Reconstruction Plan
By: Gretchen, Anna Marie, Kathryn M. and Kathryn R.

The end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era brought about some difficult issues for the future of the United States. One of these is the convoluted question of what to do about suffrage and the ability to hold political offices in the new southern state governments. In other words, who should have the right to vote and who should be able to hold office? There could have been a different approach to the Reconstruction Era then what was originally done. One difficult dilemma is what happens to the freedmen after the civil war that makes the North happy and the South? There needs to be a compromise between the North and the South that both have to make sacrifices and both get advantages as well. This is to reinstate unification and also solve the issue of what to do with the freed slaves. The main goal of Reconstruction is to gain civil rights for African Americans, reunite the North and the South, and to rebuild the southern economy.

The ex- Confederates should not be punished because that will just make them have ill feelings towards the North and then it will not be issuing reunification of the North and the South. The ex- Confederates will have to obey by the new rules of paying the African Americans to work and the troops will be there to oversee that they obey. The must agree to not hold slaves and agree to the new laws of paying African Americans to work. This boosts the Southern economy as well. The boosting of the Southern economy is one of the most important things in Reconstruction, besides reunification and civil rights. The ex- Confederates will be punished by the union troops if they do not follow the new laws. The ex- Confederates will have advantages of money flowing to the South and their sacrifice will be not having slaves.

After slavery is abolished in the South after the Civil War, the freedmen must somehow become integrated into normal society. This must be a slow process however because the white southerners, whether they are for slavery or not, are not going to be in favor of the African Americans gaining full civil rights. Even though it would be ideal for the slaves to immediately become normal and equal citizens right away, a more peaceful transition would be for them not to be considered full citizens right away and the North and South would both be sacrificing and gaining a little. The freedmen therefore will slowly gain citizenship by working. They will not be acting as slaves, but the owners of companies will pay them and after 3 years, the freedmen will then be able to buy their citizenship to be considered to have equal rights with the rest of the population. Some of the money in which the freedmen will be paid will come from the North as a sacrifice the North will make to the South since the South is making sacrifices as well. After the freedmen buy their citizenship, they will be able to work and earn money and buy land just as any other citizen. The North will get their side with civil rights to the African Americans and the South will not have to consider the African Americans as citizens right away. Even though it is not the full citizenship right away like the North wants, it is a compromise between the two that will eventually get to where the North and the South are both on the same page and unified. The North and the South cannot be on the same page right away because they are too different at this time. This step is the slow step to unifying the country while boosting the southern economy as well.

Another dilemma is the dilemma of who should be able to vote? With the Reconstruction Era, the previously known Southern life, full of slavery, has changed. There are large numbers of freedmen who have spent their lives, to this point, as slaves because of the forcing hand of the white man in the south. They are at significant disadvantages. Many lack any education and reading and writing skills. But who is to say that because many lack these essential skills, the entire group should not be given the opportunity to vote? If that should be the case, then the entire white race should not have the ability as well, because there is some white man somewhere that surely lacks these skills too. So should the freedman have the opportunity to vote? Yes. However, the main concern at this time, is rebuilding the southern economy first. After the freedmen meet the deadline of three years, they gain the right to vote and by extension the right to hold office.

The freedmen should have the right to vote. However, the freedman does not automatically have this right. The freedman has to reach and meet the deadline of three years for becoming citizens first. At that point, the freedmen will have the right to vote and the right to hold office.

Another main question in this dilemma is the fact of what requirements must be met before the Southern states can regain full rights and representation? In order for there to be somewhat of a peace between the North and the South, the South will have to give up some of their rights and ability to be fully represented in Congress. First, for the states to gain full rights and be re-admitted back into the Union, they will have to bring the Southern economy to a stable condition. A stable condition for the southern economy can be defined by a majority of the African Americans have to be working, which would also help the African Americans work for their full citizenship, and the economy has to be improved by at least forty percent. This means that at least forty percent or more of the buildings and commercial industries have to be up and running so that they can produce an influx of money and workers into the economy.

To go along with this, the southern states will have limited representation in the Congress. Instead of having two or more congressmen per state, the southern states will only be allowed to have one congressman representing their state. This allows the southern states to not be completely punished but for them to be able to have a say in the new government, yet it would be a limited say in the new government.

