1 Reconstructing the Union - Reconstructing the Union...

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Reconstructing the Union
Questions Emerge in 1863How to restore the Union?How to treat the leaders?Errant brothers or Traitors?Constitutional Issues?How to re-admit states to the union?Constitution gives no guidance?4 key questionsWho would rule the South? (assuming its defeat)Who would control the Federal Government?What were the consequences of black freedom and what rights would the freedmen enjoy?Preservation or Revolution? Preserve the previous union or create a new republic?
Lincoln’s 10 Percent plan“Malice towards none, with charity for all”Ordered generals to give generous terms upon surrenderDecember 1863 – Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction“Loyal rule” to replace majority rule even before hostilities endedPardons for all but highest Confederate soldiers and civilian officialsAs soon as 10% of voting population (in 1860) took the oath to the US and established a new government – recognized.Uptake is quick in occupied territoriesLA, TN, AR had “Lincoln Governments” in 1864However, the gov’ts were weak and dependent on troops for survival
Congressional ResponseRadicals Republicans in Congress considered 10% Plan a “mere mockery” of democracyThaddeus Stevens (Pa.) and Charles Sumner (Ma) led the opposition to Lincoln in the House and SenateProposed a longer and harsher approachThe “Conquered Provinces” TheorySoutherners had destroyed statehood with secession and therefore could be treated like conquered foreign lands»Reverting back to unorganized territory status July 1864 – Wade-Davis Bill emerges with conditions for Southern re-admissionDemanded that a ‘majority’ of white male citizens participate in creation of a new government‘iron clad’ oath necessary to vote or become a delegate to constitutional conventionsAll above the rank of Lieutenant and all civil Confederate official would be disenfranchised and deemed not a citizen of the US
Congressional ResponsePocket-vetoed by LincolnOutcome of the election or war still in doubtRadical Republican plan to oust Lincoln from Republican TicketIssue Wade-Davis Manifesto to newspapers claiming Lincoln’s usurpation of powers of Congress and disgraceful leniencyFall of Atlanta rescues Lincoln and secures him a 2ndtermAt the heart of the conflict was the nature of ReconstructionLincoln’s – easy way to weaken the CSA and win the warRadicals – long term transformation of the political and racial situation in the South
13thAmendmentProvisionsSection 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

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