Reconstruction Era of the United States

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The Reconstruction

By 1865, the Civil War ended with a victory for the Union over the secessionist southern states. But with every conclusion comes new beginnings, thus the start of a new chapter American History: The Reconstruction. 1865 through 1877 was known as the period of Reconstruction. During this time the Confederate States were reintegrated into the Union. Before the Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his forces to the Union General, Ulysses Grant on April 9th, 1865 which actually ended the war, controversy raged throughout Congress and country concerning the terms under which the secessionist states would be allowed back into the Union. One prevalent concern was what role the federal government would play in the shaping of the political, economical, and social fabrics of the south. Desegregating roughly 4 million recently freed slaves into life in the new south was a controversial issue. The issue of slavery is actually what caused the secession of the southern states in 1860 and 1861. This dispute is what led to the start of the civil war. The war had left the south dramatically altered. The newly freed slaves struggled to survive in this new economy all while trying to coincide with an often acrimonious and resentful white population. The nation was left bitterly divided. President Abraham Lincoln believed that the South had already been drastically punished. He favored the lenient approach of Reconstruction. Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction; which in turn created the ten percent plan. Lincoln believed that the sooner the nation healed and moved forward, the better off everyone would be. The plan called for pardons to any Confederate who had not held civil office and would swear to support the Constitution and the Union. The states would be readmitted to the union once ten percent of their population took oath. Despite Lincoln did not adequately address how the newly freed slaves were to be accepted into...
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