The Reconstruction: The Restoration Of The South

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Reconstruction: The Restoration of the South
Both freed slaves and Republicans saw the time following the civil war as a great opportunity to correct the mistakes in the South while reuniting the nation. However, as soon as the war ended, conflict over the reconstruction effort began. The leader of the Republican, Abraham Lincoln, was assassinated, and his vice president, a former democrat and white supremacist was elevated to presidency. Additionally, besides the opposition Republicans faced within their own group, there was strong opposition in the south to Reconstruction, most importantly encapsulated in the Ku Klux Klan. The issue of supporting free slaves also became a huge issue, as slaves were freed with only their clothes as their possessions.
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When Johnson became president, radical Republicans believed he would be much more radical than Lincoln, a former slave owner who know saw the evil in racial inequality. However, Johnson held onto his racist views, and during his tenure in office, his racism would help derail the Reconstruction effort, as he helped restored the aristocratic society in the south, and disband the freedman’s bureau. Johnson, who believed “White men alone must manage the south” , would not punish former leaders of the Confederacy, as he saw them as leaders the South needed. Instead, Johnson would only ask for pardons, and allow them to resume their role in Southern society. Johnson’s leniency with the former Confederate leaders would allow the south to restore its aristocratic society. Even the Confederacy’s vice president could become govern of Georgia. Along with allowing the Confederate leaders resume power in the South, Johnson would try to disband the Freedman’s Bureau. The Freedman’s Bureau was an organization which helped support former slaves, such as through education, employment, and housing. The assistance provided by the Freedman Bureau was instrumental in help former slaves, most of whom had neither economic support nor possessions. Disbanding the Freedman Bureau would remove the small support former slaves had in the South, and leave them completely at the mercy of former masters who was take advantage of them, who would employ them as sharecroppers, forever indebted to their former masters. Johnson’s action, though many times overrun by Congress, would help the South resume their old aristocratic society based on white supremacy, and cause a decline in freed slave’s

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