Plans for Reconstruction

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Univ US History
Plans for Reconstruction

Johnson’s Plan for Reconstruction had some of Lincoln’s key concepts in it but the plan also differed from Lincoln’s greatly. The looming showdown between Lincoln and the Congress over competing reconstruction plans never occurred. The president was assassinated on April 14, 1865. His successor, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, lacked his predecessor’s skills in handling people; those skills would be badly missed. Johnson’s plan envisioned Pardons that would be granted to those taking a loyalty oath but No pardons would be available to high Confederate officials and persons owning property valued in excess of $20,000. Also, a state needed to abolish slavery before being readmitted and a state was required to repeal its secession ordinance before being readmitted. Most of the seceded states began compliance with the president’s program. Congress was not in session, so there was no immediate objection from that quarter. However, Congress reconvened in December and refused to seat the Southern representatives. May of 1865, just six weeks after taking office, President Andrew Johnson revealed his Reconstruction plan. Johnson hoped to form new state governments from those loyal to the Union and issued an amnesty proclamation plan for the restoration of North Carolina. Johnson’s main goal was to limit the political power of rebel leaders, to protect the former slaves and plan for their social and economic advancement, and to establish black suffrage (voting rights). Johnson did this by renewing the Freedmen's Bureau charter. The Freedmen's Bureau was created by the U.S. Congress near the end of the Civil War as an agency to deal with the enormous humanitarian crisis brought about by the war. The Freedmen's Bureau was envisioned as an agency wielding enormous power over the South. An editorial in the New York Times published on February 9, 1865, when the original bill for the creation of the bureau was being introduced in...
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