With Malice toward None: the Legacy of Reconstruction

1 January 2018

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 country.

His “Ten-Percent Plan” reflected his opinion on reunifying the action.This plan required 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 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.

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Congress had to overwrite veto after veto that Johnny’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 impeach meet that failed. In the Legislative branch, the Reconstruction started with battles with President Johnson. The Radical Republican Congress stressed the fact that the faster unity is made, the better it will be for the prosperity of our nation. They pushed the enforcement of civil right and wanted to end black oppression.What did the South think of all this pressure from the North for black suffrage? We need to remember that the Civil War was a war for unity that destroyed the south’s economy that was based on agriculture. The south’s economy was also based on slavery, which was needed for labor on the field.

Many plantation owners lacked Of manpower and their goal was to overcome legislature that was passed to free blacks and make them equal. Measures taken by Congress to limit the South were replied with ruling from the Southern Democrats.The laws kept limiting the blacks lives to a point were they were under some new kind of slavery. The first legislation piece restricting the South was 13th Amendment. It officially abolished slavery, but did not prevent Southern states from placing major restrictions on blacks such as black codes. The Black Codes required black to have jobs and when they did not have job, it forced them into sharecropping, which is using a plantation owner’s land to grow crops part of which would be used to pay rent for the land.Usually blacks would still be in debt after a year of working for the white landowner and have to work for another year.

Then, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This act stated: “all persons born in the united States were now citizens, without regard to race, lour, or previous condition. As citizens they could make and enforce contracts, sue and be sued, give evidence in court, and inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold, and convey real and personal property. “iii When the Congress was worried that the South would amend the Civil Rights Act, they created the 14th amendment to add on to the act.It officially defined requirements for citizenship and said that no state had the right to interfere with any citizen’s basic civil rights. Iv The only problem with this amendment was that it did not require states to accept black suffrage. The 1 5th Amendment was passed in 1870 and was considered the final step of the Radical Reconstruction.

It did not allow governments to restrict voting right because of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude. “v This is the point where Radical Republicans finally achieved their goal of black suffrage.Unfortunately their success did not stay around for long. Radical Republican had a lot of issues with their Civil War Amendments. They had to create too many pieces of legislature to reach to goal. Think the content Of the amendment could have been a lot more concise and precise; imitating predictable issues and legislature that could’ve been created by the South. However, the timing was good, they had to make a piece of legislature to regulate the south from becoming what they were before the Civil War.

If they would of taken more time to think their amendments through to make a good one that covered all aspects, the South wouldn’t of had so much time to created overwriting pieces of legislature that kept black oppression for too long. Reconstruction was supposed to bring unity and equality and only one of these goals have had been reached when it ended. The Reconstruction Era as more of trial and error period where the North afflicted many pieces of legislation that were overwritten by the South. Its legacy was very negative and led to many debates and revolt for black rights.Many examples can prove its failure. The positive point is that finally after a decade Of hard work, the South and North could be called the united States again. When the North redrew its army in the south, it gave place to former Confederates and Slave owners to regain power and this meant the return to the old South policy.

They allowed sharecropping and passed black codes. As result, Northerners were tired of dealing with the South. They saw their work for black equality as meaningless and they stopped to worry about black civil rights.The South and the North came to a conclusion where they would set aside race inequalities to unify the union. This lead to a new feeling in the CA. S. : before the Civil War, they were a country, but after they became a nation.

For the racial discrimination, sharecroppers, white supremacist groups, it was only in the 1 ass’s that blacks regained support of the Federal Government. During this period of time, many protestors tried to spread equality and respect for black. A very well known man called Martin Luther King Jar. As one of the most important lobbers for black rights. He was admired for his courage to speak up under oppression and his dream of a world without racial discrimination. His most famous speech was “l have a Dream” where he describes his dream of a nation where every race was equal, a world where there was not the feeling of being looked upon by others. A white person who believed he did not have to right to speak up assassinated him.

This is a good example of the mood during those years. The Ignited States had a problem that Reconstruction lacked to solve.The Civil Rights movement of the second half of the sass ‘Was a worldwide political movement for equality before the Allah. ‘I. It had a great influence on the United States and in 1 965 there was the Voting Right Act that finally recognized blacks as citizens. It was a great step for humanity. Finally, the goals of reconstruction for reunifying the country and spread equality.

The Radical Republicans took a long time and passed a lot of pieces of legislature to give blacks to right to vote. This Reconstruction brought unity in the United States that could then be called a nation.

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