As an effect of the Civil War, the South was left in ruins economically. Firstly, the Confederacy had created its own currency that was no longer permissible. Secondly since the majority of the war had been fought in the south, the land was physically in ruins as well. Lastly, the abolishment of slavery transformed southern industry and the working system. The dilemma at hand was economic restoration. As part as the reunification agreement, the north had to financially open their pockets. The north will set up established banks with northern money to begin circulating the same type of money into both parts of the country. Plantation owners will be granted money for upkeep of their plantations every six months, but will have to employ whites and blacks to work. However there will be no law regulating which race has to be hired. This absence of law will force the migration of blacks to the northern states where laws of “blind applications” (applications without noting the applicants race) will be enforced. Also, schooling systems, libraries, public operations will be built on government supply and the only people granted access will be citizens. The amount of paper money in the North could not suffice for the amount of money needed to circulate within the entire United States, therefore new bills are to be printed. These new bills will go to the restoration process in the South while also aiding plantation owners who are adjusting to the new method of paying their workmen. Granted, this aid will not suffice for all costs of restoration but will have to meet the requirements of the implementation of cohesive currency system. Also, the black citizenship deadline law will end up circulating a lot of this aided money back into the government’s bank. Printing new bills will definitely increase inflation, however unification will call for the people of the North and South to make adjustments. The main idea of this economic restoration plan is to create a continual circulation of the same type of national money without a basis of free slave induced labor.

As part of restoring the South, Union troops will be essential to success. Most importantly union troops will be help responsible for ensuring that the black citizenship deadline is met. If the deadline is not met the troops will entrench that the blacks are not giving all the rights of an American citizen- this includes the right to vote. Basically troops will be in charge of maintaining legitimacy of the deadline system. Also, part of unification includes the abolition of slavery, however possibilities of the existence of forms of ‘secret’ slavery will be immediately terminated. Union troops will safeguard these blacks freedom while punishing any offenders. Verification of the construction and establishments of government institutions such as schooling systems, banks, public operations will be confirmed by the labor of Union troops. Also they will have the proctoring role of reassuring exclusive citizen entry into these government establishments. Another duty of the union troops will be ensuring the nonexistence of violent black hate groups such as the KKK. The south will not instantly take the idea of no slavery peacefully; therefore it is important for the union troops to protect the blacks from attacks. However, in event of a racist attack, troops are held responsible that the blacks receive a fair trial and jury in court. Overall the establishment of Union troops as legal authorities will be very important to exhibit. Constant and profuse troop surveillance in the redeveloping southern areas will be key to ensuring a cohesive country of truly United States.

In conclusion, the questions that were brought upon from the end of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era have been answered. All questions about suffrage and politics were answered along with the questions about the reconstruction of the South and it’s economy. These plans have taken a different approach than the ones that were originally put in place by the leaders during the Reconstruction Era proving that things could have been done differently. However, the most important aspects of compromise and reunification have been taken care of in a way that will both satisfy the people of the North and the people of the South.



Hello. I’m Jay Campbell (From Team Phun) and I plan to ruthlessly analyze and critique your plan. This is the fun part!Here are some bullet points describing ways that holes could be formed in your Reconstruction Scenario:

