Perspectives on Reconstruction history homework help

Respond to the following discussion:

Lincoln would announce his reconstruction intentions with his first inaugural address in 1861 when in his closing he said of the Northern and Southern states “We are not enemies, but friends.  We must not be enemies.”  And ends with what seems to be the overarching sentiment of his plan to pull the country together again, he said: “The mystic chords of memory…..will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”  (Yale, 2008)

Comparing Lincolns reconstruction plan with Johnson’s many similarities are recognized.  Both Lincoln and Johnson’s plan proclaimed amnesty to southerners as they “resume their allegiance to the United States” by taking an oath of future loyalty, promise to abide all federal laws and the presidential proclamations regarding slavery” (Harris, 2000).  Exceptions to this would include confederate and diplomatic officials, Army officers above the rank of Colonel and Naval officers above the rank of Lieutenant and all who resigned military and civil positions in order to join the confederacy.  A difference from Lincoln’s proposal was Johnson excluding the wealthy who had an estimated value of $20k or more.  This is attributed to Jackson’s disdain of the Southern plantation owners and “their: bloated, corrupt aristocracy” (McPherson & Hogue, 2010).  The ten percent plan was also another similarity.  When ten percent of the 1860 electorate had pledged their loyalty oath within a state, the could ““reinaugurate loyal State governments and complete the process of civil reorganization.” (Harris, 2000).  Indestructible states were also another point of agreement between the two plans.  The rebellion had been one of the individuals, not states, individuals may be punished, the states retained all their constitutional rights. (McPherson & Hogue, 2010). 

Neither plan made many of the radicals and abolitionist happy.  They believe that the recently freed slaves would face more oppression due to the restriction of suffrage to the whites.  They also argued that this would increase the Souths congressmen by a dozen by nullifying the three-fifths compromise by counting the entire black population.  All of this would reward the secessionist states by giving them more political power at the national level. (McPherson & Hogue, 2010).  Somewhat ironic that the very groups that pushed for freeing the slaves are at this point arguing against their rights as a political disadvantage.

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