notes - Johnson's Reconstruction Northern anger over the...

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Johnson's Reconstruction Northern anger over the assassination of Lincoln and the immense human cost of the war led to demands for harsh policies. Vice President Andrew Johnson had taken a hard line and spoke of hanging rebel Confederates. However, when he succeeded Lincoln as president, Johnson took a much softer line, commenting, "I say, as to the leaders, punishment. I also say leniency, reconciliation and amnesty to the thousands whom they have misled and deceived," and ended up pardoning many Confederate leaders. In practice, Johnson was seemingly not harsh toward the Confederate leaders. He allowed the Southern states to hold elections in 1865. Subsequently, prominent former Confederate leaders were elected to the U.S. Congress, which refused to seat them. Congress and Johnson argued in an increasingly public way about Reconstruction and the manner in which the Southern secessionist states would be readmitted to the Union. Johnson favored a very quick restoration, similar to the plan of leniency that Lincoln advocated before his death. * The Wade-Davis bill was Congress' form of reconstruction that was more strict than that posed by Lincoln.
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