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Legacies of War and Reconstruction

Legacies of War and Reconstruction - b Radical...

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b. Radical Reconstruction and Military Rule The Election of 1866 should have taught southern whites the folly of relying on Johnson as a guide through the thicket of reconstruction. Every southern state except Tenn. Voted down 14 th amend. Radicals i. seized the initiative in the void created by the South’s rejection ii. Antebellum iii. goaded Lincoln to make the war a crusade for freedom iv. carried into the postwar period the conviction that only the federal power could protect the rights of the freedmen Charles Sumner – pompous but sincere Mass. Crusader Thaddeus Stevens – caustic rep from Penn. i. United in calling for civil and political equality ii. Insisted extending to ex-slaves the same opportunities that northern working people had under the free-labor system iii. Stevens called on congress to begin reconstruction all over again iv. Stevens believed that at bottom reconstruction was an economic problem March 1867 – moderates joined Radicals to overturn Johnson state governments and initiate military rule in S. i. Military Reconstruction Act – divided the 10 unreconstructed Conf. states into 5 military districts 1. Gen. in charge of each district 2. “suppress insurrection, disorder, and violence” 3. begin political reform 4. disappointed those who advocated the confiscation and redistribution of southern plantations to ex- slaves 5. Johnson vetoes Act, but Congress overrode the veto in the same day. 6. Gave blacks suffrage but only in the South Military completed voter registration and voters in each state elected delegates to conventions that would draw new state const. i. Each constitution would guarantee black suffrage ii. Voters approved constitution iii. State legislature ratified 14 th amendment iv. Then state could submit work to congress v. If congress approved, the state’s senators and pres could be seated and political reunification would be accomplished. Republicans finally agreed w/ Sumner that only the voting power of ex-slaves could bring about a permanent revolution in the S.
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Most Repubs. Believed they had provided blacks w/ the critical tools: equal legal rights and the ballot. If blacks wanted land they had go get it themselves. c. Impeaching a President Despite defeats, Johnson had no intention of yielding control of reconstruction. i. Encouraged white belligerence and resistance. ii. Issued pardons to undermine efforts at political and economic change. iii. Waged war against Freedmen’s Bureau 1. removed officers who sympathized too fully w/ ex- slaves iv. Replaced Union generals who tried to enforce Congress’s Reconstruction Acts w/ conservatives v. Claimed he was defending the violated constitution When saw what Pres. was doing, Congress: i. required that all orders to field commanders pass through the Gen. U.S. Grant ii. Also enacted the Tenure of Office Act in 1867 1. Required approval of the Senate for the removal of any gov’t official who had been appointed w/ Senate consent.
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