Presidential Reconstruction and Congressional Reconstruction have some
differences and some similarities. Reconstruction was a huge thing at this time in
America. Abraham Lincoln was a huge part of reconstruction and when he was
assassinated, Andrew Johnson took over his role of President and of reconstructing the
Abraham Lincoln wanted to fix the intersectional hatred that was caused from the
civil war. On December 8, 1863 Lincoln set a general policy that by taking an oath
southerners could reinstate themselves as US citizens. Abraham Lincoln was working
hard to bring southern states back into the Union. One way he tried was with the Ten
Percent Plan. In this Ten Percent Plan, 10% of people voting in a state had to take a
loyalty oath. If this happened then that state could setup a new state government. Under
this Ten Percent Plan, governments had to realize that they had to Republican and realize
that slaves would be free and provide for black education.
Radical Republicans in Congress disliked the Ten Percent Plan. In July 1864,
they passed the Wade-Davis Bill, which was a bill stating that the majority of the voters
in the south had to take a loyalty oath, not just 10% of the state. Lincoln disagreed and
got rid of this bill with a pocket veto.
In April of 1865 President Lincoln was assassinated. His running mate, Andrew
Johnson took over presidency. Most people thought that he would punish the south, but
soon everyone realized that was not true. He became more focused on punishing the
southern elite and not the whole south. Radical Republicans hated him and they decided
to take matters into their own hands. Even though slavery had been abolished, the
southern states enacted black codes. These codes got around the thirteenth amendment,
and even though the laws were not as strict as slavery, the rights of African Americans
were still next to nothing. Johnson was very much against slavery, however the feud
between he and the republicans lead him to make unreasonable decisions based off his
biased towards the party. In response to blacks getting more and more rights, rebel groups
formed to perform terror attacks on the blacks within their communities. The most
known, even today, was the Ku Klux Klan. The members of this society used scare
tactics to keep blacks from voting, and they succeeded in scaring many off, even after
law enforcement stepped in.
African Americans were able to vote when the Southern states felt pressure to get
the military out of their major districts. Many black voters voted Republican; this led
many southern states to restrict their voting. Congress then set the fifteenth amendment in
place, this laid out the rights that all men had to vote.
This is the reason reconstruction failed African Americans, when Johnson
overruled the Freedmen’s Bureau. This was also apparent when he vetoed the Civil
Rights Act. Even though African Americans had...