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Reconstruction Plans-Lincoln versus Johnson.

Discussion in 'Post Civil War History, The Reconstruction Period' started by Vareb, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. Vareb

    Vareb Banned

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    I have always heard President Johnson didn't use Lincoln's plan of reconstruction. After a little more study, the plans seem to be the same and the Republican party is what threw the plans askew. All clarification will be appreciated.:smile:

    "Abraham Lincoln had thought about the process of restoring the Union from the earliest days of the war. His guiding principles were to accomplish the task as rapidly as possible and ignore calls for punishing the South.

    In late 1863, Lincoln announced a formal plan for reconstruction:

    1. A general amnesty would be granted to all who would take an oath of loyalty to the United States and pledge to obey all federal laws pertaining to slavery
    2. High Confederate officials and military leaders were to be temporarily excluded from the process
    3. When one tenth of the number of voters who had participated in the 1860 election had taken the oath within a particular state, then that state could launch a new government and elect representatives to Congress.

    The states of Louisiana, Arkansas and Tennessee rapidly acted to comply with these terms. However, the Lincoln plan was not acceptable to Congress.


    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h177.html
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    Federal Government, Reconstruction

    The Radical Republicans voiced immediate opposition to Lincoln’s reconstruction plan, objecting to its leniency and lack of protections for freed slaves. Congress refused to accept the rehabilitation of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

    In July 1864, Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, their own formula for restoring the Union:

    1. A state must have a majority within its borders take the oath of loyalty
    2. A state must formally abolish slavery
    3. No Confederate officials could participate in the new governments.

    Lincoln did not approve of this plan and exercised his pocket veto.

    An angry Congress would later pass the Wade-Davis Manifesto (August 1864), which charged Lincoln with usurping the powers of Congress. This statement would have little impact on the public, as the military news from the South improved; Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign restored Lincoln’s popularity and helped assure his reelection.

    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h126.html

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    Johnson.

    The looming showdown between Lincoln and the Congress over competing reconstruction plans never occurred. The president was assassinated on April 14, 1865. His successor, Andrew Johnson of Tennessee, lacked his predecessor’s skills in handling people; those skills would be badly missed. Johnson’s plan envisioned the following:

    * Pardons would be granted to those taking a loyalty oath
    * No pardons would be available to high Confederate officials and persons owning property valued in excess of $20,000
    * A state needed to abolish slavery before being readmitted
    * A state was required to repeal its secession ordinance before being readmitted.

    Most of the seceded states began compliance with the president’s program. Congress was not in session, so there was no immediate objection from that quarter. However, Congress reconvened in December and refused to seat the Southern representatives.

    Reconstruction had produced another deadlock between the president and Congress.

    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h179.html
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    The postwar Radical Republicans were motivated by three main factors:

    1. Revenge — a desire among some to punish the South for causing the war
    2. Concern for the freedmen — some believed that the federal government had a role to play in the transition of freedmen from slavery to freedom
    3. Political concerns — the Radicals wanted to keep the Republican Party in power in both the North and the South.

    On the political front, the Republicans wanted to maintain their wartime agenda, which included support for:

    * Protective tariffs
    * Pro-business national banking system
    * Liberal land policies for settlers
    * Federal aid for railroad development

    If the South were to fall back into Democratic hands, these programs would suffer. This threat brought many Republicans around to supporting the vote for blacks (15th Amendment). Grateful freedmen voting Republican would help to maintain the status quo.

    The postwar Congress pushed through a number of measures designed to assist the freedmen, but also demonstrate the supremacy of Congress over the president. These measures included the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the 14th Amendment, the Tenure of Office Act and the Army Appropriations Act.

    The culmination of this process occurred in 1867 and 1868, when Congress passed a series of Reconstruction Acts; these measures were implemented and constituted the final restoration program for the South. The Radical Republicans in Congress, however, were not satisfied until they dealt with their chief tormenter in the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

    http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h126.html "

    My hilite. It appears they both were the same.

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  3. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    I'd have to look long and hard to find something to quibble about, Vareb. The whole post is pretty much the way I understand it.

    Missed the part about the Republicans urging the black vote to keep the democrats out -- sounds logical.

    Ole
  4. Vareb

    Vareb Banned

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    Pretty descriptive I think.

    Thanks for your input.
  5. The Tourist

    The Tourist Cadet

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    There's an old Sicilian saying that the best deal is struck when neither side is happy. I think it applies here.

    First, a lot of the South was burned during the war. Many people believe it was never returned to its former glory at any time, much less during a brief spate of Reconstruction.

    However, we do have common historical references to "carpetbaggers" and the famous "forty acres and a mule."

    Neither ideology ever did the South one lick of good.

    This is my problem with the CW at any level. Just because those states seceded doesn't mean they picked them all up and air-freighted them to another continent.

