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Audrey, Michelle, Alex, and Melissa

What is the primary goal of reconstruction? Reunification, punishment, civil rights, other?
After the devastating Civil War, the south and north need to be reunified by whatever means necessary, and also, to restore the south and bring gradual social change. Through Reconstruction, taxes will be raised in order to help restore the South, build schools, and provide for industrial growth, which is the future of this nation. In order to achieve unity, leaders from the Confederacy will be suspended from returning into governmental positions until the following election. In accordance with the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments that were passed, African Americans will be forever free and able to vote but they will not be able to hold government positions until the nation is unified and stable. The ideas of blacks being equal to whites will be gradually introduced and children will be taught in school from an early age that all men are created equal. They should be eased into the south. Eventually, blacks will hold office alongside whites but right now is not the time for sudden change.

What should be done to the ex-Confederates?
Since the South seceded and started the war with their attack on Fort Sumpter, it is only fair for the
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Lots of estrogen at play!
Ex- Confederate leaders to be tried in court for their acts of treason against the United States. The goal would be to sentence them to imprisonment in jail for the rest of their lives. The Ex- Confederates that have a chair in Congress, will be put on suspension until the next election They will then go before a judge and jury to decide whether they may have back their seat in congress. Any Ex - Confederates that worked for the United States before, will be assessed by a judge on their actions during the war. The Ex - Confederate soldiers will not be assessed unless they committed war crimes during the war.

What should be done for the freedmen?
The previously enslaved blacks have gone through much hardship. They need to be ensured their safety in the southern states. Therefore, the Union Army will remain in the South and enforce the thirteenth - fifteenth amendments when necessary. The Freedman’s Bureau will be fully supported by the Federal Government so that the blacks will have what they need: money to pay for food, clothing, shelter, and doctors. Along with this, provide them with teachers so that they may get an education. The land that was confiscated from the confederates during the war will be used to settle former black slaves. Unfortunately, the Freedman will not be able to hold office in any form in the government until 1870 as a compromise with the Southern states and for their safety as former slaves.

Who should be able to vote and hold office in the new Southern state governments?
According to the 15th Amendment, freedmen will have the right to vote. There will be federal and military repercussions for those who try and bar freedmen from the poles. For example, if a freedman reports any racially induced harassment to federal or military authorities, an investigation of the suspect(s) will commence. Also, there will be authoritative figures present at each voting station in the South. Every voting station will have private booths to prevent harassment during elections. Women of any race are still not permitted to vote. Any southerners who are in or waiting to go to court for any cases concerning the Civil War and reconstruction will be refused the right to cast a ballot until a final verdict is reached. Federal government will punish any one who fails to comply with these laws.

As for the new Southern state governments, under no circumstances will any freedmen be permitted to presume office until the year 1870. Allowing them to take office before 1870 does not give America enough time to adjust to the various social changes brought on by the 13th Amendment. Any southerner who held a high-ranking office during secession, such as those offered in state government, will be put on trial. Whether or not these men may run for office again will be determined by the verdicts of the trials. That being said, any other white southerners who are not on trial may run for office in state government.

What requirements must be met before states regain full rights and representation?
Lincoln’s methodical 10% plan has potential, but lacks efficiency. For this reason, Lincoln’s original plan has been modified to better fit the current situation. The requirements confederate states must meet before they regain full rights and representation are:

1. 25% of voters must take oath of allegiance to the US

2. Ratification of the 13th and 14th amendments. If these states wish to maintain their rights and representation, they must ratify the 15th amendment within the year of its passing (which should be very soon).

3. Either drastically change the Black Codes so that the Supreme Court deems them fair and constitutional, or eliminate the Black Codes.

States may regain their representation in congress after their previous congressmen have gone through court. See the paragraph on ex-confederates above to read a more detailed description.

How should the Southern economy be restored?
It is apparent that the Civil War has devastated the Southern market. The economy will be restored by first re-establishing transportation methods to transfer exchangeable goods and products. The Southern railroad tracks, which previously transported tons of exports and imports, are now completely destroyed and twisted upon themselves. Due to the re-introduction of the South to the United States, the federal government will use funds to repair and improve the railroad transportation system; not only to carry goods, but to allow people a more efficient way to travel. The Pacific Railway Act, which involves a system of railroads spanning across the country, will also be extended to include the South. This will better unify the Northern-Southern divisions. Next, since all livestock was lost in the scuttle and fright of the war, farm animals will be shipped to operational farms and plantations in order to aid in the workload. The government will issue land-owners a limited number of horses depending on the number of acres owned, but request that they purchase any extra horses and all care articles themselves. Lastly, a labor union for freedmen and lower-class whites will be established to provide the people with job assurance, equal treatment, and fair pay. The terms of this union will be enforced by the federal military until stability has been reached. In order to achieve these reconstruction reparations, the taxes in the South will be raised so as to equal the payment of those in the North. This law is not meant to punish, but is striving to re-unify the nation and repair damages without putting the government in financial debt. These reparations are meant to restore transportation, a prospering agricultural market, and a steady labor force. They will begin immediately.

What role should Union troops play in policing, governing, or rebuilding the South?
Though it may be to the aggravation of certain Southern peoples, it is to the agreement of the current Congress and Senate that Union soldiers remain in Southern states until a satisfactory level of restoration has been achieved. These soldiers will by no means use force against civilians, unless provoked. Their role in remaining in the South is to enforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, ensuring that all people receive fair and equal treatment. The soldiers are also ordered to punish all those who intervene with or rebel against the restoration process or the law. Soldiers will be withdrawn from the states as soon as possible in order to salvage the economic budget.

Conclusion
In order to bring peace and unity to the nation, the south must be restored. Taxes will cover the costs of schools, providing job opportunities, and the development of factories, transportation systems (such as railroads) and manufacturers. African Americans shall be free and have the right to vote, but will not take positions of power just yet, as leaders of the Confederacy will be suspended until the following elections. Gradual social change will make the black man and white man equal in time.

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RESPONSE(S) TO TEAM PLAN:
I think your plan for Reconstruction is very good. It is a very good attempt at trying to keep the peace between blacks and whites. I like the idea of raising taxes in order to help rebuild the South and build schools. Providing education to both blacks and whites, which you established, is also a great idea. I also like how you are not allowing ex- Confederates to hold office until the next election. This sends a clear message to the country that unity is the important, and attempts to de-unify the country will not be acceptable. I like your idea of not allowing blacks the right to hold office yet because you want to slowly integrate blacks and whites to avoid upsetting Southern whites. Although this is a good idea, it will still probably cause some controversy since whites and blacks are not given full rights. This is a hard part of Reconstruction to deal with, though. The idea of the Union Army is both a good and bad idea. I think it's a good idea because it will keep the South in order, but at the same time the South will probably be very angry that the Union soldiers are still present. Your idea of having authoritative figures present at the voting polls is a great idea to help keep things in order. Your ideas of reestablishing the Southern economy are also good. The ideas of transportation and livestock and the labor union are all great ideas. The only problem I can think of that might result from them is where all the money to support these systems will come from. It might get expensive and money will eventually be an issue.