Differences Between the Wartime, Presidential, and Congressional Reconstruction Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 16 May 2017

Differences Between the Wartime, Presidential, and Congressional Reconstruction

There are similarities and differences between the Wartime, Presidential, and Congressional Reconstruction. Each had a purpose and plan. There was a major difference between the Republican President and Republican Congress that caused many conflicts.

The Wartime Reconstruction actually started during the war. Lincoln in the beginning wanted settlement of blacks in countries or something known as repatriation. A major part of this Wartime Reconstruction was the Proclamation of Amnesty. What this did was offer a Presidential pardon to all Southern whites who took an oath of allegiance to the Union and accepted abolition of slavery. The only people that were excluded from this were Confederate official and high-ranking military officers. In states where ten percent of male population took the oath they would be able to reestablish a state government.

This policy was carried out in Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee. This Wartime Reconstruction also included Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. This freed slaves in the states that were at war with the Union. Both President Lincoln and President Johnson wished to give back land to pardoned ex-Confederates. President Lincoln and Congress were similar in wanting to refute pardons to those who ill-treated or murdered captured black and white Union soldiers. They did agree on this matter. While President Lincoln only required ten percent of allegiance from past Confederates, Congress wanted the majority of white men in Confederate states to take the oath of allegiance. Lincoln was assassinated and Andrew Johnson took presidency. He favored harsh punishment for traitors.

He issued two proclamations without help of Republicans. This was the Presidential Reconstruction. When he issued the two proclamations it caused a division. It covered official pardon for whites except Confederate officials and military officers worth more than twenty thousand dollars, and he names a provisional government for North Carolina. Only whites with amnesty could vote there. The South was disobedient and none of the state conventions enfranchised a single black. Johnson issued thirteen though sand five hundred Presidential pardons to those he earlier hoped to keep out. There were many ex-Confederates who were elected to Congress. Also the state legislatures in the south demoted blacks to a second class status, and this was known as the Black Codes.

These codes states blacks were not allowed to vote, be on juries, testify against whites, could not interracially marry, and it was most unfair in Mississippi and South Carolina. Johnson like Lincoln wanted to restore the Union in as little time as possible. Congress comes in to play in December 1865. The Congress was made up mostly of Republicans and they refused to let past Confederates to take their seats in Congress at this time. This marked the beginning of Radical Reconstruction or sometimes known as Congressional Reconstruction.

The president and the congress did not agree on many issues. Congress overrode President Johnson on the Civil Rights Act of 1866, The Fourteenth Amendment, and the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill. The Fourteenth Amendment spelled out rights of both black and white citizens as equal. It prolonged Federal powers for the enforcement of civil rights. States that approved the Fourteenth Amendment were considered reconstructed, and Tennessee did so. President Johnson advised other southern states to oppose doing this. Congress passed many laws to limit President Johnson’s powers. They passed the Reconstruction Acts of 1867 which set new procedures for readmission to the Union. Johnson did not agree with this act and resisted it. When President Johnson removed Edwin M. Stanton from the head of the War Departments Republicans were very upset. They charged Johnson with the Tenure of Office Act and Johnson was impeached. After President Johnson’s impeachment, the Fifteenth Amendment, which prohibited states from denying vote based on color, was ratified.

This Radical Reconstruction was successful in passing the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteen Amendments. Congress also wanted married law affirmed in the South for the period of Reconstruction and they wanted to discipline ex-Confederates. President Lincoln and Congress did not agree with how many pardons President Johnson gave out. The Wartime Reconstruction, Radical or Congressional Reconstruction, and the Presidential Reconstruction all had their similarities and differences. Each was designed by someone different and had a specific plan and goal in mind. The differences between the president and congress caused many splits and problems. The Radical Reconstruction was most successful in my opinion.

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