Reconstruction and the West
HIS 120/U.S History 1865-1945
January 20, 2014
Reconstruction and the West
“Some historians argue that Radical Reconstruction was not radical enough” (HIS 120 syllabus). Many would argue saying that the Radical Reconstruction was not radical enough because it did not “redistribute land to freed slaves, it did not provide black people with guaranteed access to education, it did not forbid racial segregation, and it did not call for absolute racial equality for black and white people” (Shultz, 2012). However, the Radical Reconstruction made some great progress and radically forced the south into submission. It also lead to ...view middle of the document...
In each district, a military commander took control of the state governments, and federal soldiers enforced the law and kept order” (Shultz, 2012).
Congress also made the ability to rejoin the Union super difficult. “Each state was instructed to register voters and hold elections fro a state constitutional convention. In enrolling voters, southern officials were required to include black people and exclude any white people who had held leadership positions in the Confederacy” (Shultz, 2012). This was easily ignored and no one followed them. But Congress was determined to make things difficult for those states who ignored them. If the state refused to accept the 14th Amendment and hold fair state elections, that state would remain under military control. Congress goal to make all southern states legalize and hold fair elections; this meant blacks had the right to vote.
Many felt the Congresses plans were both harsh and lenient. The Military Reconstruction Act made many southerners furious and they refused to enroll voters. However, some southerners felt the military rule was much better than civilian control. The stalling of the south made Congress pass a second Reconstruction Act. This act “authorized the Union military commanders to register southern voters and assemble the constitution conventions (since the southerners were not eager to do this themselves)” (Shultz, 2012). After this the Congress pass two more acts basically forcing the south to follow through with the Reconstruction.
President Johnson tried his best to fight the Congress on their every move but he was powerless to stop them. By 1870 all southern states agreed to the Reconstruction and were permitted back into the Union.
As people migrated to the West, the relations between the Indians and the white grew more and more hostile. President Grant was tired of this hostility and wanted to figure out a way for all individuals to be able to live near each other without fighting. In order to do this Grant created what is known as the Peace Policy. Grant formed a group of individuals who were in charge of Indian Relations. The group consisted of “empowering church leaders” (Shultz, 2012) and indviduals whom were “outstanding citizens and Christian philanthropists” (Grants Peace Policy, 2011). Under the peace policy “(1) Indians would be placed on...