Reconstruction Dbq

Topics: Southern United States, American Civil War, Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution Pages: 4 (1448 words) Published: December 5, 2010
The Civil War was one of the most difficult and trying times during American history. The war ended with the the Union and Confederate states torn apart over one major issue: slavery. With the end of the Civil War came the end of slavery in the United States. Although the former black slaves were now free, they had no land and very few rights, and most did not even have family. Though out reconstruction, blacks were able to gain rights, but were continuously repressed by the white Southerners. The only way to truly enfranchise the former slaves was by effectively disenfranchising their former masters. The reign the masters had over their former slaves disabled the slaves from trying to fulfill their lives as equal American citizens. In most cases, the blacks of American were granted certain freedoms and then were taken away or oppressed by the whites. The former plantation and slave owners were not receptive to treating the blacks as their fellow counterparts. As Reconstruction began to start in the United States, the question of how the Southern states would be welcomed back into the Union begged at the issue. Reconstruction started to become a struggle between the executive and legislative branches. Radical Republicans, such as Thaddeus Stevens, wanted to approach Reconstruction from a military prospective because they were seeking revenge and felt the South needed to be taught a lesson because of the havoc and damage that they imposed on the Union (Document A). On the other hand, Andrew Johnson wanted to take a more moderate approach to reconstruction in order to quickly reincorporate the Southern states into the Union. To be allowed back into the Union, as per Andrew Johnson’s plan of reconstruction, the Southern states had to, among many other terms, agree to the 13th Constitutional Amendment that recognized the freedom of blacks. Many blacks felt that they knew their previous masters best and argued that although the states would agree to the...
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