Allany, Bethani, Sarah, and Sharon

The Civil War had left our country devastated. The South had been destroyed--the once abundant fields were filled with weeds, important railroad tracks had been twisted, the slaves had been liberated and livestock had been driven away by the Northerners. With the Southern way of life ruined, it was time for reconstruction. Our goal is to unify our country while trying to heal the economic and social wounds that the Civil War had inflicted.

The positions of the ex-Confederates within the South will be suspended for a period of two years, until the South has reached a state of stability after the war. In order to regain the ability to run for office, be it Congress or state governor, an oath must be sworn and a clause that consist the promise to not exploit the freedmen and to cooperate on level terms with the Republicans. In order to be exempt from treason punishments, ex-Confederate leaders (generals, majors, and president) must pledge and sign a contract that states loyalty to the Union and the assurance of tolerance to the freedmen. The failure to sign such a document will result in a war trial and proper punishment. In addition, no such person can participate in illegal hate groups targeting certain groups of people. If such acts are violated, the Union army has full justification to their fitting punishment against the ex-Confederates.
T. Rex in action!

The freedmen will have the right to free education, as well as the white southerners. It will be illegal to pass a law prohibiting limitations of the freedmen, such as a curfew. Such a law must include every citizen, not just a portion. Every black citizen over the age of 21 will have the right to vote that cannot be taken away. If a citizen so chooses to break this law by intimidating a voter, they will be swiftly arrested. The federal government would establish an organization similar to the Freedmen's Bureau, but with more government involvement. Polling places for African Americans would be guarded against intimidation attempts from Confederacy supporters and reports could be filed against anyone an individual felt was threatening their right to vote. Land owned by the government would be set aside for the newly freed slaves, in states further west. If the individual applying for the governmental support didn’t want to move west, a grant could be substituted, the amount determined by a Union-supporting counsel based on need (family size, for instance).

In order to qualify for a position in office in the Southern state governments, one must be literate and educated to a certain degree. They must have a clean record, no affiliation with any hate group, and must sign a tolerance oath regarding the ill behavior of freedmen. All citizens over the age of 21 have the right to vote and no law can be passed to violate this privilege. Ex-Confederates who wish to hold office in the new southern state governments will not be suspended; however, the suspension does apply if they wish to hold office in the federal government for one House of Representative term. At the beginning of a new term, they may continue to pursue a position in Congress after swearing to an oath.

Before states regain full rights and representation, 50% of the state's voters must take an oath of tolerance, accepting that the blacks are no longer slaves but men of equal rights. The state government must also create a list of laws that must be approved by Congress before they are passed. In addition, taking the oath would mean that the state will officially be a part of the United States and will never threaten to secede again. Lastly, the south must compensate for the damage they caused with the war with moral support for the Union.

In order to restore the Southern economy, the South must first accept the reality that they need help. The North and West must then help pay for Southern reconstruction. Taxes will be paid on a longer term so that they will not have to pay too much at one time. Also, because the South cannot regain money or their economy based solely on agriculture, industrialization must take place. The tax money will be used to build factories and repair their railroads. As a result, there will be more jobs for the southerners, especially the freedmen, and an easier method of transporting goods to the southern factories.

The role of the Union troops is solely to provide protection, regulation, and order. Union soldiers take no position in the local or state government. Their main priority is to ensure the enforcement of the law and to protect the freedmen. Various jurisdictions are assigned to a number of troops according to population. In areas where the black population quite high, elevated crime rate or an overall immense population will require the aid of more Union soldiers. Stations will maintain power in the time span of 6 months to a year if the area checks out (peace, no disruption, and no reported incidents). A failure to satisfy the check, troops shall remain in the area for another six months. Even after troops dispatch from a jurisdiction, regular check-ups are executed to ensure the safety of all civilians. If any cases of corruption or foul play is reported or suspected, the Union troops have the authority to reoccupy the area. In addition, the neglect to the law abiding the restrictions of freedmen will result in a prolonged occupation of the Union Army and rejection (pertaining to those limiting laws).

Our goal is to rebuild the south economically, politically, and socially by liberating the slaves, enforcing tolerance, and providing economic support through higher taxes for the construction of factories and the restoration of railroads.



I want to first say that overall I thoroughly enjoyed you plan for Reconstruction. It appeared well thought out and intelligently written.

I like your idea of the suspended positions of the ex-confederates for two years. It makes a point to the ex-confederates without seeming overly harsh. However, while I personally like the idea that freedmen should have many rights already, I have to question the idea that the southern states would have the same opinion. It seems to me that this might lead to many revolts in the south despite the consequences and the south in general hating the north.

The next point is when you say, “Before states regain full rights and representation…” I am assuming you mean southern states, in which case I like the idea that there must be a oath of tolerance but who is going to enforce it?

I like the idea that the north and west must help in restoring the Southern economy. It somewhat balances out things between the North and South. I also like the idea of the taxes; while nobody likes them I think you explain well how they will be put to good use in the rebuilding of the southern economy.

Overall I like your ideas for reconstruction and believe that they would have worked well with a few small fixes.

Kathryn Maloy