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Don't worry Georgians, we have uniforms too: blue jeans.
Bryan B., Tyler, Kelsey, and Bryan F.

The Plan for Reconstruction of the South
We the people of the North find it to be our own responsibility to reconstruct the tattered South, but let it be clear that as the victors of the dispute it will be our done our way and our way only. It is only fair that to the victors go the spoils, and so it is with the re-captured lands of the South. However, we have made many concessions to make the transformation to a universally free society as gradual and comfortable as possible for the people of the South and without forever keeping them under review, as it would not be fair. So it is that the main focus of reconstruction will be the protection of the rights of freedmen though with certain boundaries for the sake of continued unity with the Southern States. Let us heal the former Confederacy so we can all remain brothers and no longer quarrel about petty differences.

All major Confederate generals are to be put on trial and if found guilty, executed for their crimes against the Union. Those who are found innocent, which none of them will be, will have lost all voting rights along with ex-Confederate soldiers. Confederate soldiers will lose all voting rights. Local voting rights may be restored through a clean record over a period of 5 years. All Confederate states are restricted from holding office in Congress until that individual state is re-admitted as part of the Union. Voting rights will be explained into more detail later.
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All freedmen shall gain voting rights which will be outlined later. Freedmen will be treated similar to immigrants in regards to citizenship. After a period of 2 years, freedmen are susceptible of applying for citizenship in the U.S.

As loyal men of the Union Army, any African American man who fought within the Union has complete voting rights along with citizenship. “Immigrant” Freedmen, once accepted as American Citizens after application, gain local voting rights. African American male citizens in states within the Union will gradually gain voting rights over the course of 10 years. Voting rights will begin at a local level and expand to full voting rights by the end of the 10th year. After 5 years of local voting rights, the government sends an approval of full voting rights if that individual's record is clean. African Americans can hold office based on the level of voting allowed, beginning locally and eventually becoming federal along with voting rights. Once readmitted into the union, Freedmen of the readmitted state must go through the same process of applying for citizenship and gaining voting rights. All Southern men in a readmitted state gain voting rights. No Southern states can have federal representation in Congress, the Senate, Supreme Court, Presidency, or any other high political office until the state has been readmitted. Once readmitted, no Southerner can return to the office they held before the Civil War. No confederate leader can hold political office, although confederate soldiers can. Working women in the Union and readmitted states can apply for a gradual plan for voting rights. Once the application is accepted, details on the application will be released at a later period, women will gain rights over 25 years. Voting rights will begin at a local level and expand to full voting rights by the end of the 25th year. Women can hold office after gaining full voting rights. Women, blacks, and confederates, all citizens must be voted into office under the United State’s democratic ideals.

All Confederate states will become territories and must apply for statehood only after certain conditions are met. The economy of the state must be stable with an unemployment rate below 10%. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment must not only be ratified by the state constitution but it must be proven over the course of 5 years that Southern state can and will enforce the amendments. The process will be overseen by the governor and an official provided by the government. Any provision is liable to change in Congress, with a majority vote by both houses approving the petition.

The immediate actions for economic restoration would consist of a slight reconstruction tax on those with a good, stable income (North and South). The South’s reconstruction taxes will therein be eventually raised by 8% over a 20 year time period; and will be kept until sufficient evidence of an adequately recovered economy. Reconstruction taxes Include Sales and Property taxes. The tax money will go to industrialization efforts in the South. Industrialization in the South will work towards urban movement, railroads, paved roads, corporate farming, and factories.

Union troops have regular freedom in holding office in the South, should they be fitting, eligible, and elected. Freedoms in policing will also be no different than in the North for Union troops in the South. Rules and regulations will be upheld more strictly (by periodic government inspector visits). Clear cases of corruption and/or unfairness will result in immediate removal from office. Union troops are not required to participate in any specific reconstruction efforts (not considering reconstruction taxes).

It is first and foremost to us to promote unity so that we the United States of America may remain whole but it is also important that the various legislations and practice of the country be respected by the South before re-admittance is allowed. The freedman is to be given his proper rights as stated in the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments of the Constitution that makes up the Union. Reconstruction will be performed in a way that we feel will most put the past behind us and put the country back on the path of prosperity and peace.


Overall, this plan seems well thought out and strives to unify America in the best ways possible, as well as getting rid of any Southern Confederate threat to the Union. However, I believe that there are some points in your plan that will upset the South in a way that drives them farther away from reunification. I also believe there are some things that do not make that much sense in this plan.

First, I understand why it would be necessary to execute those who committed crimes against the Union, however by killing the South's most valued and esteemed leaders, you will be created feelings of hate from the South towards the Union, which most definitely will lead to small uprisings, if not another attempt at succession, or refusal to fulfill the requirements of being re-admitted. I think it is a smart idea to have the Confederate soldiers gain their rights back over a period of 5 years, but I think that the Confederate leaders should have a similar standard, maybe they would have to gain them back over 10, or 15 years, and during this time they would have to be proving themselves loyal to the Union, maybe by helping Union soldiers restore the peace and economy of the South, or by taking oaths of allegiance. I also believe that a similar rule should be made regarding who gets to hold office. I agree with the plan to only allow Southerners to hold office once they have been re-admitted, however, by barring Confederate leaders from holding office, you will upset the Southerners. Why not have a plan in which these leaders have a chance to show their loyalty to the Union, and prove that they can be trusted with decisions of the nation? I believe the Southerners will think that by barring leaders, the nation would be getting rid of great political minds that could contribute to the nation if they could show their loyalty to it.

One of the points that didn't really make sense was the discussion of who gets to vote and the time period in which those voting rights will become acquired. You say that African Americans who fought for the Union get their citizenship right away along with complete voting rights, and the African American freedmen and males living in southern states only get to apply for citizenship after 2 years, and after accepted only gain local voting rights and have to obtain full voting rights over a period of ten years. I believe this plan will upset many of the Northerners pushing equal rights, and there will still be an offset balance between the privileges of the whites and the blacks, which will only contribute to the whites thinking they are still better than the blacks and will lead to more prejudice than there already is during this time. And the laws seem to restate the 15th amendment which prohibits the states and the federal government from using a citizen's race, color or previous status as a slave as a voting qualification. By the rule you have established, you are stating that because the freedmen used to be slaves, they have to wait 2 years before applying for citizenship and even then can't even gain full rights until 10 years later.

I believe that your plan for reconstruction of the economy in the South is very good. I believe without some sort of federal tax there would be no way to gain the money to support maintenance and labor forces in factories or projects of rebuilding. I also believe that the Union troops should be present in areas of the South to make sure there are no hate crimes among races. I'm not sure what you meant when you said there would be periodic government inspector visits but if this is the only attention that the government is giving to the South at this time, I think there should be more protection for blacks, as well as troops watching over reconstruction endeavors and only leaving when it is apparent that those areas of the South are on their way to prosperity and reaching their potential.

To conclude this response, I believe that your plan was a great attempt at reunification and some smart points were made. However, I believe there are some skewed ideals that should be altered, keeping in mind the happiness of both the North and the South. I know it is impossible to make both sides happy, and that is why reconstruction after the Civil War was so difficult, I would just suggest tweaking some of your ideas.

-Megan O'Hanlon