Reconstruction Era (1865-1877)

Essay by wendysueUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, May 2005

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After the Confederate South was defeated by the Union North in the civil war, there was much time needed for rebuilding and shaping of the Union. This time period in history is known as the Reconstruction Era. After the Union won the civil war in 1865, it became their responsibility to begin the reconstruction of the United States. The Reconstruction Era started at the end of the Civil War in 1865 and ended with the Compromise of 1877. The goals of the Reconstruction Era were to reunite the Southern states into the Union and to ensure the civil rights and freedom of the former slaves in the south.

Many different plans from different political views were proposed to help and heal the south after the war. President Abraham Lincoln had a plan of his own. Lincolns plan was called the 10% plan. His plan was to allow the southern states back into the Union at a quick pace.

The requirements of the plan to allow states back into the Union were that the south had to accept defeat of the civil war, eliminate slavery and allow African American education, not allow any Confederate officers into political power, and swear allegiance to the Union and to the Constitution. If 10% of the voters complied, the state would be re-established back into the Union. Lincoln also believed that the former southern slaves should continue to be free. However, he did not feel that that should have the same civil rights as the whites. His plan did allow a small percentage of the educated former slaves to be a part of the voting process. The Radical Republicans felt that Lincoln was being far too easy on the South. They felt that the south needed to be punished. The radicals believed that...

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