Presidential Reconstruction and Radical Reconstruction

Nov 12, 2021 | 0 comments

Nov 12, 2021 | Writing Guide | 0 comments

The wartime reconstruction, in reality, started at the period of war. According to Alexander, in the beginning, Lincoln was of the idea of settling all the blacks in some countries that he referred to as repatriation[1] . Harris stated that the proclamation of the amnesty became the core part of the wartime reconstruction[2] . What the proclamation of amnesty did was to offer a presidential pardon the entire southern whites who were under a pledge of loyalty to the union and acknowledged elimination of slavery. Johannsen pointed out the fact that the only exceptional people who were omitted from this were the high ranking military officers as well as the confederate[3] . In the states which had ten per cent of the men population taking oath was to be reestablished in a state government.
According to Harris, this policy was carried out in Tennessee, Louisiana and Arkansas[4] . This wartime reconstruction also involved President Lincoln’s liberation proclamation. Smith stated that this proclamation freed slaves in the states which had been in war with the union. President Johnson and Lincoln were both of the intentions of giving pardoned ex-confederates their land back. According to Smith the Congress together with President Lincoln equally wanted to contest pardons to those who mistreated or even murdered or captured soldiers of both the white and black race[5] . They mutually agreed on this matter. Alexander elaborated by stating that, considering the fact that President Lincoln needed only ten per cent of loyalty from past confederates, the Congress insisted on the taking of the oath of allegiance by the majority of the white in confederate’s states[6] . Johannsen indicated that Lincoln was murdered and Andrew Johnson took the position of the presidency. President Johnson preferred punishment for traitors[7] .
According to Johannsen, President Johnson issued two proclamations without the assistance of the Republicans[8] . This was stated as presidential reconstruction. Smith goes further and states that when Johnson issued the two proclamations it caused a partition in Congress[9] . According to Harris, the proclamation entailed the official pardon for whites apart from Confederate officials as well as the military officer whose values were more than twenty thousand dollars, and he also named a provisional government for the state of North Carolina[10] . There were rules that only whites who had been given amnesty were allowed to vote there. According to Alexander, the south was defiant and none of the state agreements emancipated a single black[11] . Alexander stated that thirteen thousand five hundred presidential pardons were issued by President Johnson to those he earlier anticipated to keep out[12] . In turned out that there were several ex-confederates who were voted to Congress. Similarly, According to Smith the legislature of the state in the south relegated black to the status of the second class, and this was referred to as the black code[13] .
The black code stated that the black were not permitted to vote, give testimonies against the whites be on juries and intermarry with the whites. Smith stated that this was quite unfair in South Carolina as well as Mississippi[14] . Just like Lincoln, President Johnson had the intention of restoring the union within the shortest time possible. According to Johannsen during the congress seating in December 1865, in which the majority of the congress were Republicans, they ended up refusing to let past confederates to take their seats in the Congress during that time. This signified the beginning of the radical reconstruction or what in other word is referred to a congressional reconstruction[15] .
Harris stated that the Congress disagreed with the president on many issues. First, the Congress took priority over President Johnson on The Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, The Fourteenth Amendment as well as the Civil Rights Acts of 1866[16] . According to Johannsen, the Fourteenth Amendment Bill indicated that the rights of both the white and black citizens as equals. It extended the federal powers when it comes to enforcement of the civil rights[17] . Alexander stated that the States which approved the Fourteenth amendment was regarded a reconstructed, and Tennessee did approve[18] . President Johnson urged other southern states to oppose doing this. According to Smith, many laws were passed by Congress which limited the power of President Johnson [19] . Johnson was bitter and was not in agreement with the act and he resisted it. Harris further states that Johnson went ahead and replaced Edwin M. Stanton from his position as the head of war departments, a decision that angered many republican. Johnson was later on charged with the Tenure of Office Act and later on impeached. After President Johnson was impeached, the Fifteenth Amendment, which banned the state from rejecting vote based on colour, was approved.
This radical construction was fruitful, in passing the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. The Congress also intended to reaffirm married law in the south for the duration of reconstruction and they wanted to punish ex-confederates. The Congress and Lincoln were not in agreement on the number of Pardons Johnson gave out. The wartime reconstruction all had their correspondences as well as the differences. Each was created by different people who had a specific goal in mind. The differences between the Congress and the president caused many divisions and issues. The radical reconstruction seems to be more successful in my own individual opinion.

*Work cited*
Alexander, Roberta S. *North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67*. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985. Print.
Harris, William C. Presidential Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Print.
Smith, Page. Trial by Fire: A People’s History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. Print.
Johannsen, Robert W. Reconstruction, 1865-1877. New York: Free Press, 1970. Print.
Smith, John D. *Interpreting American History: Reconstruction*. Ashland: Kent State University Press, 2016. Internet resource.

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[1] Alexander, Roberta S. *North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67*. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985. Print.
[2] Harris, William C. Presidential Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Print.
[3] Johannsen, Robert W. Reconstruction, 1865-1877. New York: Free Press, 1970. Print.
[4] Harris, William C. Presidential Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Print.
[5] Smith, Page. Trial by Fire: A People’s History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. Print.
[6] Alexander, Roberta S. *North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67*. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985. Print.
[7] Johannsen, Robert W. Reconstruction, 1865-1877. New York: Free Press, 1970. Print.
[8] Ibid.,
[9] Smith, Page. Trial by Fire: A People’s History of the Civil War and Reconstruction. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. Print.
[10] Harris, William C. Presidential Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Print.
[11] Alexander, Roberta S. *North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67*. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985. Print.
[12] Ibid.,
[13] Smith, John D. *Interpreting American History: Reconstruction*. Ashland: Kent State University Press, 2016. Internet resource.

[14] Smith, John D. *Interpreting American History: Reconstruction*. Ashland: Kent State University Press, 2016. Internet resource.
[15] Johannsen, Robert W. Reconstruction, 1865-1877. New York: Free Press, 1970. Print.
[16] Harris, William C. Presidential Reconstruction in Mississippi. Baton Rouge, La: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Print.
[17] Johannsen, Robert W. Reconstruction, 1865-1877. New York: Free Press, 1970. Print.
[18] Alexander, Roberta S. *North Carolina Faces the Freedmen: Race Relations During Presidential Reconstruction, 1865-67*. Durham [N.C.: Duke University Press, 1985. Print.

[19] Smith, John D. *Interpreting American History: Reconstruction*. Ashland: Kent State University Press, 2016. Internet resource.