Chapter 16 outline - Chapter 16 Reconstruction An...

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Chapter 16: Reconstruction: An Unfinished Revolution (1865-1877) Emily Freiman I. Wartime Reconstruction 4 questions haunted the reconstruction era. One, who would rule in the South once it was defeated? Two, who would rule in the federal government, Congress or the president? Three, what were the dimensions of black freedom, and what rights under law would the freedom enjoy? And four, would reconstruction be a preservation of the old republic, or a second revolution, a re-invention of a new republic? A. Lincoln’s 10 Percent Plan Lincoln's worst fear was that the war would collapse at the end into guerilla warfare across the South, with surviving bands of Confederates carrying on resistance. Lincoln planned early for a swift and moderate Reconstruction process. In his “proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction,” he proposed to replace majority rule with “loyal rule” as a means of reconstructing southern state governments before hostilities ended. He proposed pardons to all ex-confederates except the highest ranking military and civilian officers. Under his 10 Percent Plan, he proposed that as soon as 10 percent of the voting population in the 1860 election took an oath and established a government, it would be recognized. “Loyal assemblies” were created in states largely occupied by union forces; they were weak and dependant on northern armies for survival. B. Congress and the Wade-Davis Bill Responding negatively to Lincoln’s Reconstruction plan to readmit southern states in what seemed such a premature manner, Thaddeus Stevens proposed a longer and harsher approach to reconstruction, advocating a “conquered province” theory and Charles Sumner advanced a “state suicide” theory. Both contended that southerners had organized as a foreign nation to make war on the U.S. and, by secession, had destroyed their status as states. In July 1864, Congress passed the Wade-Davis bill by which the process of readmission to the Union was to be harsh and slow. One, it demanded a majority of white male citizens participating in the creation of a new government. Two, to vote or be a delegate to constitutional conventions, men had to take an “iron clad” oath declaring they had never aided the confederate war effort. Three, all officers above the rank of lieutenant, and all civil officials in the confederacy would be disfranchised and deemed “not a citizen of the U.S.” Lincoln pocket-vetoed the bill. On August 5, radical republicans issued the “Wade Davis Manifesto” to newspapers, which attacked the president by members of his own party, and accused him of usurpation of presidential powers and disgraceful leniency towards an eventually conquered South. Lincoln saw reconstruction as a means of weakening the Confederacy and winning the war; the radicals saw it as a long term transformation of the political and racial order of the country.
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