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American Reconstruction - Term Papers

American Reconstruction


In the Spring of 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. During this period was the Civil Rights Act, the Fourteenth Amendment, the Black codes and other ...

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and the creation of new government states. These governments, Johnson said, must forbid slavery. They must also accept the supreme power of the federal government. With Johnson's strong thoughts and views, Reconstruction started immediately.
Congress was not in session when Johnson took over as President and did not meet until December, which effected the South economically. During these eight months, nothing was progressing. For example, nothing was done about the black voting rights. Some states also refused to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished slavery. Southern states started to pass laws, limiting the freedom of African Americans. These laws, called black codes, aimed to return former slaves to plantation labor. In Mississippi, one law said that each person had to have a written proof of employment. In some states, children could be forced to work by their former owners, without their parent's approval. With Johnson as President and the Black codes in the ...

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the ending of slavery. They argued that a true republic should grant citizenship to all. The Republicans were eager to change the south politically, but not everyone thought the same way.

During the year of 1866, two important bills were passed by Congress. The Radical Republicans had two leaders, Thaddeus Stephens and Charles Sumner who were both active men. The Radicals hoped that the federal government would remake southern politics and society. Urged on by the Radicals, Congress did pass two bills in 1866. The first bill gave new powers to the Freedmen's Bureau. Congress also passed a bill dealing with Civil rights. This bill declared that everyone born in the United states were ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/21/2006 11:17:23 PM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2005
Pages: 8

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