Although the Union was saved and slavery had ended, the South being defeated and occupied by union forces was ruined and in a state of disaster. Public structures, private homes, and farm buildings had been burnt, rail road tracks uprooted, cotton gins wrecked, and the earth scorched in many sections of the defeated land.
The nation's next task was to rebuild the ruined South and the government's plan to do this is known as Reconstruction. In the South Reconstruction meant rebuilding the economy, establishing new state and local governments and establishing a new social structure between whites and blacks.
During the war Lincoln had expanded his presidency. With his power he hoped to set up loyal governments in the Southern states that were under Union control. Lincoln appointed new temporary governors and instructed each to call a convention to create a new state government as soon as a group of the state's citizen totaling 10 percent of the voters in the presidential election had signed oaths of loyalty to the Union.
Under this plan new governments were formed in Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas but the Congress refused to recognize them. Republicans in Congress did not want a quick restoration, for the reason that it would bring Democratic representatives and senators to Washington and in Congress passed the Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill. This bill would have delayed the process of rejoining the Union until 50 percent of the people took an oath of loyalty but Lincoln pocket vetoed the bill.
Lincoln did not want Reconstruction to be a long, drawn-out process; rather, he wanted the states to draft new constitutions so that the Union could be quickly restored. Radical Republicans, on the other hand, wanted the South to pay a price for secession and believed that Congress, not the president, should direct the process of Reconstruction.
The Radical Republicans saw serious flaws in Civil War—era southern society and were adamant that the South needed full social rehabilitation to resemble the North. Many Republican Congressmen also aimed to improve education and labor conditions to benefit all of the oppressed classes in southern society, black and white.
In the end, Radical Republicans in the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in because he repeatedly blocked their attempt to pass radical legislation. Had Lincoln remained alive, he might have been in the same position himself: Indeed, Lincoln had made it clear during the Civil War that he was fighting to restore the Union, not to emancipate slaves.
It is likely that Lincoln thus would have battled with Congress over the control of Reconstruction, blocked key Reconstruction policies, and met as vindictive a House as Johnson did Explain how three of the following shaped northern politics during Reconstruction: All three thus played a role in ending Reconstruction.
The executives bribed dozens of Congressmen and cabinet members in Ulysses S. The scheme was eventually exposed, and many politicians were forced to resign. When the Depression of struck, northern voters became even less interested in pursuing Reconstruction efforts.
Unemployment climbed to 15 percent, and hard currency became scarce. With pressing economic problems, northerners did not have time to worry about helping former slaves, punishing the Ku Klux Klan, or readmitting southern states into the Union. The Resumption Act reduced the amount of currency circulating in the economy in an effort to curb inflation caused by the depression. Although the act improved economic conditions in the long run, it made for harder times in both the North and South in the short run.
The Act was Republican-sponsored, so Democrats were able to capitalize on its unpopularity to rally support for their party.
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Reconstruction was a success in that it restored the United States as a unified nation: by , all of the former Confederate states had drafted new constitutions, acknowledged the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and pledged their loyalty to the U.S. government. Reconstruction Essay essays Reconstruction was the period of 'repair' after the civil war. It was to repair the North and South, politically, socially, and economically. It was also to rejoin the South back into the union, as it had succeeded during the civil war.
Nov 26, · Characteristics and Impacts of American Reconstruction Essay Words | 7 Pages Characteristics and Impacts of American Reconstruction The key goals of Reconstruction were to readmit the South into the Union and to define the status of freedmen in American society. Reconstruction Essay Words | 4 Pages Reconstruction was the time between and when the U.S. focused on abolishing slavery, destroying the Confederacy, and reconstructing the nation and the Constitution and is also the general history of the post-Civil War era in the U.S. between and