- If you are trying to harbor good feelings between the North and the South, wouldn’t Military Occupation be extremely aggravating and angering to Southerners, especially if they were the ones to enforce the laws that forced them to pay blacks for labor they previously had for free?
- What ensures that the company owners will pay the Blacks if they have no Civil Rights to sue? They can easily be manipulated into free labor by abuse by the Confederates and cannot sue for the damages. If the Military comes in, extremely tense and sectional feelings will develop between the North and the South once more. Also, wouldn’t this clash with the Constitution? “All men [that buy their rights] are created equal.” Seems un-American.
- Do you think Northerners, who also were racist at the time of Reconstruction, will want to send their money to Freedmen in the South? Doubtful.
- What about the Military who is forced to stay down there until all the African-Americans have paid off their debts? Won’t the military leaders be tired of staying away from their families for people that they still consider their lessers? Won’t this be critically expensive to keep so many people all throughout the South for such a long period of time?
- Before the three years for just the first batch of African-Americans to vote, won’t white Southerners be able to pass legislation to further impede their rights? “But who is to say that because many lack these essential skills, the entire group should not be given the opportunity to vote?” About every White man in the South, actually. We must remember that ‘fairness’ between the races is a concept not often understood at this point in time. In 2010 this may be reasonable logic, but for the late 1800’s, it is not. Remember, even the lowliest White man is superior to the highest black man in this time period.
- When Blacks finally did restore their right to vote, wouldn’t they be scared away from the ballot stations from societies such as the Ku Klux Klan? What will be done to stop these societies from scaring blacks away from the polls? Not the Military, because we can’t harbor bad feelings from the Southerners to the Northern Military or North. I don’t think killing Ku Klux Klan members would go over very well with their families.
- Wouldn’t Southerners be extremely opposed, and maybe even offended, by the idea that they have to rebuild the buildings that the North destroyed before they can be re-admitted into the Union? Where is this money going to come from? How is the economy going to improve? We can’t rely solely on the employment of Blacks to make the economy improve.
- With only one Congressman instead of two, the South would hold virtually no representation in the government. How long would this last? Wouldn’t biased Northern bills further stamp on an already deflated Southern Economy?
- For paying the plantation owners for upkeep – where is this money going to come from? We are already in huge debt because we have just finished a massive war, we can’t just go throwing money at rebels just for existing.
- “New bills are to be printed.” -Dramatically screams “Noooooo!!”- Inflation Inflation Inflation! Let’s not kill both the Northern and Southern economies! You recognized this, but if inflation occurs there is the chance that the Northerners will become increasingly unamused with the current government as well. You could be hated by all!
- Again, how will you pay for the constant Military Occupation? How will you be able to keep the Military watching at the middle of the night when the KKK usually attacks? If the black man who is attacked isn’t a citizen, isn’t it impossible for them to truly get a fair trial? Where will an unbiased Judge come from? Not the North, surely, because then they would host unfair trials to the Southerners. You can’t expect every single hate crime case to go through the Supreme Court.
Okay GAKK – critiquing aside. You guys had some really good ideas! The three-year plan was a quite decent way to ensure black citizenship, while rewarding the Southerners for it. Military occupation would be needed, I agree, and your plan accurately gave Civil Rights to Blacks, got Southern States back into Congress, and took first steps towards rebuilding the Southern Economy (assuming it panned out the way you anticipated) as mentioned in your thesis. Sure, it may have lacked a few details (How much money for citizenship, how long are Southern States only allowed one congressman) but overall I thought you guys mapped out a solid plan. It was, of course, an unbeatable scenario! Good job! :)
- Jay Campbell, Foothill Technology High School in Ventura, California.

