Essay on Reconstruction

598 Words3 Pages
In 1865, the Civil war was finally brought to an end. The five years of war was the nation's most devastating and wrenching experience. Although the Union was saved and slavery had ended, the South being defeated and occupied by union forces was ruined and in a state of disaster. Public structures, private homes, and farm buildings had been burnt, rail road tracks uprooted, cotton gins wrecked, and the earth scorched in many sections of the defeated land. The nation's next task was to rebuild the ruined South and the government's plan to do this is known as Reconstruction.
In the South Reconstruction meant rebuilding the economy, establishing new state and local governments and establishing a new social structure between whites and
…show more content…
Abraham Lincoln was assassinated just as the South surrendered in April 1865, and then Andrew Johnson inherited the problem of Reconstruction. Johnson supported Lincoln's plan after taking office. Enough Confederates signed these oaths to enable the immediate creation of new governments. Johnson required that the new states ratify the 13th Amendment freeing the slaves, abolish slavery in their own constitutions, discard debts incurred while in rebellion, and declare secession null and void.
The Radical Republicans reconstruction plan included the passage of the 13th Amendment and established the Freedman's Bureau. The Freedman's Bureau is an agency of the Federal government set up in 1865 to help former slaves and other persons suffering from the effects of the Civil War. This reconstruction plan also included passage of a Civil Rights bill and the 14th Amendment (all of these were opposed by Johnson). Andrew Johnson had opposed Radical Reconstruction and had many vetoes overridden. Congress tried to reduce his power through the Command of Army and Tenure of Office Acts. The Command of Army act took away some of the president's power as Commander and Chief of the Army and the Tenure of Office Acts said the president could not remove a federal official without the Senate's agreement. In 1868 Johnson was accused of violating the Tenure of Office Act and was impeached by the House. At the Senate trial he was
Get Access