Civil War Reconstruction

Shania Wendland

Plans for Reconstruction

President Abraham Lincoln: Lincoln's plan called for majority rule to be replaced with loyal rule in the South. His plan was called the 10% Plan. This plan called for 10% of the voting population in the 1860 election to take an oath of loyalty. The 10% Plan was a proclamation of Amnesty and reconstruction. The downfall of Lincoln's plan was that he did not consult congress with this plan of reconstruction. This eventually caused a disagreement and confusion on the future outcomes of his plan. Pardon was given to all of the civilians, but the highest ranking military and civilian confederate officers for the War.

Wade-Davis Bill: Senator Wade and Congressman Davis proposed this bill in 1864. This bill called for 50% of the total number of voters in the election of 1860 to take an oath of allegiance. Meaning that they swore that they had never voluntarily aided in the rebellion. This required a state constitutional convention before the election of state officials. Lincoln soon vetoed the Wade-Davis Bill.

President Andrew Johnson: This plan was referred to as the 10% plus plan. Under Johnson's plan amnesty was given to all confederate civil and military officers with property over $20,000. He wanted to put into effect a new constitution as a way to over rule the confrontations. Johnson believed that Provisional governors should oversee the constitutional conventions in the confederate states as a way to prevent confrontation. The effects of Johnson's plan were as follows;

1.) No right to vote for certain leading confederates

2.)Pardoned planter aristocrats and brought them back to have political power including within state organizations

3.) The Republicans were feuding that aristocrats were allowed to maintain power once again in the south

Andrew Johnson's actions soon led to confrontation which in turn led to his presidential impeachment.

Congress: Congress's plan believed in creating equality for the African Americans. Although they were not granted the right to vote, congress wanted to provide as much equality for them as possible, this soon turned into discrimination. Congress wanted to continue to keep former confederates out of office or keep there involvement in the government as little as possible. Reconstruction was thought of to be a "practical" way of restoring the Southern states to reunite into the Union. Radical republicans were very much involved in congressional reconstruction.

Civil Rights Amendments

13th Amendment: Ratified in December of 1865. The main purpose of the thirteenth amendment was to abolish slavery in all places.

14th Amendment: Ratified in July of 1868. The fourteenth amendment provided a constitutional guarantee of the rights and security of freed people; granting them citizenship. It denied the right of voting to the African American citizens.

15th Amendment: Ratified in 1870. This amendment granted the right for African American Men to vote.

Black Codes

A series of Laws that were passed in the Southern states that limited the freedom of former slaves. This increased the discrimination in the South. The purpose of the Black Codes was to stable the labor supply. This turned the treatment of the African Americans back to the ways before the civil war started; one of the causes; slavery. The black codes forced many African Americans to become sharecroppers. Sharecropping was their only form of an income, and it provided housing for the many that were not able to do it on their own. Many African Americans felt that their unfair treatment was going right back to where the war started. The discrimination against them was horrible and at times unbearable.

Discrimination and Racism- Breaking the Barriers

Discrimination became a major problem in the South during reconstruction. Even after the war many southern whites were still treating the African Americans with poor respect as they did before the war had started; making no change in society. Separate waiting rooms at hospitals, drinking fountains, even bathrooms were separated for Whites or African Americans. The treatment was unfair. Violence against African Americans soon broke out by the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK posed many violence threats against the African Americans. The Enforcement Act was put into effect to provide civilized voting rights for African Americans. It also helped aide the government in pressing charges against members of the KKK for their illegal actions; few were convicted. The 15th Amendment granted rights to vote to all African American Men. This was a place of discrimination once again. African Americans were given literacy tests and charged a poll tax. Many African Americans were unable to vote because they were unable to pass the literacy test, for lack of education. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 gave African Americans the right to vote, own property, and bear witnesses in court. They were finally conquering the problems of Racism and Discrimination in the South. The new found rights that African Americans had gained needed to be protected. As a way to exercise their new rights they formed mutual aid societies, started businesses, supported churches, built schools; including colleges. Some even had places in the government.

The Reconstruction Comes to an End

The Compromise of 1877 ended the Reconstruction Era. The compromise settled the disputes of the presidential election of 1876. Democrats agreed to accept Republican Rutherford B. Hayes as president in return for removal of federal troops from the south. What was left of the Reconstruction governments soon fell, and members of the Democratic party returned to power. State constitutions were rewritten and the government's reconstruction reforms were ended.

Works Cited

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