Pros And Cons Of Reconstruction After The Civil War

455 Words2 Pages

Deliverance and emancipation began for many slaves the very day when Union Soldiers reached the townships and territories of the slave-holding states. Countless southern landowners and their families walked away from their plantations and farms as the war approached, and every city or location where the Union soldiers stepped, they were greeted by more and more African Americans looking for safety and refuge within the ranks of the Union forces. At the end of the war effort, approximately 4.2 million slaves were set free; however, these newly freedmen had absolutely nothing. Frederick Douglas said, “The freedmen were let alone – by everyone but their enemies” (Sterling, 1976). Nearly all were homeless, uneducated and all they had ever known …show more content…

David Blight, Lincoln's basic approach to Reconstruction was to be threefold. His plan was “to make Reconstruction as fast as possible, as lenient as possible, and as much as possible under presidential authority” (Blight, 2008). In 1863, he had come up with the plan to pardon all southerners who took an oath to support the Union and any state with ten percent of its voters would be allowed to form a new state government and constitution. Reconstruction debates ensued between President Lincoln and Congress in 1864, as they sought to determine if Reconstruction should be a Congressional or Presidential policy. Unfortunately, just five days after General Robert E. Lee, Commander of the Confederate forces, surrendered at Appomattox Courthouse setting in motion the end of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. Taking over the role as President of the United States was Mr. Andrew Johnson, Vice President and the only Democrat who remained in Congress after the secession of the Southern states. President Johnson wanted the Union quickly restored with almost no permanent implications or penalties to the southern states who had seceded. He gave those states three things they had to accomplish in order to be readmitted and they were: 1) to ratify the thirteenth amendment abolishing slavery; 2) nullify their ordinances of secession; and 3) repudiate the Confederate war debts (Young,

Open Document