The upheaval known as the era of reconstruction commenced in 1863 with Lincoln at its forefront searching for a way to reinstate the rebel states into the union and ended with a radical republican president, Hayes, giving Democrats control of the south in 1877. During this time of controversy African Americans and their rights were put to the test like never before with various acts passed to grant them liberty, however, opponents of the freedman caused reconstruction to fail for their freedom until decades later justice prevailed. Although this era of grand change was a turning point for the independence of African Americans, reconstructions failure did not grant them equal economic, political or social freedom in the nation post civil war, specifically in the South. The abolishment of slavery, instating blacks as citizens and giving them the right to vote was consecrated in the constitution while the Freedman bureau and radical republicans protected their rights, yet this was not enough to conquer their objectors in the South as they continued to discriminate African Americans through various laws, terrorist groups and labor similar to slavery. The end of the civil war raised a shedload of questions about what to do with the newly freedman and the defeated south. Lincoln's plan on how to rehabilitate the South with his Ten Percent Plan, which allowed Southerners who had not held important confederate political or military positions to swear their allegiance to the union and once 10 percent of registered voters in a rebel state did so, they could rejoin the union, was disapproved by Radical Republicans. Supporters of African Americans equality, Radical Republicans sought to integrate freedman into politics, therefore well aware that freedman offered a large amount of Republican voters in the South they countered Lincoln's plan with the Wade Davis Act. This act was passed by Congress in 1864 and called for a majority of voters in the South to take an oath stating their current as well as past loyalty to the union, therefore the only way a southern state could reenter the union would be with a large support of African American votes, however, Lincoln pocket vetoed this act attempting to allow the seceded states easy readmission. Yet Lincoln's assassination, in 1865 aroused more contevery than ever on how reconstruction would prevail for the freedmen's liberty. Andrew Johnson, Lincoln's’ former vice president, took over as the union's leader and set his plans of reconstruction in motion. His plan, similar to Lincoln's, pardoned those in seceded states as long as they pledged loyalty to the the union, the exception being former confederate leaders and people whose properties values exceeded $20,000. Furthermore Johnson demanded
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- Fall '19
- American Civil War, Southern United States, Ulysses S. Grant, Reconstruction era of the United States, Freedman