Essay on A Step In The Right Direction Autosave

Submitted By JeanJones32
Words: 1514
Pages: 7

Akunna Chilaka
English 1-H
Mrs. Webber
November, 1, 2014
A Step in the Right Direction

When the Civil War ended in 1865, America was in ruins, both economically and socially. Approximately 625,000 men died in the war, which is more Americans than in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined. The war destroyed many of the South’s farms/plantations thus leaving people poor and homeless. Black slaves, while freed, had nowhere to go and constantly in danger. In a way to attempt to clean up the South and the rest of the nation, a period of Reconstruction went through. Reconstruction meant to bring the nation back together publically, financially, and politically. It also attempted in some ways to integrate the newly freed black slaves into society. Despite the fact that acts of prejudice performed and laws made that would be unacceptable today, Reconstruction had a strong effect on the idea of tolerance for blacks, the poor, and northerners. Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, made a strong effect on the Civil War and Reconstruction. During the period of presidential Reconstruction, Lincoln knew that the Civil War had to end both quickly and calmly. At this time, America was greatly separated and needed to come together before it destroyed itself. He then proposed his plan named the Ten Percent plan. This plan destined that, “10 percent of all citizens who had voted in the 1860 election in each seceded state had to take an of loyalty to the United States to be readmitted in the Union.”(Sparknotes). In other words, southern states that once broke apart from the Union, aka the North, could be welcomed back if 10 percent of the voters swore “an oath of allegiance” to the Union. Voters “…Voters could then elect delegates to draft revised state constitutions and establish new state governments.” This meant to quickly put an end to the Civil War and bring peace. Lincoln’s plan, while cleverly made in a short period, had a largely negative response, especially from the Radical Republicans. They were a sector of the Republican Party and strongly opposed Lincoln’s plan and believed in taking a harsher line against the Confederacy. Since the party wanted the South and other secessionists to suffer, they passed the Wade- Davis Bill in June of 1864, named after Senator Benjamin Franklin Wade of Ohio and Representative Henry Winter Davis of Maryland who wrote the bill. The bill was said to, “…required that more than 50 percent of the Confederate states’ white males take a loyalty oath to be readmitted to the Union. On the other hand, Lincoln had no remorse whatsoever for the bill and quickly rejected it, thus, making the Wade-Davis bill unable to become an actual law. Before Lincoln’s assassination and after the Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th amendment passed by the Senate and House, this abolished all slavery in the United States. This amendment demonstrated how the people in the government were able to realize the inhumanity of slavery. However, the ratification of the amendment came on December 6, 1865, after Lincoln’s passing. Lincoln April 15, 1865, just a day after being assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. He died shortly after the end of the Civil War and despite having some change made that helped contribute to the idea of tolerance, before he could successfully accomplish anything with Reconstruction. After Lincoln’s tragic assassination, America was left in mourning. The nation was finally able to end the Civil War, but needed serious leadership to get out of their rut. Quickly, Andrew Johnson, Lincoln’s vice president, took over the presidency on April 16, 1865. Unlike Lincoln however, Johnson was a Democrat from the South, thus naturally having more sympathy for them, to the dismay of many of the Radical Republicans. Johnson’s turmoil over his upbringing as a Southerner and making decisions that everyone can agree on had a major impact on presidential Reconstruction and somewhat did