The Reconstruction

The radical Republican program for reconstructing the Union called for the punishment of those who rebelled by confiscating the lands of those who owned estates were worth $10,000 or were more than two hundred acres and then giving 40 acres each of confiscated land to the freed slaves. The goals of this program was to destroy what the Confederacy had stood for in terms of rebellion and revolt against the Union, and to reform it so that the government could “truly” become a republic. Andrew Johnson found the program unacceptable because he believed giving power to a commander in each district of the South to reestablish the republic was monarchy and was a replication of slavery upon the people of the states who had seceded. I think that the North had failed in being able to follow through with the policies that would have secured civil rights and equality for the freedmen because though it was easy for them to legally write out their ideas for reconstruction, following through on it was a separate idea. The Union had initially fought the Civil War in order to keep the states together, despite the debate of slavery having had been the cause, and though there were those who had called for the abolition of slavery, not everyone in the North was a supporter of the idea. The call for abolition is also a different concept from the reconstruction of society after abolition occurs, and the question of what would happen to freedmen after slavery is abolished was another issue that I believe contributed to the Republican’s failure in following through on their policies. The major and political achievements of the Reconstruction were steps in furthering and bettering public education for all people of the U.S., the confiscation of large incomes from the Southern plantation owners, the improvement of labor conditions for all workers, the abolition of slavery, and the redistribution of land to the poor freedmen.



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