Hi. I'm Josh Walker (Team Phun) and I'm about to criticize your reconstruction plan. First things first by not punishing the Confederates what is to prevent them from simply picking up their old ways of life, acting as if the war had never happened and they had never lost? How will you have the Union troops force southerners to obey laws, will they throw them in jail? kill them? What punishments will be inflicted if southerners disobey the new laws? Wouldn't these forceful acts basically be punishing the confederates anyways, due lack of previous punishment, therefore attempts to create a south just like it was before the war, causing old southern confederates to break the new laws, then having the old confederates punished for breaking the new laws, therefore still creating hostility? How will paying African Americans boost the southern economy, also what are these companies you keep talking about, do you mean plantations? Lets just say you do end up paying African Americans and plantation owners to allow the plantation to get back up and running bring money from crops back into the south, when will the north stop paying to rebuild the plantation system and how in the hell are you going to get racist northerners and abolitionists to pay taxes to support freedmen and SOUTHERN PLANTATION OWNERS! The north had enough trouble gaining support for a war to preserve the Union and then even more so when the war turned to one of abolition ( the New York City riots), there is no way in hell you can possibly gain support from northerners to pay for a revival of the southern plantation system that the had fought so ardently to destroy. Outside of that how are African Americans suppose to be treated fairly when they have no rights, what is to keep the owners of these "companies" from using and abusing the new freed men and women? You say the Union army will keep everyone in line but in the actual reconstruction the Union army was used to protect African Americans that had rights guaranteed by the constitution and even then they weren't protected due to the implementing of the Black Codes and general terrorism, so how do you plan to protect African Americans when they have no rights and generally have the same protections as African Americans in the actual reconstruction (which didn't work)? Also what happens if a freedman does not pay for citizenship by the deadline? Can he pay for it any time after that? What if he refuses to pay? What about the northern abolitionists who will most likely see this as a ploy to make freedmen slaves once again? What will be the freedman status if he doesn't pay? What has changed in southern opinion in 3 years? Wouldn't southerners still be angry about African Americans getting the right to vote and hold office? What if African Americans don't want to work? What if the north will not accept African Americans or will not hire them (which most likely they won't)? What if the African Americans don't wan to leave to the north? Will you let them go jobless and eventually starve or turn to crime in the south? How will the state be able to improve its economy by 40% and why does this matter for readmission? Wouldn't the printing of more money cause inflation and most likely to severe degree by the way your describing it, therefore harming the nations economy, hurting both the south and the north so as to pay for southern reconstruction? Wouldn't inflation be somewhat similar to that of pre-nazi Germany? When say 2 representatives to Congress I bet you meant Senate and can the southern states eventually gain there 2 representatives to senate back or will they kept subservient to the north? Also what is to keep them from dominating Congress in this period? What do you even mean by "secret slavery"? Finally, how are you going to stop the KKK? In the real reconstruction the Union army was used to track and stop the KKK and they failed. Your plan has some good basic ideas like a waiting period and an occupation of the south by the Union army but a lot of your ideas seem like hopes and apparitions rather than actual achievable goals, the south will become angry with the north and vice versa, southerners will be resistant to African Americans voting and holding office, and the Union army is not a cure all, it is just an army of volunteers, draftees, and pissed off Irish men. Your plan has potential but you need to be more specific. Tragically we can not all be like Captain Kirk and simply hack the computer, this most definitely is a no win scenario and I believe you guys did pretty well at it.
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Hello I am Mat Aguilar, the same Mat Aguilar who created the twisted video presented before your class. I have a few qualms about your plan. I don't want to be rude but I'll be blunt, there are some glaring holes in your Reconstruction Plan. Here are some of your obvious plan flaws:

*Intro. In all honesty, I thought your intro was way too simplified. You present the Reconstruction dilemma like a child's play; appease these guys, give these guys some rights, rebuild this, reunite that and everyone will live happily ever after. You have neglected the fact that not everyone will acquiesce to your demands and have forgotten that this is a no win situation. You are not Captain Kirk, you cannot cheat the system and there will be unsolvable and complex obstacles.

*2nd paragraph: Regardless of what you do there will be animosity between the North, South and blacks. To let the ex-Confederates scott free will not only bolster anti-reconstruction sentiments but also increase Southern arrogance and forget that they have lost the war, not the other way around. In addition, Southern military occupation will completely buffer any good feelings possibly garnered from pardoning the top of conspirators of the confederacy. I would also like to comment that this eerily resembles Andrew Johnson's original plans of Reconstruction...and we all know how that went.

*3rd paragraph: First off, I agree with your slow integration of freedmen into Southern society however, your solution leaves little to be desired. One of my main agitations over this part of your plan is 1) Which companies would hire blacks let alone root themselves in a volatile Southern community while plenty of stable Russian immigrant workforce is heavily available in the North. 2) The idea that freedmen have to slowly gain and work for their citizenship, let alone pay for the rights, is massive back track from Emancipation. A freedmen buying his citizenship from prejudiced bosses is little different from a slave working for his freedom. A reminiscent of sharecropping (and well, slavery) this plan would most likely keep freedmen in poverty. 3) "South will not have to consider the African Americans as citizens right away," till Martin Luther King came.

*4th paragraph: Seriously, heard of KKK?

*6th-7th paragraph: State readmission plan: almost impossible. Second, have you forgotten about something very important? It may rhyme with 13th, 14th and 15th amendment. Finally, representatives in congress? You're letting them have their cake and eat it?!?!

*8th paragraph: Plantation owners? Are you aware that their main work force *slavery* is illegal, or are you planning to round up all the freedmen and make them work for their citizenship as a form indentured servant? Oh wait, that sounds like nothing ever changed! Furthermore, citizens only facilities? You are aware with your freedmen citizenship deadline that feelings of black animosity will fester in their alloted three years. Next stop, economy: MONEY DOES NOT GROW ON TREES! Where are you pulling your magical supply of currency and please tell me so I may indulge myself with it.

