The Reconstruction of the Union After the Civil War Essay

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The reconstruction of the Union began under President Lincoln before the end of the war, and carried on by President Johnson after the assassination of President Lincoln. After Lincoln’s death, the leadership of the nation bestowed upon Andrew Johnson of Tennessee. According to A. Brinkley (pg. 375), Johnson revealed his plan for reconstruction or “Restoration”, as he preferred to call it, soon after he took office and implemented it during the summer of 1865 when Congress was in recess. Like Lincoln, he offered some form of amnesty to Southerners who would take a pledge of loyalty to the Union. In most other respect, however, his plan resembled the Wade-Davis Bill. The next phase of reconstruction, known as the Congressional Plan or…show more content…

This latter period was the greatest trial that the South had to bear, not excepting the terrible ordeal of war. To understand properly the surroundings, it is necessary to enumerate briefly the events, which occurred early in 1865, and the directions given by President Johnson to the military officers of the United States. The death of President Lincoln regarded as the greatest catastrophe that could have happened to the people of the South. The arrest and imprisonment of President Davis and many of the Confederate soldiers and statesmen have been already related. The treatment of Mr. Davis was very harsh indeed, complicity in the assassination of Mr. Lincoln cruelly imputed to him, and a large reward offered for his capture. Every town, village, district occupied rapidly by the Union troops as the Confederate resistance melted away, and all civil government ignored. The governors of most of the seceded States attempted to call their legislatures together to conform to the results of the war and take steps for their restoration to the Union. They did this, believing that the American principle of government--the sovereignty and indestructibility of the States--would be respected and that these prompt proceedings would be favored as the constitutional plan of restoration. They did this also believing it necessary to preserve civil government, and to show by legislative enactment complete submission to the results
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