“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds;…to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.”
-A. Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865)
Part One: Chapter Questions 1. What elements of Robert Smalls’ career are main features of the African-American experience during the Civil War and Reconstruction?
He was a prominent black leader of the Civil War and Reconstruction era. He had a white father whose identity was never clearly established but his white ancestry gave him some advantages. When the Union was blockading Charleston, he took command of his boat and surrendered it to the Union. He helped the cause in many other ways. He had a distinguished political career, even going on several terms in Congress. He was a shrewd businessman and lived a wealthy life. However, the loss of real political power for Smalls and others like him was one of the reasons for the fall of the Reconstruction.
2. Describe Lincoln’s approach to Reconstruction and his measures.
Lincoln tried to reestablish peace between the Union and the Confederates. He offered amnesty, or pardon, to all Southerners who pledged an oath of loyalty to the United States. When 10% of a state's voters had signed this oath, Congress would reinstate the state into the Union. He also urged that African Americans who could read and write gain the right to vote.
3. How did Congress react to Lincoln’s plan? Why?
Congress considered Lincoln’s plan too mild. They argued that Congress, not the president, should control Reconstruction policy. Because the Republicans favored a tougher a more radical, or extreme, approach to Reconstruction, they were called Radical Republicans.
4. How did Lincoln react to Congress’ plan? Why?
Lincoln refused to sign the bill into law. He wanted to encourage the formation of new state governments so that order could be restored quickly. Lincoln realized that he would have to compromise with the Radical Republicans
5. Describe Andrew Johnson’s background personally and politically.
-As soon as he was able to vote, he became actively engaged in politics first as an alderman and mayor in Greeneville, then as a state legislator, and next as a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from 1843 to 1853. In 1853 and again in 1855 he won election as governor of Tennessee, and in 1857 he went to the United States Senate.
-Johnson was a staunch advocate of Jacksonian democracy and the champion of the "plebeians" (the small farmers and tradesmen of Tennessee) against the "stuck-up aristocrats
6. Describe Johnson’s initial plan for Reconstruction.
-To offer pardon and amnesty to participants in the rebellion who pledged loyalty to the Union (unless that person was worth more then 20,000 dollars then they had to get pardon by the president himself) and support for the end of slavery.
-Designated William Holden as provisional governor of North Carolina and directed him to call a convention to amend the state's existing constitution so as to create a "republican form of government."
7. In what ways did Johnson’s plan fail? Why did it fail?
It failed because he was too lenient and lacked political acumen. An example of his lenience; former Southerners who held prominent posts in the Confederacy or had more than 20,000 in taxable property, had to petition the president directly for a pardon.
8. What was the root cause of the disagreement between Johnson and Congress?
The root cause of the disagreement between Johnson and Congress was Johnson’s “soft” treatment of the white south. Instead of punishing the south from all the cruelty of