*9th paragraph: We tried that already. Secondly, although troops (in my opinion) are vital in black rights, the army won't be there forever (in tangent, you didn't specify the exact length of the military occupation. Lastly, I still don't like the freedmen buying their freedom *cough* I mean citizenship.

*10th paragraph: "In conclusion, the questions that were brought upon from the end of the Civil War and the Reconstruction Era have been answered." This quote made me laugh. It was as if you had jedi mind powers, godly charisma and a perfectly planned agenda/scenario that will perfectly play itself out (with a few nudges and slight influences from your jedi mind powers here and there.)"All questions about suffrage and politics were answered along with the questions about the reconstruction of the South and it’s economy." I beg to differ. Some parts of your plans (especially ones pertaining to economy) were quite vague. Still, you did answer the questions, albeit minimally, but that doesn't mean you've solved everything. "These plans have taken a different approach than the ones that were originally put in place by the leaders during the Reconstruction Era proving that things could have been done differently." Not really; military occupation, confederate pardon. Sounds very familiar.

I have no apologies. Your plan, although you recognized the North, South and black dilemma, is very flawed and simple, much too vague and in my opinion much too lenient. In all honesty, if I was a freedmen, I would prefer the original Reconstruction plan, at least then I'll instantly get my freedom *cough* I mean my citizenship.

Of course, Jay Campbell and Mat Aguliar have clearly demolished and destroyed your Reconstruction Plan and I do believe that it does contain many loopholes and areas where clearly it could not happen in reality. Let me point out some things: you claimed that the ex-confederate should not be punished because it will develop ill feelings toward the North. Haven’t they already? Also, you mentioned that the ex-confederates will be paying the African Americans to work and the military will enforce those rules. That was the initial plan in the original Reconstruction. And how did that go? Not so well.
Another major problem in your plan is that you proposed the African Americans would not attain full citizenship until they work for three years! How tragic! The entire country is divided, due to one of the reasons being slavery-and you don’t give them their freedom! Additionally, you expect the North to pay for the freedmen in the South? That definitely doesn’t sound realistic. After all this chaos and ruckus, I don’t believe they would be willing to pay…really. Also, you mentioned that black people do not gain the right to vote immediately, but have to work for three years to “REGAIN” their rights.
What is this? Unfair. Injustice. Unrealisitc. You also mentioned that to regain entry into the United States that the economy has to be rebuilt by 40% and how do you expect them to accomplish this task? Who is supplying the money to start rebuilding? Foreign powers, Northern government? Shockingly, I cannot believe that you suggested that the Northern banks will give money to the Southern plantation owners. That is definitely not realistic and clearly wouldn’t be accepted by the North.
New bills to be printed!? INFLATION! That is definitely not what the country needs. Unification through inflation isn’t the best of ideas. I do like your idea of the military ensuring black safety and protecting their civil rights, such as trial by jury. However, good job on your plan. You attempted and did think thoroughly at some points.
-Sukhpreet Bains, Power Rangers

First off, I feel that this was a fair attempt at this unbeatable scenario. Congrats for putting forth a valiant effort. I'm not going to repeat anything that my classmates have already said because who wants to hear them again, so I'll just mention the things that they didn't.

Okay so one of the big questions that I have about this plan is how long is it going to last? 10 years, 20 year, are the Northern citizens really going to pay for things that long. Are the troops going to be stationed there the entire time? Another question; in your first paragraph you mention that the South will be punished for not following the rules of paying the newly "freedmen", how are they to be punished. Also did you not say that punishing the ex - confederates would be bad and would create "ill feeling" as it were if they were punished? How then is this differently? Are there not already ill feeling towards the Northerners because hey just fought a war and LOST! I don't know about you but if I had just lost a war I'd be pretty annoyed for a long period of time, no matter if people were punished or not.

Later you talk of being accepted into "normal society' the freedmen in the original plan weren't accepted into society until Martin Luther King Jr. did something about it and that was 100 years later. Also you say that the Black people are not full citizens till they buy their freedom after working for it for another 3 years. During this time of work what are they if they are not citizens; if a freedman is still imprisoned can you really call him a freedman? Is there and should there be a physical price put on freedom? Again you speak of the Blacks as not being considered full citizens by the Southerners or having to be considered full citizen, why don't they have to recognize them and how long till the do have to consider them? And if they do not, how then will you get them to recognize them, by force?

