With Malice Towards None: The Legacy of Reconstruction

Pages: 4 (1457 words) Published: October 7, 2013

“With Malice Towards None”

Post-civil war, the United States was divided into two: South and North. In the North, Radical Republicans ruled and Democrats led the South. Having very different opinions on what to do to unify the country again, there was the creation of many ideas, laws, amendments, and acts that led to what we call the Reconstruction period. The legacy of Reconstruction is good, as goals to reunify South and North were achieved. It is also very negative because racial inequalities continued in many different ways as black codes and Jim Crow laws kept blacks from being equal. Starting with the Radical Reconstruction, the South was attacked by laws that were intended to make them become states free of black oppression. Radical Republicans wrote the Civil War amendments that made every man free and equal, made them citizens and gave blacks the right to vote.

The father of Reconstruction, the first men to have a plan to “reconstruct” our nation was President Lincoln. He believed in forgiveness and reunification; he wanted the U.S. to heal quickly to better the prosperity of the countryii. His “Ten-Percent Plan” reflected his opinion on reunifying the nation. This plan required 10% of a Southern state to swear oath the union to gain the status as state and be accept back in the U.S. The only people that were not given amnesty were the Confederate Generals.

After President Lincoln’s assassination, his Vice-President took over and kept a very similar plan for reconstruction. President Johnson was a democrat that was not liked by congress because of his inability to make important decision on laws and amendments. He believed states right and thought it was the white men of the South’s job to reestablish government. Congress had to overwrite veto after veto that Johnson’s weak policies’ did not accept. His refusal to punish the South and force them to enter blacks in their societies brought the congress to an attempt of impeachment that failed....
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