The reconstruction of the United States and the Confederate States is the rejoining of the two opposing sides, and it is beginning to bring up many arguments. The two sides to come together to recover what was lost in the war and to settle arguments about abolishing slavery. Texas is currently trying to recover from the economic and agricultural lose it suffered during the war and trying to figure out how they are going to stand life without slavery.
Two Presidential Plans
Before his assasination, Lincoln came up with a plan for reconstruction that required only ten percent of a Confederate State to take an oath of loyalty to the Union for the state to rejoin. Lincoln's plan was generous, to allow healing to take place, but before it was put into action, he was shoot and killed by John Wilkes Booth. Modeling Lincoln's plan, Johnson is creating an act to help insure a smooth reconstruction, but the requirements by the Confederate States to renter United States will be much more difficult for the Southern states to agree to. Johnson's plan will have the Confederate States take on a provisional government, admit they were wrong for seceding, pay there own Civil War debts, and ratify the thirteenth amendment.
Gordon Granger has recently traveled to Galveston to lead the Texas government in the direction of abolishing slavery! This day has been called Juneteenth by many African Americans. It is becoming a great celebration with music, dancing, and celebrations in the streets. With the coming of newly freed men and women, former slaves have been trying to find new jobs, lives, and a place to live. As a solution, officials have started the Freedman's Bureau, an act to help supply African Americans with an education, a place to live, and other baisic necessities.
New Texas Governor
Starting on his reconstruction plan, Johnson has appointed Andrew Jackson Hamilton as the new governor of Texas. The delegates at the Constitutional Convention are composed of men loyal to the Union, but they are still biased. This convention is biased because even though they are Unionist, they are against the equal rights for African Americans. The new Texas Constitution is unfair to the newly freed slaves and anyone hoping for equal rights for African Americans.
The new Texas Constitution is also the unfair Texas Constitution. Our constitution is created to limit the rights of the freed African American men and women. The ex-Confederates, which our now in control, are refusing to ratify the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments, both of which concern African American rights. Another restriction for the freed men are Black Codes, and these prevent former slaves from voting, testifying against a white man, and participating on a jury.
Congress in Control
As Johnson's plan takes little to no affect on the Southern States, Congress is begining to take notice and they are taking action to make a difference in the reconstruction process. Within Congress, there is a group of men that believe Congress should direct all reconstruction, make more requirements for states to rejoin, and work to protect the rights of the freed people. These men are known as the Radical Republicans, and they have now gained control of leading reconstruction with two-thirds control of both houses.
A new plan for reconstruction has emerged from the Radical Republicans, and it is not in favor of the South. The new plan suggests stricter rules, such as existing governments being illegal, ratify the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, repeal the current Black Codes, divide into five military districts, and have white Southerners take the Ironclad Oath. The Five military districts are the Southern States divided into five different districts with military posts at each one to help enforce new rules, and the Ironclad Oath is an oath that white Southerners had to take to regain the right to vote. The oath included them admitting that they didn't voluntarily help the Confederates, this prevented many white men in the South to vote.
Following the fifteenth amendment, African American men are now given the right to vote. About fifty-thousand freedmen have now been registered at the military posts. However, many African Americans are now afraid to exercise their new rights, because the Ku Klux Klan is posing a new threat. The KKK is a group that is extremely against rights to freedmen and anyone hoping to help them. They are against carpetbaggers, Northerners helping African Americans, and Scalawags, Southerners that agree with reconstruction, because of what they can do
Ku Klux Klan Attacks
A Personal Encounter
On the way to my job as the teacher at a Freedman's Bureau school, I was clubbed in the back of the head. Minutes later, I woke up surrounded by men in capes and pointed caps. Looking down at myself, blood has stained my clothes from the many new wounds and cuts on my body from being whipped. The Ku Klux Klan members begin to chant curses at me for being a carpetbagger. They turn around and leave me in woods to die. Now I am physically recovering, but my life will never truly be the same.
The end of reconstruction in Texas has officially ended, March 1870. Many white people in Texas still think that as long as the Radical Republicans are in power, the Texas reconstruction will never end. In the midst of the reconstruction, the newly freed slaves have found shelter in rural areas and are beginning to build a life in their new independence. Now, 1872, the Democrats have regained control. They are taking their first step in reducing the governor's power and removing the state police forces.