To what extent didReconstruction forge a “moreperfect union”"
General Lee surrendered to General Grant in April of ±²³´ thus ending the CivilWarµ However¶ now the Southern states had to be brought back into the UnionµTheperiod of bringing the former Confederate states back into the Union was known asReconstructionµ The President and Congress clashed over how these Southern statesshould be readmittedµMany in Congress¶ labeled Radical Republicans¶ thought Lincoln’splan was far too generous towards the southern states¶ as they saw them as traitorsµ
President Lincoln’s view that the United States was one nation indivisible had prevailed as aresult of the North’s victory in the Civil WarµLincoln believed that since secession was illegalanyway¶ Confederate governments in the southern states were illegitimate and the states hadnever really left the UnionµLincoln felt that Reconstruction was a matter of quicklyrestoring legitimate state governments that were loyal to the Union in these Southern statesµHis plan called the Ten Percent Plan would restore a southern state government once ±·percent of the registered voters of that state in ±²³· pledged to be loyal to the USgovernmentµ
President Lincoln also believed that once the war was over¶ in order toreunify the country¶ the federal government should not punish the South but act“with malice ¸anger¹ toward none¶ with charity ¸love¹ for all…to bind up the nation’swounds…”Lincoln delivered these famous words in his second inaugural addressµ
The assassination ofLincoln just a few days afterLee’s surrender at Appomattoxenabled congress¶ which was ledby a group called RadicalRepublicans¶ to influence theprocess of Reconstruction in amanner that was much morepunitive ¸punishing¹ towards theformer Confederate statesµThe Southern states were notallowed back into the Unioneasily ¸as Lincoln had wanted¹but instead were put undermilitary occupation as RadicalRepublicans¶ led by ThaddeusStevens¶ took control ofReconstructionµ
Tensions over the rebuilding of the South led to riots in many southern statesµInfact¶ disputes over the restructuring of the Louisiana state government led to violenceµFearing that the legislature would enact Black Codes and prevent black men fromvoting¶ Republicans called for a conventionµThis led to the the New Orleans Massacreof ±²³³ that killed º» Black men and » white republicans and injured another ±»· peopleµA similar incident happened in Memphis when white residents destroyed the homes andbuilding of the Black community and killed »³ African Americansµ
The Reconstruction Act of ±²³¼ was to ensure thenew laws regarding the rights of freedmen ¸formerlyenslaved people¹ were followedµJohnson found this plantoo harsh and was repeatedly at odds with the Radicals inCongressµLacking the political finesse of hispredecessors¶ Andrew Johnson came across as crass¶rude¶ and stubborn ½ even to his fellow party members ½as he argued with the Radical Republicans controllingcongressµ