From: Anonymous Six
Time: 8:36:38 AM
Remote Name: 126.96.36.199
Anonymous Six Dr. William Cutler History 67 4/25/00
During the Reconstruction period following the Civil War, the Government confronted with two major issues. The first being the question of how far should the federal government go to secure freedom and civil rights for four million former slaves. The second issue was how the South is to be reconstructed to ensure that secession would be lost from their minds. These questions created great problems because the constitution gave no answer because the founders never expected to have a Union. In December 1863, President Lincoln issued the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, which gave pardon to Southerners who pledge allegiance to the Union in addition, they would acknowledged that the slaves were now free and citizens of America. In Congress, many in the House and the Senate could not come to terms on what rights the blacks were to be given. The more Dominant view in Congress was that the Southern states had forfeited their place in the Union and it was up to Congress to decide when they would be admitted and under what terms would they be admitted. Lincoln would die before he would be able to ratify a bill with congress on the re-admittance of states. Andrew Johnson would then be the new President. Johnson, a fervent white Supremacist and did not care much for the issue of emancipation. Johnson placed some states into the hands of governors he appointed. The governors would be responsible for calling constitutional conventions and ensuring loyal whites where given the right to vote for delegates. At the conventions, John urged the states to declare the ordinances of secession illegal, repudiate the Confederate debt, and ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery. If the governments met these conditions, they would regain their rights under the constitution. On the issue of slavery, Johnson seemed eager to give southern whites the right of determining the civil and political status of the former slaves. The legislatures of the southern states in turn past “ Black codes” to limit the rights of slaves. The "Black Codes" placed regulations and restrictions on the former slaves. Many in the North saw this as slavery in disguise. On the question of if the South loss the civil war but won the reconstruction the above facts can show that they did indeed lose the war, but the Presidency being given to Johnson gave them the upper hand politically. Johnson was dedicated to the south, which is where he was originally from. The south would not be able to keep that strong hold because Johnson case for state autonomy would be weakened by the fat that the southern states could not protect the “life, liberty, or property” of the former slaves. The south would lose the fight for reconstruction when the Congress passed a series of acts that nullified the president’s initiatives and reorganized the south on the new basis that former slaves would be granted suffrage.