatives for state legislators. Others were in state and local offices. So African Americans did lots of stuff after the civil war.