Sectional Nature Of the Country
The end of the civil war brought with it a new possibility to bring the south back into the Union with the Reconstruction era. President Lincoln stood fast in regards to restoring the Union quickly by introducing the 10 percent plan outlining the return of the states in a three-part process , giving general pardon to all Southerners excluding any high-ranking Confederate government or military leaders; requiring at least 10 percent of the voting population in the former rebel states in 1860 to take a binding oath of future allegiance to the United States and the emancipation of all slaves; and the restored Confederate states would draft new state constitutions once they declared that those voters took those oaths. President Lincoln had to deal with a group called, Republican Congress members that wanted to redefine the south and give harsher punishment for the rebels. insisted on harsh terms for the defeated Confederacy while protection for former slaves, beyond what the president proposed.in his 10 percent plan. 1864 the Ironclad oath stating that majority of voters as well as government officials had never supported the Confederacy nor made war against the United States, and if they refused then they could not take part in any of the political issues in the South. Lincoln vetoed the Ironclad oath since none of the states could comply with what was asked.
In 1863 the status of the legal of slave was still uncertain, yet in 1864 abolishing slavery was the top issue, unfortunately, Lincoln never got to see the outcome of the hard work since he was killed in 1865. Andrew Jackson took over the presidency hoping that there would be more cooperation from Congress in regards to reconstruction since he was a former representative and senator who could understand the congressmen, yet the trust placed on Johnson was misplaced. Johnson was seen for what he was a Democrat and (white)Southerner. Johnson shares the typical southerner attitude towards the African Amercian (Blacks) as an inferior race when it came to equal rights or politics. In the reconstruction plan, he was willing to give pardons and amnesty to confederates who pledge loyalty to the U.S.and to accept abolishing slavery as stated in the Thirteenth Amendment. Many states proceeded to adopt the “Black Code” when it came to governing the rights and privileges of freedmen which still regarding blacks as inferior, relegated them as subordinate position and secondary in society.
The rights to own their own land as a freeman was restricted and they couldn’t bear arms and other possible offenses. The traditional white southerners were not prepared to give protection including minimal protection for the free African Americans which was seen as a new version of slavery. March 3, 1865, the Freedman’s Bureau was created to help transition slaves to freedom Freedman Bureau was to oversee all relief including educational activities as well as including distribution of rations, clothing, and medicine. The Freedman Bureau took custody of any or all confiscated lands or property from the former States considered Confederate, any border states, including District of Columbia, and Indian Territory. The bureau records were created or maintained to include any personnel records as well as a variety of standard reports concerning bureau programs and conditions in the states.
In 1865 the Bureau was weakened by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, a group of former Confederate soldiers created a white men group only that was resisting any laws that gave African Americans any rights by preying on those freed slaves, making them think they were ghosts of dead Confederate soldiers ( white robes and hoods). The Klan would hunt down the former slaves at night, beating and murdering people who fought back, the preferred method was hanging by the neck from a tree, a statement to show that blacks were inferior to the whites.
The Fourteenth Amendment stated that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” It gave citizens equal protection under both the state and federal law, Johnson openly rejected the amendment creating a wedge between him and Republicans. Johnson believed that freeing the slaves was enough because he still held that belief that whites were still superior to the blacks.