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Jan 16, 2010 10:10 am by

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Nichelle, Jong In, Amanda, and Alison
Nichelle, Jong In, Amanda, and Alison

1. What is the primary goal of reconstruction?
Team Wandaroo’s Reconstruction plan is based around a balance of rebuilding the economy, a generally mild treatment of ex-confederates, and a slow but steady process of giving freedmen their long-overdue rights. Economically we are focused on reforming southern economy in a way which parallels with modern demands. A reform will be enforced by jumpstarting the economy through job opportunities such as rebuilding railroads. From there a slow process of factory building and other job opportunities will flourish. Politically, top officers and top officers only will not be allowed to hold a political office (minor ex-Confederates are allowed), although any new blood is welcome into politics as long as they qualify. Also, top Confederate officers will be tried for war crimes, but everyone else (and top officers if they are proven innocent) can be pardoned by taking an oath of allegiance to the United States. Socially, we want a slow introduction of complete citizenship rights to freedmen. Although freedmen are long overdue for such rights, laying them down all at once would only create more problems than solutions. It makes sense to ease in citizenship rights so that the white community will not be outraged (or at least not completely outraged).

2. What should be done to the ex-Confederates?
Ex-Confederate soldiers will be pardoned and allowed to once again become dedicated U.S. citizens if they take a specific oath to the United States which proves their loyalty. This oath includes the 13th and 14th amendments of the Constitution. The 15th amendment will not be immediately forced upon the ex-Confederates because this would cause more mayhem than justice; instead the 15th amendment will be enforced once freedmen are secured a safe place in society. Top officers of the Confederacy will be tried for war crimes for their treasonous actions. If proven innocent, they will fall under the category of minor confederate soldiers for readmission into the Union (taking the oath of allegiance to the U.S.A.). Those proven guilty will abide by the justice system for proper punishment.
Wandaroo! Woo hoo!

Wandaroo! Woo hoo!

3. What should be done for the freedmen?
If specifically the top officers, and top officers only, refuse to once again join the Union by taking the oath of loyalty, the government of the United States will confiscate ten acres of said ex-officer’s land and award it to freedmen. In addition, a large project focused on rebuilding the railroads will be established, securing jobs for freedmen and others who are in need of a job and money. The federal government will also enact a Homestead Act which will allow for freedmen to acquire free land in the empty and sparsely-populated areas of the United States. This will promote a western movement for those who are being persecuted in racist areas as well as a second chance at success.

4. Who should be able to vote and hold office in the new Southern state governments?
The top officers and the prominent leaders in the Confederate army will not be allowed back into government positions. However, lower confederate congressmen can rejoin congress as long as they do not pass laws that dehumanize or take civil rights away from black people. If laws that inhibit the rights of the black man in any way are passed, a ratio of who is allowed to represent the rebellious states will be 2 white men to at least 1 black man. The men who fill those seats will be chosen by the federal government. New officeholders who were not confederates or are black are to be welcomed into office as long as they qualify (obviously). Voting will be based on a simple standardized test system, and everyone will be welcomed to participate (blacks and whites, male and female). If the test is passed, that person will be able to vote. This ensures that votes are cast by the people who know the importance and reasons for voting. The test will be created and proctored by northerners.

5. What requirements must be met before states regain full rights and representation?
As for readmission of ex-Confederate states into the Union, it is as simple as having 25% of the state population, including those in political positions, take the oath of loyalty to the Union. Take note that the state must also abide by the rules of who is allowed into a political seat (see paragraph 2). Once this has all been established, the readmitted state will have full rights and representation in all political affairs.

6. How should the Southern economy be restored?
Reconstruction of the South’s economy will begin with the restoration of railroads. Not only will this give new job opportunities to the freedmen, but also the reformation of railroads will promote trade throughout the South, thus increasing the capital flow in the economy. In addition to offering jobs that are dedicated to rebuilding railroads, a low income tax (based upon how much money an individual at the time is making) will be introduced throughout the nation to allow for the new job opportunities to be put into action. This income tax will be very low at the beginning of our reconstruction plan. However, as time progresses and the economy grows into a more stable state, the tax will slowly increase. This steady rise in taxes over time should allow for more peaceful relations with the blacks and whites, as they both are being taxed equally. As the economy begins to heal, public schools shall be established throughout the South for freedmen and white men and women alike as well as some factories built. This will further help strengthen the economy.

7. What role should Union troops play in policing, governing, or rebuilding the South?
The Union troops will play a minimal role in governing the reconstruction of the South. The Union army will only be stationed in the South if the ex-Confederates do not comply with the laws made by the North. The Union army will also be positioned in the South if racial terrorism becomes a full-fledged problem. Take note though that if the army is sent for the reason of suppressing terrorism, it will stick to this focus and nothing else. After all, we do not want to harvest any suspicion and conspiracy theories about the army’s presence.

