Vitriolic Events in American History - Caitlin Safchik...

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Caitlin Safchik HIST:1025581 History of the United States Since 1865 Assignment #1 1.Reconstruction was one of the most controversial and vitriolic events in American history. Discuss its evolution from the Ten Percent and Wade/Davis plans of 1864 through the end of Andrew Johnson's administration in 1869. How and why did the unfolding drama evolve into what became known as Radical Reconstruction? How and why did Johnson so polarize the situation and unite the Republicans? The American Civil war was primarily fought over two issues which involved slavery and states’ rights. The two problems that arose caused for the extensive processes of reconstruction, which began even before the Civil War ended. The Reconstruction was in fact one of the most controversial and vitriolic events in American history.It all began when President Lincoln issued a 10 percent Reconstruction Plan, which allows Southern states a chance to reintegrate into the Union. This plan required 10 percent of Southern state officials who voted in 1860 to take an oath of allegiance to the United States and pledge to abide by emancipation. Both confederate officers and military officers were excluded from voting rights unless they apply for presidential pardons. Lincoln’s 10 percent Reconstruction Plan was the democratic approach, which created conflict with the Radical Republicans. The Radical Republicans proposed a different approach, one that delayed the readmission of Southern States, called the Wade-Davis Bill. The Wade-Davis Bill was passed by congress in 1864, which stated “that a military governor would rule each former Confederate State.” Lincoln immediately rejectthe Wade-Davis Bill by pocket-vetoing it, causing an outrage in the Radical Republican party.On April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated, which led to Senator of Tennessee, Andrew Johnson taking his place. At first Johnson was viewed as a positive change the United States was going to encounter, but it didn’t take long for that to turn. Johnson “hadis own political agenda”, which did not resemble either party. His plan involved allowing the seven southern states back into the Union. This immediately lead to extreme tension between congress and Johnson. Unfortunately for Johnson, he was loosing allies by the minute, due to all his sudden change of agenda. He vetoed a major law called the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which was the bill that made blacks United States citizens and authorized federal intervention in the states to ensure black rights in court. In addition to the Civil Right Act,Johnson's also vetoed the Supplementary Freedmen’s Bureau act. Both of these acts were over ridden by congress. Johnson rejected both acts because he felt that it would, “operatein favor of the colored and against the white race.”Johnson has gained the northern democratic vote along with the southerns, which isthe minority of the population. The moderate and radical republicans make up the largest parties. He continues to loose supporters when he veto’s other bills such as,The

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