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Reconstruction Essay

1579 words - 7 pages

The Reconstruction Era of American history is the period of time from 1865 to 1877, a grueling 12 years for the South who were punished by Radical Republicans’ harsh conditions and rigid terms of readmission to the Union. This created much tension and discord between the victorious, abusive North, and the defeated South, still licking their wounds after a sound defeat and ruinous march by Sherman. The Reconstruction policy of the past is widely regarded by historians as a failure due to the South being forced into poverty instead of being effectively added to the Union once again. The purpose of Reconstruction should’ve been the victors allowing the defeated to once again rejoin the ...view middle of the document...

Through this reasoning, an allegiance rate of 15-25% would probably be ideal. 1 in 4 citizens is a safe number to have confidence in, without being intimidating to the populace in the State. The final decision for the policy would be for States to regain full rights, there will be a 20% allegiance quota, with leniency to response from the citizens going as low as 15% or as high as 25% if response is positive. Aside from that, no rights will be removed from the states once the quota of allegiance is met, allowing the states to send Senators and Representatives to Congress to conduct business as usual. Such preservation of rights is also a show that reconciliation and peace are on the minds of the Union proposing this policy to the South.
In regards to the placement of government officials or troops in the south, I would place Northern officials in the South in positions where they could observe and report on suspicious or dangerous action by the Southern people or government, but not control or exercise power over them. This would allow a safety measure to the North, but through a passive and non-aggressive action which will allow the South to be conscious of their actions, but without feeling impeded upon by suspending rights or having military action taken against them before they had a chance to show whether they are with or against the Union in the movement of Reconstruction. This wouldn’t be without benefits for the North though, because with Northerners in the Southern area, but without extensive power, the South may be more open to the idea, and tensions could be reduced through the show of non-aggressive Reconstruction efforts by the North, but it would also put the North in a position to receive information about the status of the South, and then react quickly and accordingly to situations which require action, such as conspiracies, uprisings, or violent rebellion. An example of this plan in practice would be to have Northern police officers planted in the police of the South, but with equal power to a native Southern officer, creating a situation where they have a position from which to carry out action, but no action greater than that of the Southerners either.
For my policy in regards to Ex-Confederates, I believe that for a period of time, they should be prohibited from entering politics whether it be as a minor official such as a governor, or as a major official such as a Senator. Probably for a timeframe of 2 years after the end of the Civil War, Reconstruction should run its course without impediment by ex-confederates in power who could create conflict and greatly set back progress made to a peaceful compromise through their exercise of power over the people. After such a timeframe, when hopefully the sentiment of reconciliation made through the Reconstruction could be accepted by the people, then ex-confederates could be allowed to run after the peak blood boil of war has subsided and the people can act and think...

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