The Successes and Failures of Reconstruction

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The Successes and Failures of Reconstruction
1865 – 1877

The purpose of the Reconstruction was to reintegrate the North and the South. Between 1865 and 1877, the federal government under President’s Johnson and Grant, along with congress which consisted of Radical Republicans attempted to solve political, social, and economic issues in the 11 confederate states.

The Presidential Reconstruction consisted of the president’s plan to bring the southern states back into the Union. It began with President Lincoln, who did not believe the southern states had legally severed ties with the Union. Lincoln created the “10% plan” that said a state could be readmitted to the Union if 10% of the state’s voters pledged allegiance to the Union. However, the Republicans in Congress did not feel 10% was enough and created their own plan called the Wade Davis bill to require at least 50% of voters to pledge their allegiance to the Union. President Lincoln pocket vetoed the bill, which outraged the Radical Republicans.

After Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, Johnson took office and continued to work towards reconstruction of the Union. However, he did so when Congress was not in session. Therefore, Congress felt left out of the process. Although President Johnson was able to carry out Lincoln’s reconstruction plan, there were problems that arose. Some of the issues were too many confederates in politics and creation of the black codes, which restricted blacks from certain freedoms.

Congressional or Radical Reconstruction lasted 10 years starting with the Reconstruction Acts of 1867. This plan to restructure the South, did not allow planters to have political or economic control. Martial Law was imposed and Military Governors formed new Constitutions, which were required to accept 13th and 14th Amendments, which abolished slavery, granted citizenship to slaves and equality under the law to all. All adult males were to vote, regardless of color, if they

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