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The Reconstruction Act The two very different approaches used to get the Southern states back into the Union and defining the status of ex-slaves appeared after the Civil War President Lincoln sought a smooth and easy readmission of the South with no big hassle on guaranteeing full rights for ex-slaves Congress imagined a more hurtful reconstruction program with stress on improving the conditions of the ex-slaves With the assassination of Lincoln the Congressional Reconstruction plan would eventually succeed Lincolns original Reconstruction plan would have allowed Southern states back into the Union when only a small percent of a states 1860 voters signed an oath of allegiance and provided for the education of ex-slaves Congress refused to accept this plan and countered with the Wade-Davis bill Lincoln vetoed this bill and the Reconstruction program remained in place until his death Lincolns successor Andrew Johnson wanted a Reconstruction program that would permit the South to restore white supremacy He instantly came into conflict with Congresss intent upon crushing the old white Southern ruling class and guaranteeing full rights for ex-slaves Congress then passed the 14th amendment rewording citizenship so that all ex-slaves would be included and guaranteed equal rights and privileges for all citizens It specified that no state could take away a person of life liberty or property without due process of law which ensured equal protection for freedmen Congress also passed the 15th amendment guaranteeing freedmen the right to vote This rounded out the Congressional purpose to guarantee equal protection under the law equal rights and suffrage for Southern Blacks These requirements were designed to uplift Blacks politically economically and socially The Reconstruction Act of 1867 placed the Southern states under military rule until they accepted the requirements of the 14th and15th amendments While unkindly and formally accepting these conditions as the price for readmission to the Union the South found ways to circumvent the intended results of the laws Economically the South introduced the
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