Republicans Complaints of Johnson's Failure of Support Essay

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Republicans Complaints of Johnson's Failure of Support

During the Reconstruction period of 1865-1877, many crucial Acts, laws and movements occurred that were greatly important to American society. Many of which are essential to today's times and would affect everyone in some shape or form. The United States' biggest issue at hand was the debate over slavery and what affects it had over matters like family life, churches and education, politics, labor, and civil rights. Americans were divided into three groups, two of which were very prominent, as to the stance they took on slavery of the African Americans. These groups were the white southerners, who were in favor of slavery and took practice of it, the Radical Republicans, who earned their name in fighting for the rights and equalities of African American slaves, and the modern Republicans, who believed in freedom of slaves but took little to no action in making changes. President Andrew Johnson resided in office during this important time frame, but only after Lincoln was assassinated.

Andrew Johnson was elected Vice President, by the republican party in 1864, as he represented what the republicans stood for and they had hoped Johnson would extend their organization into Southern territory. Once in office as President, republicans soon changed their opinions on the man who had now become inverted, he ignored public opinion, and was vocal about his beliefs of racism and that blacks should have no part in the Reconstruction. Johnson soon began to select "white governors" that would lead to extreme loyalty in the South, and acts of violence aimed toward former slaves, and visitors from the North, which greatly terrified Republicans. Due to who the newly elected officials were, Black Codes were formed, which constricted the lives of previous slaves. Black Codes gave African Americans very limited rights, such as: ownership of property, legalized marriages, and limited availability to the courts. However, it prevented them from voting, denied them the capability to testify against a white man, restricted them from being able to serve in the military or serve on juries, and all but allowed them to be free for if they if failed to sign a yearly labor contract, they were subject to being arrested. Northerns then quickly realized that the new Southern leaders were not going to uphold or protect the emancipation. A year later, many of the dominating Southern Whites in congress, were removed and replaced with Republicans, who now made up the majority. A shift in groups had then taken place with Moderate Republicans in the lead. These were men who believed that President Johnson's propositions were not perfect, but they did not feel compelled to remove him from office. During this time, two major bills were composed. One was to extend the life of the Freedman's Bureau, and the second was America's most important bill in history, the Civil Rights Bill. President Johnson vetoed both of these bills, which outraged the republican party. Eventually, the Civil Rights Bill was passed, but was worded in such a way that it could be argued that it excluded Blacks and women.

Republicans were pleased after the Fourteenth Amendment was placed, which stated that citizenship for all people that were United States born, would have rights that were to be protected by the federal government. The downfall to the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment was that it did not give African Americans the right to vote. This was still pressing matter for the Radical Republicans, who were determined to have black suffrage. This did come with the consequence of that if the state did refuse the vote of any man, it would reduce their representations in Congress. In 1886, Radical Republicans were still not satisfied that Blacks did not have full rights and as the Johnson presidential campaign began, many were against Johnson's policies. Congress had then turned towards the Reconstruction Act, giving…