Johnson's Plan For Reconstruction

by Grace Guarino

Overview of the plan:

- Each state had to withdraw secession and swear to the Union

- Ratify the 13th amendment

- No pardon to high ranking confederates or those owning property worth more then $20,000

Freedmen's Bureau:

( What was it)

- Established in 1865 by Congress to help former black slaves and poor whites in the South in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War

- The Bureau provided food, housing and medical aid, established schools and offered legal assistance while attempting to settle former slaves on Confederate lands

(Johnson's Response)

- he vetoed it because it interfered with states’ rights and gave preference to one group of citizens over another causing issues

Civil Rights Act of 1866:

(What was it)

- said that all people born in the United States were declared to be citizens of the United States

- granted all citizens equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property

(Johnson's Response)

- He disagreed with the level of federal intervention implied by the legislation

- He tried to veto it

Black Codes:

(What was it)

- Rules/ Codes applied only to “persons of color,” including anyone with more than one-eighth African American blood

(Examples from SC)

- Civil Rights: persons of color now had the right to have property; to make contracts; to enjoy the fruits of their labor; to sue and be sued; and to receive protection under the law

- Labor Contracts: Contracts made for blacks that chose to work for whites requiring that the wages and the term of service be in writing so it cannot be changed

- Courts, Crimes, and Punishments: a racially separate court system was established for all civil and criminal cases that involved a black plaintiff or defendant allowing black witnesses to testify in court

Written Response:

Life could've possibly been better for the freed slaves if it wasn't for Johnson as president. To me it seemed as though he was against them being free or happy because anytime someone would come up with a plan to help them Johnson would veto it and be against it. Because of Johnson the freed slaves were still having worries and issues in their life because all the good things they had were being taken away. Life was a little better for freed slaves after the Civil War but it could've been a lot better if it wasn't for Johnson.