The Radical Movement Analysis

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In the years following the Civil War, many people had formulas for how to revive the South. The land below the Mason-Dixon line had suffered greatly, from the physical destruction of the plantations and fertile farmland to the more abstract collapse of the plantation system and the relationships of servitude. After the unification of the country, there was divide in the government. The Radicals in the Congress had a far different plan than President Johnson. With the executive and legislative branches struggling for power and getting little done, the South unfortunately decomposed from the proud, wealthy land it once was before the war to a land not only wounded from battle but scarred from weak politicians as well. Readmitting the rebel states…show more content…
Although he was limited by the Tenure of Office and Army Appropriations Acts, Johnson attempted to eradicate everything Congress took action on. He became hellbent on receiving more power as President and would test the limit on what the Congress would tolerate. Johnson fired three generals who sympathized with the Radicals and tried to find a loophole in the Tenure of Office Act so he could hire whomever he wanted. This would not have been a problem if the government at the time were not so corrupt. Many officials’ opinions were not theirs at all. They voted and acted upon issues depending on who was paying them to most at the time. Usually this was mega-corporations, but Johnson needed supporters. His plan was well-received by the planter class but not many others. The Radical plan, on the other hand, got on famously with the Freedmen. After all, the major difference between their visions was the treatment of the four million new citizens. How the former slaves would reenter society was a debatable topic, and compromising between an ultra conservative and ultra liberal plan was not an option. The result was a mediocre, confused community. While the Radicals granted rights (such as “universal suffrage”) to the black citizens of the South, Johnson reassured white supremacy (with documents such as the “Black Codes”). The South reacted with racial violence and the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, a racist terrorist organization. The differences of the plans did not fit well together, so neither fully

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