You speak of there being a lack of education of the blacks part, yet you say noting about fixing this problem really. it is vaguely mentioned later on but not really. Oh you mention trial by Jury and you say fair in the same sentence, I’m not sure you got that right. If is a jury of white men which at that time were the only people that were allowed to serve that it will certainly Not be a fair trial. To kill A Mockingbird anyone?
feel that I have mentioned all that needed to be addressed. Overall good plan on paper but not in the actuality of life.
~ Mariah Bryan - Power Rangers

Jeez… Jay and Mat, you guys critiqued everything already. I’ll just add some points then…..
Frankly, I think your Reconstruction Plan is way too lenient and flawed. The 3 year plan contradicts the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment. Why should the Freedmen buy their citizenship, if it is already granted? The war just ended yet you insist that the North will pay for the freedmen in the South. How will that end up? .......disaster and frankly will not fly
Also, are you implying that the North will pay for rebuilding the South? Wouldn’t that require an increase in taxes? Are you going to tax? Taxing after the war seems a bit…….
What are you going to do about the KKK? Any ideas how to prevent freedmen restrictions on voting? Curfews? It seems as if the 3 years you propose will change the minds of the white population in the South, but how realistically does that seem? 3 years will not magically destroy racism.
The only way for this plan to work is if you guys had some sort of hack or cheat in the simulation.
[Allany Chayasing - T. Rex]

The ex- Confederates should not be punished because that will just make them have ill feelings towards the North and then it will not be issuing reunification of the North and the South.” The north may not be pleased with this; they saw the south as the "bad" guys in this situation. After all, the south is the one who seceded, which caused the separation and war in the first place.

Some of the money in which the freedmen will be paid will come from the North as a sacrifice the North will make to the South since the South is making sacrifices as well.” I can see this plan causing problems. The North would probably not happily comply and give their money away.

The freedmen should have the right to vote. However, the freedman does not automatically have this right. The freedman has to reach and meet the deadline of three years for becoming citizens first. At that point, the freedmen will have the right to vote and the right to hold office.” Then what? The black man can vote, but what will stop something like the KKK from forming? What will stop white southern rage from tampering with their votes by say, not counting them? Three years may not be long enough for white southerners to accept freedmen.

Another duty of the union troops will be ensuring the nonexistence of violent black hate groups such as the KKK.This sounds like it will make the white southerners angry and cause more resentment between the north and south, instead of uniting them.
--Sarah Bridges T. Rex--

My critique got erased for some reason, so here it is again. First of all, you said that the ex-Confederates would have to obey the new rules of paying the blacks for their work. However, most of the southerners still consider the blacks as slaves and wouldn't be too happy about this, especially because they don’t even have enough money for themselves after the war. Also, having troops watch over them would only create more ill feelings that you previously said you wanted to get rid of. Your 3 year plan having to do with giving the black men the right to vote seems like a pretty well thought out and solid, but what are you going to do about the KKK? How will you stop them from attacking the blacks? Also, printing new bills just seems like “the easy way out.” But in reality, you would just be creating a bigger mess than there already was. You had some good points in your plan though. Good job!
-Sharon Choi (T.Rex)

Ok so I see where you are going with the whole compromise between North and South thing. However, about allowing ex confederates to accept slaves into work, what about the Ku Klux Klan? Slaves into labor will not work, because some southerners have extremely strong feelings about their slaves. You also mentioned about giving money to the South from the North. I am pretty sure the Northerners will be unwilling to give any money to support the South, because each side sacrificed just as much paying for the war as the other one, and only the South became bankrupt in the end. You also mention slow progression is the way to unify North and South, but how long is this progression going to take approximately? One more question: Do you really think that after only three years, the entire white south population will be willing to allow blacks to hold office? I don’t know if your plan will work out in such a short time frame. What if this time period is extended for another twenty years? How would this change the overall scheme of your plan? Everything else is pretty much straight forward, and all the other topics covered by previous posts.
Chris Waechter (Team Phun)