THIS MONTH IN CIVIL WAR HISTORY
The Struggle over Reconstruction Begins
The American Civil War has ended, with many of the soldiers mustered out or having already returned to their homes to try to restart their civilian lives. Yet, brewing in the leadership circles of the now reunited Union is the degree of reconstruction required for the defeated South. President Andrew Johnson (above) is determined to see that the Union is restored as quickly as possible, with known and reliable Unionists serving in the leadership positions and new state constitutions accepting the outcome of the war and the end of slavery. But, Congress contains powerful elements bent on requiring much more before the representatives from the former Confederate states can come back to take seats of authority in Washington. Johnson has his work cut out for him as he encourages leaders in the South to do what they can to make the process effective and undercut opposition from Radical Republicans before it can disrupt or derail his plans.
March 19, 2016
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