8. Re-state the primary goal of reconstruction.
In conclusion, our Reconstruction plan is one which enforces a slow and steady transformation of southern economy, a political plan which involves punishing top officers but allowing everyone else to easily once again be dedicated U.S. citizens, and the ease of freedmen into complete citizenship; a gradual process that will avoid a backlash from whites. There is no perfect answer to Reconstruction, but Team Wandaroo feels that this approach is one of the best options possible.


Responses to the Team Wandaroo

1. Your plan covers a lot of area but it is all very vague and to be honest I do not see a clear plan on any part of it. It raises more questions than answers, for instance...what is a mild treatment of ex-confederates? Community service, not allowed to vote, etc? I just have no clue economically reforming the southern economy be paralleling modern demands means. However by ‘job opportunities by rebuilding railroads’ who do you mean will pay these laborers? The government? And if so, does that mean even more taxes and debt? How do you know factories will come after that? Is the government going to offer any sort of kick-back or subsidies to bring it along, does it really help the Southerners or just keep them poor? Who are considered top officers? Because there are a lot of types of officers. And what on Earth could you mean by ‘as long as they ‘qualify’ when referring to new blood? What kinds of qualifications have you established? literacy test, sworn oath to the Union, etc? What top officers will be tried for war crimes, who will judge that (Southerners or Northerners), what types of punishment will there be? What is a slow introduction of citizenship rights? You need at minimum a loose time table for that, and explain what these freedmen are if they have absolutely no rights.....slaves?
2. Why would the oath include the 13th and 14th amendment? They are amendments to be enforced, not statements to be sworn. And again with the 15th amendment, these soldiers are not Black so it is not forced upon them or anyone, this whole section has more to do with Freedmen’s rights than anything about the ex-confederates. And again you need to flesh out the whole trial and punishment thing, no one knows what it means by ‘proper punishment’.
3. Okay, now you are taking imaginary land which no one has so it can be promised to NO ONE. The reason these people were soldiers was because they had no money to buy their way out of war and when you have no money, you have no land, which means no land for the government to take. You cannot take land from those who have it and not from those who are too poor, and if you take their land then they have nothing and the government is left supporting them, and their families because it was not just their land!!!!! One last time, where is all this money coming from to pay for these ‘projects’? The WHOLE country is in debt. Where will these laborers live, will the government feed them too, what about their families? Now you are presenting oxymorons, you will not give the freedmen the rights they need to not be slaves because you do not want to upset some white guys, BUT you think giving Black people free land when Whites are poor and starving will not piss anyone off?!?! Good luck with that. How are these Blacks getting out West? Is the government going to pay to move them, pay to build schools, churches, hospitals, etc where they move these people (because they have nothing there now), how cant they farm with no tools, is the government going to pay for those too? Congratulations you just secured the national debt for the next 500 years.
4. First of all CONGRESS is not a state government, it is however part of our federal government. Inhibiting Black men is too general, your government will be in legal battles over the wording of laws in regards to that phrase forever.....oh and who might I ask is going to enforce this? For the last time it is not ‘OBVIOUS’ that they have to ‘qualify’ because you never ever specified what that was! ! ! ! Another oxymoron, Blacks can vote and ex-confederates have to swear amendments relating to Blacks (???) BUT Blacks have no citizenship rights???? Make up your minds please.
5. Why 25% of the population and not the voters? Because you have not had a census in awhile and if everyone can vote, what’s to stop people from coming to the state and voting even when they do not live there? (I will remind you that is what happened when states were allowed to vote of slavery out West) Also what is going to happen to these states until they swear loyalty? Heck some of us might have enjoyed never rejoining the Union, after all we did leave for a few reasons.
6. I have already commented on most of this but a few points, the South does not have stuff to trade yet even with railroads there, because the plantations are ruined, fields and cities have been burned, they have almost no factories turning raw materials into goods, so what are they going to trade? First off all your income tax is flat out not going to work because as far as I can tell with your plan all you people are going to be doing is building railroads, which is a job that pays so little you are barely going to have any money to tax. Second the slow tax has nothing to do with tensions between White and Blacks, however it has everything to do with the Southerners thinking “hey you keep taking more and more of my money so no matter how hard I work I just keep losing more and more, which means now I’m mad at you because you have not sufficiently provided for me and you are the one you came down and ruined my farm in the first place so why am I paying you again? Hey here is an idea, lets succeed again.” And that concludes the slow death of reconstruction. You cannot sufficiently heal without educated masses that can fend for themselves and raise themselves up from their situations, so education needs to come first, not last. I forgot to mention this earlier, but you are enforcing literacy tests for people (Blacks) to vote, which is going to make Blacks mad because you are delaying their education and give Whites a legal way to pick on Black, because lets recall how slaves were not allowed to learn to read. HOW ARE YOU PAYING FOR ALL THESE FACTORIES???? WHAT ARE THEY MAKING?????
7. Sorry, I can’t remember, what are these laws again? I thought all they had to do was build a railroad. So it is okay for Blacks to be terrorized as long as it is not a ‘full fledged problem’? I can just hear the Union soldiers now “I’m not going back there, I want to stay in the North. Besides they have only killed a few thousand Blacks and I do not consider that a ‘full fledged problem”. