Johnson's Plan for Reconstruction
Overview of Johnson's Plan
- Pardons would be granted to those taking a loyalty oath
- No pardons would be available to high ranking Confederate officials and persons owning property valued in excess of $20,000
- A state needed to abolish slavery before being readmitted
- A state was required to repeal its secession ordinance before being readmitted.
Reconstruction had produced another deadlock between the president and Congress.
Johnson was opposed to the use of the military during peacetime. He felt the Bill was a Federal encroachment into state matters and felt this was "class legislation" for a particular segment of society that it would keep the ex-slaves from being self-sustaining, and had not been done for struggling whites. Johnson did not feel that Congress should be making these decisions for unrepresented states. He vetoed it twice.
Civil Rights Act of 1866
An Act to protect all Persons in the United States in their Civil Rights, and furnish the Means of their Vindication.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians not taxed, are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States; and such citizens, of every race and color, without regard to any previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall have the same right, in every State and Territory in the United States, to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, and give evidence, to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property, and to full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property, as is enjoyed by white citizens, and shall be subject to like punishment, pains, and penalties, and to none other, any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, to the contrary notwithstanding.
This bill was vetoed by president Johnson twice, but congress passed it as a law the second time.
* Race was defined by blood; the presence of any amount of black blood made one black
* Employment was required of all freedmen; violators faced vagrancy charges
* Freedmen could not assemble without the presence of a white person
* Freedmen were assumed to be agricultural workers and their duties and hours were tightly regulated
* Freedmen were not to be taught to read or write