The Politics of Reconstruction


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Brief presentation about the political wrangling between Congress and President Andrew Johnson. For use with section 12.1 of "The Americans"

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The Politics of Reconstruction

  1. 1. The Politics of Reconstruction THE AMERICANS SECTION 12.1
  2. 2. Lincoln’s Plan Lenient  Goal: Lenient to the South to quickly rebuild the Union Ten Percent Plan  10% of Southerners must take an oath of allegiance  Unsuccessful because Congress wants to punish the South Outcome  Lincoln dies before the plan could be put into action
  3. 3. Republican Reaction Harsh  Goal: Wanted to punish the Southern whites and empower freed slaves  Leader: Thaddeus Stevens
  4. 4. Republican Reaction  Wade-Davis Bill: Proposed that Congress, not the President be in charge of Reconstruction.  Also, held that a majority (51%, not just 10%) of former Confederates must take an oath of allegiance  Unsuccessful because Lincoln pocket vetoes the bill
  5. 5. Republican Reaction Pocket Veto • • if Congress submits a bill with less than 10 days remaining in the session, the President can veto a bill by not taking any action on it all – letting it sit when this happens, the bill dies without ever being finally decided
  6. 6. Johnson’s Plan Presidential Reconstruction  Lenient (easier than Lincoln’s “Ten-Percent Plan”)  Goal:   Reunite North and South Punish wealthy white Southerners
  7. 7. Johnson’s Plan Four Parts 1. Each state would have to withdraw it secession 2. Swear allegiance to United States 3. Annul Confederate war debts 4. Ratify the 13th Amendment (abolishing slavery)
  8. 8. Johnson’s Plan “white men alone must manage the South.”  Opposed to slavery, Johnson did not want equal rights for African-Americans  Johnson was lenient on Southern states abiding by the terms of Presidential Reconstruction (for example, Mississippi did not ratify the 13th Amendment)  Johnson pardoned Confederates who had fought against the US angering Radical Republicans and African-Americans
  9. 9. Johnson’s Vetoes  Freedman’s Bureau:  goal was to feed and house freed slaves and poor whites  Civil Rights Act of 1866  Goal was to forbid black codes passed by states  Johnson’s reaction: Vetoes both!
  10. 10. In the Congressional midterm election in 1866, Radical Republicans get 2/3 control of both houses of Congress and can override any future Johnson veto
  11. 11. Congressional Reconstruction Reconstruction Act of 1867  Harsh  Sought to punish Confederates for the war and for slavery  Did not recognize state government admitted under the Lincoln and Johnson plans
  12. 12. Reconstruction Act of 1867 Four Parts 1. Divided the other 10 former Confederate States into 5 military districts, each headed by a Union General 2. Voters in the districts, including AfricanAmericans, would elect delegates to state constitution conventions 3. New state constitutions had to ensure suffrage to African-American men 4. Each state had to ratify the 14th Amendment
  13. 13. Fourteenth Amendment Four Parts 1. African-Americans are citizens 2. Equal protection under the law for blacks 3. Banned Confederates from voting/holding office 4. Annulled all Confederate debts from the war
  14. 14. Congressional Reconstruction Tenure of Office Act  President cannot remove an appointed cabinet members with out Senate permission  Johnson did anyway  Although he was impeached by the House of Representatives, he was not removed by a margin of one vote
  15. 15. Congressional Reconstruction 15th Amendment  Affected Northern and Southern states alike  No one can be prevented from voting based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”