“I Want To Cushion The Shock Of A Total Revolution Of Labor…I

1317 WordsMar 22, 20176 Pages
“I want to cushion the shock of a total revolution of labor…I want blacks and whites in the south to gradually live themselves out of their old relation to each other,” said Abraham Lincoln in regards to what his goals were for Reconstruction. After the Civil War ended, Reconstruction was presented as a way to unify the country once again and have all Americans live together in equality and unity. In theory, achieving successful Reconstruction seemed easy to implement and an idea that every American would be in support of; however, actually executing Reconstruction plans proved to be difficult and welcomed many criticizers of all of the plans that were presented. Abraham Lincoln had come up with a plan that may have been successful, but…show more content…
It is interesting to point out that even though these states had seceded from the Union, Lincoln did not give any harsh punishments, nor did he take away any property besides those that had black people as slaves. Nevertheless, Lincoln’s moderate plan was still met with criticism. People complained that, “10% of the population was too low, property should be seized, and freedmen should have guarantees, especially of land” (Sampson). The Reconstruction and unification of the country was found to be quite difficult as arguments and tensions rose over how exactly to unify the United States, either harshly or moderately. As the dispute on how to handle the South continued, Lincoln was unexpectedly assassinated and Andrew Johnson was brought into presidency. Johnson turned out to be a much different president than Lincoln. Johnson himself was, “openly hostile to the freed slave and unwilling to support any plans that guaranteed them civil equality or enfranchisement” (Brinkley 415). However, since he was now President, Reconstruction and how to go about it was left up to Johnson, no matter how unpleasant he was. His Reconstruction plan turned out to be quite similar to Lincoln. He decided to, “offer amnesty to those Southerners who would take an oath of allegiance (high ranking Confederated officials and any white Southerner with land worth $20,000 or more would have to apply
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