My “A+” Plan for Reconstruction
President Johnson and the Radical Republicans both came up with plans of how to reconstruct America after the Civil War. President Johnson was more lenient toward the Southerners because of his background. His plan did not include harsh punishments. The Radical Republicans plans were strict and imposed cruel new laws for the betrayal of the Confederate states. The views from each are completely opposite when concerning Freemen. My plan for reconstruction is an “A+” plan because it combines the views of Johnson and the Radicals.
My first plan concerning the Southerners who rebelled uses moderate punishments from both plans to create one that is lenient but also rigid. Johnson’s plan for this protects the laws created during the war, “southerners had to take an oath (verbal pledge) to support, protect, and defend the Constitution. The oath also included a promise to obey all laws passed during the war.” I used this section in my plan because it reinforces the laws created.
I also included that southerners have to seek forgiveness from the Union to regain their rights as citizens.
Lastly, I used a section from the Radical plan to not allow Southerners to hold a Place in Congress until they are pardoned by the Congress. This plan can heal the wounds of our nation but also have punishments for what happened to the Nation because of the Confederates. For the Southern states to gain readmittance to the Union they will have to meet conditions indicated in the plan. These conditions will be a combination of President Johnson’s plan and the Radical Republican’s plan to create a fair compromise for both parties. They would have to write a new Constitution or set of laws. Secondly, to give African Americans full rights as citizens and the right to vote. Lastly, they will have to agree with the 13th Amendment. Once these terms are completed Southerners will have the ability of running their own state, holding elections, and sending representatives to Congress. The South has a fair chance to earn back their rights but has to complete these conditions that will help reunite the country.
The steps the government should take to deal with the Freedmen (former slaves) include points from the Radical plan and points I came up with. In the Radical plan they stand of for Freedmen’s rights, “African Americans should be guaranteed equal rights and be assisted in establishing new lives as free people… It was Congress’s duty to help out African Americans until they could provide
for themselves.” The plan also states the Freedmen would be treated the same regarding citizenship rights, and also that they should receive the right to vote. In the section I created it specifies methods the government should take to help the Freedmen. Programs should be formed, such as employment agencies and education centers. This plan gives Freedmen rights but also helps them get back on their feet after years if slavery.
The Radical Republicans and President Johnson created two extremist plans that when combined become a plan suitable for all parties. I created a plan that would aid in the reconstruction of America and would make the most people happy. When President Lincoln addressed reconstruction he said, “malice toward none.” A good plan does not hurt the people of our own country, but strives toward unity and reaches it with all means necessary. The US Civil War was one of the bloodiest wars of all time, reconstruction is considered the second Civil War because of different opinions and ideas clashing together.
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