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Jay, Joshua, and Chris

When the founders of our country came together to form our Constitution, they etched in history the idea that all men are created equal. This crucial philosophy has clearly not expired in our present day. We have just finished a war that has devastated both main regions of our country: the North and the South. This war, originally over the prospect of disunion, morphed into a war over the “peculiar institution” of slavery. In this Reconstruction period, we are taking the founding fathers’ words to heart – “All men are created equal.” We want to ensure that African-American citizens in the United States of America now have equal rights as the White men, while not forfeiting any of the rights the our loyal white citizens have come to know and appreciate. With that said, we propose this plan for the Reconstruction of the South in the year 1865.

The ex-confederates will be dealt with as American citizens, some as American citizens who have committed federal crimes. Only those that led the southern states into rebellion such as leading politicians in the confederacy and those in high ranking positions in their military shall be brought to trail. They will be tried in the highest court of the land, the Supreme Court. If found guilty of treason and other acts, these confederates will be sentenced to banishment and a revocation of their citizenship, they will be transported out of the country and may never return. Assuming one of the banished returns, they will be considered illegal aliens and will be deported. As for their lands and valuables, lands will be seized and given to the reconstruction efforts, valuables will be kept and done with as pleased. For the normal Southern Whites and the freed slaves, will implement a disaster relief program. This program will be inter-racial and will help everyone touched by this terrible conflict. The occupational armies and the Northern and Southern governments will all be highly involved in this delicate process. As well as the relief program, we will establish a welfare program to help southerners economically until they are able to secure reliable income.
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Jay and Co. have phun!


The freedmen just recently released from their chains will most certainly have their rights as American citizens protected. We plan to establish a banking system in the South to allow blacks and whites to withdraw reliable loans and not fall prey to high interests rates and debt. We will elaborate on this prospect momentarily. We wish to establish a Bureau of Tolerance that would track cases of racial injustice and bring them to light. An example of cases that would be handled by the Bureau of Tolerance would be Ku Klux Klan beatings and murders. To quell the segregationist movement, we will institute a tax to restaurants and public places that are segregated. We understand that segregation, at this point in time, may seem like a good way to keep violence from breaking out, but we firmly believe it is building a bigger rut for another war in the future and it must be discouraged now. The proceeds from this tax will fund the Bureau of Tolerance, which remains relatively cheap, and the surpluses will then go to the Reconstruction effort. We will repeal the Black Codes, as they take away the rights newly acquired by the black citizens. We will also create inter-racial public schools and other facilities to promote togetherness and to allow both the freedman and the ex-confederate of any age a proper education touching upon math, reading, and writing (segregated schools will still be allowed in the Territories, but the interracial schools will receive a small bonus in federal funding). A Better Business Bureau will be established to guarantee that the rights of both the southern and northern worker are protected. Most importantly, newly freed slaves will have the option of moving out West. States such as the Dakotas, Colorado, Idaho, and Oregon will be open to freed slaves. If these families choose to relocate there, they will be given 20 acres of land to start a life anew. Not only will it make jobs in the South in lower demand (as there are millions of freed slaves who now want to be paid), but it will also encourage industrialization in the Western territories.

The Southern State governments are in dire need of strong leaders. As previously stated, men that held a high ranking in the Confederacy will be tried in the Supreme Court for war crimes and treason. The Supreme Court provides an unbiased opinion based solely on the Constitution – these men will receive a fair trial. If they are convicted of these serious accusations, they will be quietly banished from the country. These men will obviously not be eligible to either run for government positions or vote in the Reconstructed South. Men who want to run for government positions must first take an oath of loyalty to the Union. Since the purpose of Reconstruction is appropriate Civil Rights for all, African-American citizens will now be able to both run for government positions and vote, providing they did not hold powerful positions in the Confederacy. We understand that many Southerners are opposed to this idea, while they fail to realize that this is the crucial point of the war we have fought. To not let these men vote and run for government positions would be unconstitutional. Elections will function as normal and white Southerns can easily vote forone of their own instead of the African-American candidate, assuming they have the number of votes required. Overall, all American men will be allowed to vote and run for government positions, assuming that they have proven themselves once again loyal to the Union.

