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Proposal to Craigland

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FC: A Proposal for the Reconstruction of Craigland | By Craig Colbert and Christopher Stermel

1: Our country needs to become whole again, rather than separate. If we want this to happen, however, we need to take note of the flaws of the United States' Reconstruction Plan, and make sure we do not take after them.

2: The 10% Plan | This is one of the first plans made by Abraham Lincoln. This plan stated that any seceded state could be reintegrated into the union if 10% of the 1860 vote count from said state swore an oath or allegiance to the United States, and pledged to abide the Emancipation Proclamation.

3: Black Codes | A series of laws passed by new Southern states legislature, severely limiting the rights of African Americans in the South by forcing blacks to show written evidence of their employment for the next year or else the freed slaves would be forced to work on plantations, practically becoming re-enslaved.

4: Presidential Reconstruction | Following the assassination of president Abraham Lincoln, vice-president Andrew Johnson was looked up to for the reconstruction of the country. Having a point-of-view opposed to Lincoln - who wanted a moderate approach to reconciliation and had supported limited suffrage among blacks - Andrew Johnson, with beliefs such as blacks weren't able to manage their own lives, and that blacks didn't deserve to vote, followed through with Reconstruction very leniently. Having returned all owned property, obviously excluding slaves, to former Confederates, who had taken the oath to the Union and agreed to support the 13th Amendment, Johnson believed that the South should decide for themselves what they want.

5: Radical Reconstruction | After the presidential election in 1866, President Andrew Johnson was attempting to overthrow the government due to the fact he was pro-slavery. As a result, republican candidates within the Congress took control of the reconstruction processes that would be used to reunite the country. Johnson continued his pro-slavery ideals, however, and did so by urging the south to deny ratification of the 13th Amendment.

6: The 13th Amendment | This Amendment officially outlaws slavery within the United States. However, this Amendment is not absolute, as involuntary labor could still be used as punishment for a crime.

7: The 14th Amendment | This amendment over rules the original ruling of the Dred Scott vs. Sanford case, which stated that blacks could not become citizens. The 14th amendment, however, states that any person born within the United States is in fact a citizen, and states within it could not over rule their title as a citizen.

8: The 15th Amendment | This Amendment gave people the right to vote, regardless of their race or if they were previously enslaved.

9: Ulysses S. Grant | The 18th president of the United States. Grant played a major role within the ending of the Civil war by leading troops and surrounding Robert E. Lee's army at Appomatox, forcing him to surrender.

10: Hiram Revels | The first African American to serve in the United States Senate, as well as the U.S. Congress. He represented Mississippi in 1870 and 1871.

11: Charles Sumner | Republican senator from Massachusetts, leading the antislavery forces within his state. He was also a leader of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction, working to reprimand and punish ex-Confederates, as well as assure equal rights for the Freedmen.

12: The Freedman's Bureau | The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned lands, established by Congress to feed and clothe war refugees in the South using surplus army supplies.

13: The Ku Klux Klan | The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) are a white extremist group who believed in white dominance and anti-immigration, which is often depicted through their acts of terrorism. Founded in 1865 in Pulaski, Tennessee by veterans of the Confederate Army, the group spread locally and its name and methods were adopted throughout the South. Their prime goal was to restore white supremacy throughout the South by physically attacking both black and white Republicans. After the federal government passed Force Acts prosecuting acts of the KKK, the Klan was suppressed. In 1874, however, other white supremacy groups surfaced, such as the White League and the Red Shirts, causing violence aimed towards suppressing blacks' right to vote and running Republicans out of office.

14: Here is a political cartoon depicting two white supremacists shaking hands beneath a headline stating "The Union as it was". It also has an African American family within a shield beneath the white supremacists and a skull with cross bones. In the shield, there is an African American being hanged in the background, whilst a mother is holding her presumably dead child in her hands, next to her husband. The shield also states that it is "worse than slavery", meaning the alliance with the white supremacists are making African American lives worse than they were before. Also, above the grasped hands of the white supremacists, there is a statement as quoted: "The lost cause".

16: The Port Royal Experiment | A program in which former slaves successfully worked on the land abandoned by Southern plantation owners. The Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina were liberated by the Union in 1861, causing the white residents to flee, leaving behind 10,000 black slaves. In order to help the former slaves become self-sufficient, several private Northern charity organizations stepped in. General Mitchel allowed them to found the town of Mitchelville on Hilton Head Island, considering that they had grown their own crops, hunted and fished independently, out of white control; therefore demonstrating what Reconstruction could have been. In 1865, however, Andrew Johnson returned the land to its white owners, ending the experiment.

17: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson | By refusing to uphold the Tenure of Office Act, Andrew Johnson had been voted for impeachment by the House of Representatives. He was also charged with attempting to undermine the Reconstruction program, on account of the fact that Johnson had removed four commanders in the Southern military districts who had supported the Republicans.

