A Essay On Reconstruction During The Civil War

Lincoln’s top priority was maintaining the unity of the nation at all costs.In his most famous speech, he said he wished to bring the nation together “…with malice toward none; with charity for all” to achieve “a just and lasting peace”.

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The Congress had the best interests in mind for the security of the former slaves and for the future of the country.

Although President Lincoln, President Johnson, and Congress had different approaches to reconstructing the South, it is evident that the main motives of the Reconstruction process were to secure the civil rights of freedmen and to consolidate the political goals and gains of the newly re-constituted nation.

Even before the Civil War had concluded, Northern politicians were busy making Reconstruction plans for the Confederate States.

Reconstruction—the process by which seceded states were to re-enter back into the Union—was a difficult process for the United States for two reasons.

When the black slaves were freed, Congress passed three new amendments.

First was the thirteenth amendment, the abolition of slavery, second was the fourteenth amendment was that it granted black males citizenship, and third was the fifteenth amendment that granted black males the right to vote.This included acceptance of the 14th and 15th Amendments, guaranteeing the right of citizenship and suffrage to Black American males.Furthermore, the Radical Republicans started the first United States welfare agency, the Freedman’s Bureau, proving food, clothing, and education for freed slaves.As Johnson said, “We want to get it done as quickly and inexpensively with as much creativity and flexibility as we can have.” To achieve this goal, Johnson often made considerable concessions to the South during his term as President.Like Lincoln, his primary concern was maintaining harmony in the nation and suppressing sectional discord.Despite their good intentions, however, the Bureau failed to establish the freed slaves as landowners.Though many Southerners at the time believed the Radical Republican dominated Congress was excessively harsh to former Confederate states, this was not the case; passing harsh laws and imposing military government was the only way to guarantee the Blacks their civil rights amidst the tireless discrimination of the South.However, after the Radical Republicans took control of the Reconstruction, harsher “punishments” were inflicted on the Southern states to make them accept new laws protecting blacks.In many Southern states, military governments were established until the states accepted the terms of re-entry into the Union.Once the Radical Republicans in Congress took over the Reconstruction the Blacks gained more civil rights and the Southern states were treated more harshly than before.The definitive goal of Reconstruction was to secure rights for Blacks and reunite the Union as effectively as possible, though there was disagreement as to how best this should be done.


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