Reconstruction dbq

Topics: Reconstruction era of the United States, American Civil War, Southern United States Pages: 4 (1308 words) Published: April 13, 2014

The years 1865 to 1877 mark a period of reconstruction in which the country’s main focus was to heal the nation and bring the Confederate states back into the Union. Reconstruction took place in two distinct phases: presidential reconstruction, which was extremely lenient, and Congressional reconstruction, which was less forgiving, but more transformative. Presidential reconstruction had very limited success because President Andrew Johnson was swayed by Southern praise and became something of an obstructionist to the Republican Party and all of its proposals. However, in an effort to discredit the Republican Party, he only made a fool of himself, (famously known as Johnson’s “Swing Around the Circle”) and helped the Republican Party win 2/3rds of the seats in Congress, which gave them the majority to easily override Johnson’s vetoes. As a result, the Republicans could aid African Americans and put into place the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which was much more successful than Johnson’s presidential reconstruction. In fact, Congress’ efforts were so effective that the South felt the need fight Republican dominance. For example, bulldozing, using physical violence as a means to discourage black men from voting, was extremely successful. In short, though reconstruction (especially presidential reconstruction), did have its limitations and was not a complete success, it was a step in the right direction. Lincoln’s overly generous Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, also known as the 10% Plan, was deliberately designed to make easy the process of absorbing the Confederacy back into the Union. However, Radical Republicans, namely Charles Sumner and Thaddeus Stevens, did not think this was severe enough or actually secured freed slaves their civil rights. They presented the Wade-Davis Bill, which made it harder for Confederate states to enter the Union, and gave less room for former Confederates to return to positions of power. Because...
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