18: An act that guaranteed that everyone, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude, was entitled to the same treatment in public accommodations. This law was rarely enforced, however, especially after the presidential election of 1876, as well as after the withdrawal of federal troops from the South. The act was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in the 1883 Civil Rights cases, saying that although the 14th amendment prohibits discrimination by the state, the state does not have the right to prohibit discrimination amongst individuals. | Civil Rights Act of 1875

19: The Colfax Massacre | A white-dominance group known as The White League had clashed with Louisiana’s practically all-black state militia on April 13, 1873 in Colfax. When the violence broke out, over 100 blacks were killed, half murdered in cold blood, even after surrendering, and The White League had about three men killed. This incident showed Ulysses S. Grant how difficult it would be to assure the safety and human rights for blacks in the South.A white-dominance group known as The White League had clashed with Louisiana’s practically all-black state militia on April 13, 1873 in Colfax. When the violence broke out, over 100 blacks were killed, half murdered in cold blood, even after surrendering, and The White League had about three men killed. This incident showed Ulysses S. Grant how difficult it would be to assure the safety and human rights for blacks in the South.

20: Civil Rights Act of 1866 | This was a civil act passed to protect the citizenship of people by keeping them safe from foreign powers, regardless of their race or sex. This basically stood alongside the three Amendments made to protect the citizenship of freed slaves.

21: US vs. Kruikshank | A supreme court case questioning the first and second amendments. It was ruled that the 1st amendment was not made to restrict state governments, and the 2nd amendment was made to restrict the state governments.

22: "Redemption" | "Redeemers" or "Redemption" were both terms used by white Southerners describing the political coalition in the South. These "Redeemers" were part of a conservative democratic party who sought to oust the Republican carpetbaggers, freedmen, and scalawags.

23: The Military Reconstruction Act | An act passed to reconstruct the military within the southern states after the civil war. This divided the southern army into 5 districts, placing a major general in charge of them.

24: The Slaughter-house Cases | The Slaughter-House Cases were the first interpretations by the United States Supreme Court of the somewhat new Fourteenth Amendment. It is viewed as a crucially important case in early civil rights law, having interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment's "Privileges and Immunities" clause as protecting national citizenship rights from actions of state governments, therefore removing the clause's constitutional significance.

25: Sherman's General Field Order 15 | The orders within this special command all depict how to sort out the freed slaves within the territory that was ravaged by Sherman's march to the sea.

26: Carpetbaggers | This was a term used by southerners to describe northerners who moved to the south during the period known as the “Reconstruction”. They were called “carpetbaggers” because most northerners were seen carrying carpet bags whilst moving south.

27: Panic of 1873 | The panic of 1873 is commonly referred to as "The long depression". It was an international financial crisis due to the fall in demand for silver. Most Countries were under-financed due to expenditures on things such as railroads, while some had a financial dependency on silver.

28: Comparing and Contrasting Sharecropping and Tenant Farming

29: -Sharecropping is when a landlord allows a farmer to use a portion of their farmland in exchange for a certain percentage of the crops. - Tenant farming is when a landlord allows a farmer to live on rented land in exchange for payment, rather than crops. -Sharecropping could be used for a farmer who has a limited budget and just needs enough food to survive. Tenant farming could be used to earn a little extra cash.

30: The Compromise of 1877 | The Compromise of 1877 is a reference to the informal, unwritten deal that had settled the dispute of the 1876 Presidential Election, as well as ended Reconstruction. Rutherford B. Hayes had been given the presidency over Samuel J. Tilden, on account of Hayes removing the federal troops, whose support was dire to the survival of the Republican state governments' survival in Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Even before Hayes was sworn in did the compromise take place, as the then-current president, Ulysses S. Grant, had removed soldiers from Florida. Hayes removed the remaining troops from South Carolina and Louisiana after he was sworn in. Many Republicans inhabiting those states had either become Democrats or left the states along with the troops, leaving the "Redeemer" Democrats in control.

31: After seeing these terms and ideas, we do not wish to construct a similar plan for the reconstruction of Craigland. The overall idea of reconstructing the country through ideas such as the 10% plan, the Port-Royal Experiment, and politically rights-assuring amendments such as the three that were put into action during this era, were certainly positive ideas that would help further the country's cause. However, Andrew Johnson's Presidential and Radical Reconstruction proposals negatively affected the country's cause. Former-president Johnson's leniency allowed the country to continue to head in the racially discriminating direction in which it was already within. With the Black Codes, the lack of enforcement of the Civil Rights Act of 1875, Johnson's ceasing of The Port Royal Experiment - which had been the closest thing to a simulation of what Reconstruction could have been - and of course the locally-terrifying Ku Klux Klan, America was headed in the opposing direction of progress for unity and freedom. For Craigland, we propose that we follow in what would be the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, moderately taking Reconstruction one step at a time, and with more strictness towards the enemy as punishment.

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  • By: Craig C.
  • Joined: about 7 years ago
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  • Title: Proposal to Craigland
  • Christopher and I (Craig) make a proposition to a famous terrioty called "Craigland".
  • Tags: awesome, history, Reconstruction era
  • Published: about 7 years ago