At the end of the Civil War there was a period of time in the United States known as the Reconstruction Essay period, that lasted for about a decade. During this period the country was in a state of rebuilding. Money, bonds, and stocks were worth nothing. Forty thousand United State citizens were dead or gone, and cities lay in ruin. The dream of an independent nation was just that, an unrealistic dream.
The south had lost entire cities to destruction of war and needed to not only rebuild them but also revive its cotton industry. During both the civil war and civil war reconstruction time periods, there were many changes going on in the Union. The Emancipation Proclamation, as well as legislation such as the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, was causing a new awakening of democracy; while the renouncing of secession by the South marked a definite triumph for Nationalism. As well, the government was involved in altercations of its own. During reconstruction, the legislative and executive branches eventually came to blows over the use of power. The nation was being altered by forces which caused, and later repaired, a broken Union.Order now
President Lincoln wanted everything to return to normal as quickly as possible after the war. Therefore, Lincoln announced the freeing of all slaves in areas not in Union control. Although the proclamation did not free all slaves everywhere, it was the action that would push Congress to pass the thirteenth amendment in 1865. The amendment, ratified later in 1865, stated that "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . .
shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction." Lincoln also established a plan for reconstruction, which was deemed the Ten Percent Plan. Even before the war ended, Lincoln knew there would be a need of a plan of reconstruction. Lincoln issued a proclamation of amnesty and reconstruction for the people in the south. The proclamation basically forgave and Confederate for trying to secede from the Union if he would swear to support the Constitution of the United States and the Union. Politically, Lincoln would recognize the state executively if one tenth of the conquered state’s total vote in the presidential election f 1860 took an oath of allegiance to the union and organized a government that got rid of slavery.
The Radical Republicans wanted a slower readmission process so they trued to pass the Wade-Davis Bill, which would make one half of eligible voters to take the oath of allegiance and accept emancipation. Lincoln’s plan was not liked by congress and before his assassination the president and congress were at a standoff because he vetoed their bill.
Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s Vice President, also had a plan. At first Johnson said he would continue with Lincoln’s plan. However, in reality, Johnson’s plan was rather different. Under his plan, anyone whose property was worth twenty thousand dollars or more was in danger of confiscation.
Radicals liked this because it was aggressive towards the planter aristocracy and was encouraging for small farmers. Johnson’s plan went into operation while congress was in adjournment. The Southern states held conventions that got rid of their ideas of succession and slavery. All Southern states, except Mississippi, ratified the Thirteenth Amendment that gave blacks freedom, however, Johnson allowed states to enact black codes. These codes did not give blacks civil and political rights enjoyed by whites, like owning land and other privileges. Johnson’s plan did not offer blacks a role in the process of reconstruction.