Argumentative Essay on Reconstruction

This essay has a total of 597 words and 3 pages.


In 1865, the Civil war was finally brought to an end. The five years of war was the
nation's most devastating and wrenching experience. Although the Union was saved and
slavery had ended, the South being defeated and occupied by union forces was ruined and in
a state of disaster. Public structures, private homes, and farm buildings had been burnt,
rail road tracks uprooted, cotton gins wrecked, and the earth scorched in many sections of
the defeated land. The nation's next task was to rebuild the ruined South and the
government's plan to do this is known as Reconstruction.

In the South Reconstruction meant rebuilding the economy, establishing new state and local
governments and establishing a new social structure between whites and blacks. During the
war Lincoln had expanded his presidency. With his power he hoped to set up loyal
governments in the Southern states that were under Union control. Lincoln appointed new
temporary governors and instructed each to call a convention to create a new state
government as soon as a group of the state's citizen totaling 10 percent of the voters in
the 1860 presidential election had signed oaths of loyalty to the Union. Under this plan
new governments were formed in Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas but the Congress refused
to recognize them. Republicans in Congress did not want a quick restoration, for the
reason that it would bring Democratic representatives and senators to Washington and in
1864 Congress passed the Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill. This bill would have delayed the
process of rejoining the Union until 50 percent of the people took an oath of loyalty but
Lincoln pocket vetoed the bill. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated just as the South
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