Dbq Essay On Reconstruction

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By the spring of 1865, the Civil War came to an end and there were many important challenging questions the nation was faced with. A few included how could the south physically and economically be rebuilt, what should be done with the newly freedmen and women, and who would direct the process of reconstruction? President Lincoln, President Johnson, and the radical republicans (congressional) each constructed a plan they believed would be best for the nation. The congressional plan best helped the nation and freedmen due to passed legislation such as the Pacific Railroad Act, Civil Rights Bill that granted American citizenship to blacks, and had goal of destroying the Black Codes, that isolated blacks from society. The Radical Republicans …show more content…

Congress aimed for the Bureau to include protection for all the black population and they override Johnson’s veto. The Civil Rights Bill granted American citizenship to blacks and denied the states the power to limit their right to obtain property, testify in court, and make contract for their labor. Furthermore, congress wanted to make sure the states were following the ideas of the Civil Rights Act by adding the fourteenth amendment. This amendment granted state and federal citizenship for all people born or naturalized in the United States, forbade any state to deny anyone equal protection of the law, and disqualified former Confederates from holding federal and state office. Additionally, Congress aimed to remove all Black Codes and ensure that all states follow the 13th amendment, that legally emancipated slaves. Republicans were concerned that as the states were re-admitted to the union they would disregard many of these new amendments and acts, and withdraw black suffrage. They decided to add the fifteenth amendment, which denied the states the right to prohibit anyone from voting “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” However, this did not include gender which upset many feminists at the time. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 was one of the final congressional reconstruction …show more content…

However, it was the best plan for reconstruction because unlike Johnson’s plan it promoted true freedom and equality for the blacks and aimed to preserve northern political advantage in congress. President Lincoln’s plan was very compassionate, stating that all southerners could be pardoned and reinstates as U.S. citizens if they took “an path of allegiance to the constitution and the Union and pledged to abide by emancipation”, once 10% of the voting population in the state had taken the oath the state could be reintegrated into the Union. Radical Republicans rejected Lincoln’s plan believing it would restore southern aristocracy and re-enslave blacks. In response to Lincoln’s plan they passed the Wade-Davis Bill that required more than 50% of white males to take an oath of allegiance before the state could be readmitted. Lincoln vetoed this bill and it was never fully carried out. Furthermore, President Johnson’s plan, which was very similar to Lincolns, allowed the southern states to be readmitted to the union after they abolished slavery, repudiate all debts incurred to the confederacy, and ratify the 13th amendment. By the time they were readmitted, it was evident that there wasn’t much change in the state governments. Within Johnson’s Plan, southern legislatures were able to pass repressive Black Codes that prohibited

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