After the Civil War ended in 1865, the south was in total ruins. Houses were
destroyed, crops were gone, and lives would never be the same again. It
wouldnt be until years after the war that people would get their lives back on
track. Whites in the south now hated the blacks and still think they are
The process of rebuilding that followed the American Civil War was
known as reconstruction. The war left a set of pressing questions concerning
with what to do with the South. These questions involved the relationship
with the former Confederate states and the Union; the type of punishment that
should be imposed on the ones responsible for the rebellion; the status of the
freed slaves and how to restore the Souths economy. President Lincoln,
President Johnson and the Radical Republicans each had their own plans.
Lincoln started thinking about reconstruction as early as 1863. He
wanted for 10 percent of the voters in each southern state to take an oath of
loyalty to the United States. After this the state could form its own
government. The government had to abolish slavery. After this was done the
government could elect congressmen and participate in national politics. His
plan was known to be lenient; many had opposed it.
Unfortunately President Lincoln did not live to carry out all of his
plans. A Democrat was elected into office and took over. The new president
was Andrew Johnson. His plan was as much mild as Lincolns. Johnson
wanted to restore power to the Southern states as quickly as possible. Under
his plan a majority of the voters had to pledge loyalty to the United States and
the 13th amendment had to be ratified.Southern whites quickly switched
their governments according to Johnsons plan and restricted the rights of the
newly freed slaves.
The Radical Republicans did not see things as lightly as President
Johnson did. They wanted to punish the Southern aristocracy and strip them
of their rights. They also were not pleased with the black codes. Their
intentions were to protect the freedmens rights
In the north however, it was a total triumph. Their goal for slaves to be
free was granted. All the former slaves moved up north to try to find jobs, but
for most of them it was disappointing to see that they couldnt find work
because most of them couldnt read or write.
Before the Civil War started in 1861, Americans in the east were
starting to take advantage of the lands in the western part of the country.
People took their families their to start a new life. The west was inhabited by
so many Native Americans. Because the Americans wanted the land so much,
they killed off the Native Americans, and would later give them reservations.
After the Civil War, the south was so destroyed that they didnt even
have a government. Everyone was too busy trying to rearrange their lives.
Bridges were in ruble, train tracks were unusable, and courts, judges, police,
even taxes were absent. The economy was also horrible. Money had little
value, and even if someone wanted to sell their land, no one could buy it.
Considering that slavery was totally abolished in the south, peoples
lives were totally different. They didnt have it easy anymore, where they
could just have someone do all their dirty work without getting paid, so you
can keep all the profit. Some southerners were still farmers, but they had to
work much more. Directly after the war, money had little to no value at all.
The southerners had a big affect on present day American society. The
southerners back then influenced us with their farming techniques, and even
today the south has the biggest and best farmlands in the whole country.