    They were still a very real part of "us."

    We shot our own people, we burned our own resources, destroyed our own rail system, created an international situation where foreign sovereigns might have gotten a foothold in a free country.

    We blockaded and starved out other Americans. Buried them in mass graves. Burned their homes to the ground out of spite.

    And then when it was over we still treated the area like a pawn bouncing around at Nuremburg.

    I have always wondered what would have happened if we let them peacefully secede. They weren't going anywhere. The Mississippi still flowed for barges, the trains ran, we could have still bought cotton.

    And in the fullness of time, slavery would have run its course, we would have mended our fences and formed a 'union' again. Or created a trade partner like Canada.

    Farfetched? Well, Texas has some very specific conditions for admission to this union. One of them is the right to secede. In fact, to act as a voting pact, early Texicans wanted the area we know as Texas to divide into four states.

    However, when you bring war, you also bring trials and reparations and reconstruction and sweetheart deals. The problem here is that the CW actually created trained criminals.
  6. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Nice oration, Tourist -- you do have a way with words.

    However, Vareb defined a narrow question and deserves to have that question discussed. The thread will inevitably wander off into the hinterlands, but let it get some age first, please.

    Ole
  7. Vareb

    Vareb Banned

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    Wade-Davis Bill for reconstruction

    Lincoln's reconstruction plan was denied by the Republicans which in turn passed a bill call 'Wade-Davis Bill' which was way stronger than Lincoln's and put to use later.

    "Wade-Davis bill -

    "At the end of the Civil War, this bill created a framework for Reconstruction and the readmittance of the Confederate states to the Union.

    In late 1863, President Abraham Lincoln and the Congress began to consider the question of how the Union would be reunited if the North won the Civil War. In December President Lincoln proposed a reconstruction program that would allow Confederate states to establish new state governments after 10 percent of their male population took loyalty oaths and the states recognized the permanent freedom of slaves.

    Several congressional Republicans thought Lincoln's 10 Percent Plan was too mild. A more stringent plan was proposed by Senator Benjamin F. Wade and Representative Henry Winter Davis in February 1864. The Wade-Davis Bill required that 50 percent of a state's white males take a loyalty oath to be readmitted to the Union. In addition, states were required to give blacks the right to vote.

    Congress passed the Wade-Davis Bill, but President Lincoln chose not to sign it, killing the bill with a pocket veto. Lincoln continued to advocate tolerance and speed in plans for the reconstruction of the Union in opposition to the Congress. After Lincoln's assassination in April 1865, however, the Congress had the upper hand in shaping Federal policy toward the defeated South and imposed the harsher reconstruction requirements first advocated in the Wade-Davis Bill."

    http://www.classbrain.com/artteenst/publish/article_55.shtml
  8. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    There was a statement in Lincoln's response that surprised me:

    That he did not want the inflexibility of a single plan.

    I hadn't heard that. It seems to indicate he was holding to his original, loose proposal, which allowed the Chief Executive the to interpret which states were complying and which were not and which were only pretending to comply.

    I have to admire a law or leader that does allow some flexibility; that is, a crime is a crime, but the severity of the punishment must be as flexible as the severity of the crime -- shooting someone in a mugging is worlds different than hunting down and shooting a police officer.

    But thanks for the links. They make good reading.

    Ole
  9. Vareb

    Vareb Banned

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    What I see here is politics as usual between Radical Republicans and President Johnson a Democrat. Although the republicans were not favoring Lincoln's proposal either.
  10. Glorybound

    Glorybound Major Retired Moderator

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    Good analysis, Vareb. I'm no expert on politics after Lincoln's death, or reconstruction, but once Lincoln was out of the picture, the radicals and hard-liners were free to bully Johnson, who was a little too easily influenced by stronger personalities, you might say, into following their own preferences as to what was to be done with the "erring sisters".

    Now, my criticism of Johnson may be out of line, because I've read little of his biography, and know little of the history of his presidency, so if there are those who want to call me on my judgement of him, and can provide sources of his competency, I will defer to them.

    Lincoln was a hard act to follow, so Johnson was already under scrutiny as to his personal feelings, philosophies and governing style, and comparison to Lincoln. So I'm sure it wasn't easy for him.

    Someone yesterday or so, posted a quote, I think from a southerner who lamented that with Lincoln's death the south lost her best friend and advocate (paraphrasing here), and I believe that no truer statement exists concerning Lincoln and his program for southern reconstruction. This has all been my opinion only.



    Lee
  11. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    If you'd have left it off at "politics as usual," I would find a need to make an observation.

    The more radical elements (they were not all Republicans) would have fought Lincoln as well, but they sensed a weaker opponent in Johnson. It wasn't Johnson they were after, it was punishing revenge on the Confederacy. Johnson simply didn't have the stuff to put up an effective fight.

    Ole

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