Immediately following the Civil War the actions of Radical Republicans led to many changes in the South. Leading the way to Radical Reconstruction Essay was Congressmen Charles Sumner and Thadeus Stevens. Their were many goals and motives the Radicals hoped to obtain. The first and main goal of the Radicals was to punish the South. The Radicals also hoped to retain Republican power by taking advantage of the South any way they could.
Going along with taking advantage of the South, the Radicals wanted to protect industrial growth in the North and benefit economically from the situation. Another very important goal of the radicals was to aid the freed slaves. Equality for blacks was a hope the Radicals hoped to obtain, but it was also an effective way to retain Republican power. If the Radicals help Blacks, then Blacks will become Republican, thus increasing republican power. Using Legislature, the Radicals hoped to acquire all these things.Order now
The first victory for the Radicals was the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1866.
One of the main obstacles the Radicals came across was the opposition by Andrew Jackson. Jackson immediately vetoed the Civil Rights Act as soon as he could. But the Radicals held most of the power in Congress and overrode his veto. Due to Johnson’s resistance, Congress took it a step further and then passed the 14th Amendment. “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
“-14th Amendment. Both of these basically protected the rights of the blacks and hoped to bring about equality. These actions by Congress didn’t sit to well with the South. The South particularly resented the actions of the newly established Freedmen’s Bureau, which Congress established to feed, protect, and help educate the freed slaves.
With the exception of Tennessee, all Southern states refused to follow the 14th Amendment. To counteract the South’s actions, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867.
This was a strong blow to the South. The act: put the South under military rule, dividing it into five military districts, each governed by a northern general; forced southern states to create a new constitution; allowed all qualified male voters to vote, including Blacks; banned southerners who supported the confederacy to vote; required equal rights for all citizens; and required states to accept the 14th Amendment. The Act was met with much opposition. Even under military rule, Whites killed, beat, and burned any blacks they could find. Blacks were lynched by the hundreds.
Along with the South, Andrew Johnson resented the actions of the Radicals.
In response to the newly passed Tenure of Office Act passed in 1867 (which required Senate approval for the removal of a government official), Johnson fired Edwin Stanton (a friend of the Radicals) without Senate’s approval. The showdown between Johnson and the Radicals heated up. Led by Stevens and Sumner, Johnson was the first president to be impeached. Johnson was tried for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Johnson was one vote from being removed from office when the Senate voted.
By June 1868, under the Military Reconstruction Act, Congress had readmitted Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, to the Union.
In many of these seven states, most of the governors, representatives and senators were northern men called ;carpetbaggers; who had gone South after the war to make their political fortunes, often teaming up with newly freed Blacks. In Louisiana and South Carolina, Blacks actually gained a majority of the seats. The last three Southern states: Mississippi, Texas and Virginia finally were readmitted to the Union in 1870.
In 1870 another Civil Rights Act was passed, and was immediately followed by the 15th Amendment. “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State .