A People Reunited? 1865-1867
Reconstruction is the
effort of the nation to come to terms with the titanic changes that
came in American life post Civil War (preservation of American Union and destruction of
What was going to be the status of the 4 million American Slaves? What was
their part in American Society? Would they enjoy the rights of white Americans?
The question of rights in society are also prominent today.
Most people do not know much about Reconstruction. We are still
living today in the shadows of the era. (DACA or the 12 million
Why is the child of an immigrant considered a citizen of the United
States? (Birthright Citizenship) Written into 14th Amendment
US History (Book Notes- pages 451 to 475)
The period of years after the Civil War were hectic and turbulent. A president was
murdered and another one was impeached. The Constitution went through some
revisions with the addition of three amendments. The greatest problem was that
the Union’s desire to create a just and free country for all ignited the racist
actions of terroristic and vigilante groups, i.e. Ku Klux Klan, that unleashed a
wave of violence aimed towards freed blacks and their white supporters. Overall,
the Reconstruction Era remains a failure.
Section 1: Restoring the Union
The start of this era really happened the second the rebel Southern states
were integrated back into the Union. President Abraham Lincoln’s ultimate
goal was to reunify the United States. One of the biggest flaws in his plan
was that it forgave traitors instead of guaranteeing civil rights to former
slaves. Lincoln passed the Thirteenth Amendment (which abolished
slavery), but never ratified (made officially valid).
The President’s Plan
December 1963- the president started to unveil a three-part
proposal known as the
Ten Percent Plan
that highlighted how
states would return to the Union.
(1) All Southerners were pardoned except for upper-
ranking officials (Confederate government and military
leaders). (2) 10% of the voting population in the rebel
states had to take a binding oath of allegiance to the U.S.
and emancipation of slaves. (3) They must also draft new
state constitutions as well.
This still meant that 90% of the population did not
have to swear allegiance to the Union or
emancipation. It was a very lenient plan in that