For states to be reaccepted into the Union, 75% of the Confederate leader’s trials must be arranged (but not necessarily completed). We must also be sure that the states that are reaccepted are not still drowning in treasonous thoughts. To ensure this, 40% of the men who are eligible to vote in each state must take an oath of loyalty to the Union. This 40% ensures that while Southerners are still entitled to their opinions, as protected in the Bill of Rights, there is a reasonable chance that these men will use unbiased logic in Congress. Additionally, each state must have a branch of the National Bank located in the capital city, along with a minimum of 3 other branches in other, optional cities around the region. Perhaps most importantly, the Union must be confident that the state provides for the general welfare of the African-American citizen by ratifying the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment. All slavery will be stamped out before a state is reaccepted into the Union. All resistance groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, will be either completely nonviolent or nonexistent.

To rebuild the southern economy, we will begin by recreating a national banking system, allowing blacks to withdraw small and reasonable loans fpr people to begin reconstructing destroyed cities and their homes. This system will provide for the needs of the newly required slaves, giving them reasonable loans as an investment for the future. In addition, black or sharecropper Unions will be formed, to allow people to protest unfair wages, debts, etc. We would also create a federal law against loan sharking and unfair business practices. Additionally, efforts will be taken to industrialize the South. The railroads that were destroyed in the midst of war will be repaired, and additional railroads will be created in efforts to link the country together and ease the process of getting the Southern States back on their feet. Increased industrialization will create more jobs for both the poor Southern Whites and the newly liberated slaves. More jobs and higher production of exported goods will, obviously, boost the Southern economy drastically. Considering that the prices of cotton have dropped through the floor in recent years, this will benefit most, if not all, of Southern citizens.

Concerning the Union army in southern territories, we will have several federal arsenals and bases all through out the South to be able to keep some military presence. The Union troops will appeal the
Black Codes in the south. The troops would also contribute to rebuilding destroyed cities and create higher quality homes, restaurants, hotels, bathrooms, and schools. These troops would assist in the physical rebuilding of these structures and, in addition to their pay as troops, will be paid for their efforts to work on the railroad lines (assuming they choose to work there and assuming there is a deficit in number of workers needed, which is unlikely). After the state has been officially reaccepted into the Union by the circumstances previously mentioned, the state will be occupied by Union troops for one year afterward. After the year is up, a thorough inspection will be taken of the state by other military men to ensure that the civil rights of African-American and White citizens are in tact. The result of this thorough inspection will lead to the command of the military leaving the state or an extension on military occupation. 1 year after occupation has ended, one more inspection will be taken. If the quality of the state has remained in tact, no further tests will be taken and the state is free to function as it pleases under the law on the Constitution. The military men will be strictly and forcefully forbidden to take violent action against the citizens of the state unless acting in self-defence, and will be highly discouraged from interacting with the Southerners as a whole, to prevent skirmishes.

After the most devestating war in our history, the path to Reconstruction will be a long one. Long hours and hard work will be put in by all citizens of this great Country. Northerners and Southerners alike will work shoulder to shoulder with their long-lost African bretheren, and we will once again be one powerful nation. We cannot deprive an entire race of Americans any longer. Their basic civil rights will be upheld due to the conclusion of this war. Consequently, many other things must be changed or the South will completely collapse upon itself. All necessary steps have been taken in the outline of this plan, and rest assured, by following tightly the text of this document, we will not only restore the South, but make our country superior to the United States of the past.

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RESPONSE(S) TO TEAM PLAN:

O
verall, this was very good. There were just a few flaws within this plan. First, don't you think that banishment and revocation of citizenship for the ex-confederate officers apparently found guilty of a crime somewhat an extreme measure? They are still citizens of the country. Maybe their rights should be taken from them for a certain amount of time instead of being completely banished and their citizenship being taken away. However, if these people are banished and their valuables and land are taken away from them what is going to happen to the their families if they do not have any possessions? Second, many of your plans and policies are good intentions but where is all the money for the plans going to come from? In order for these plans and policies to be put forth there needs to be money to back it up. There also needs to be money to put into the banks for the people to get loans etc. One policy that would work nicely is your one year policy for the Union soldiers. Although, someone does have to make sure they will not use force and violence against people. Overall, your reconstruction plan was very good and if these things were fixed I think it would work.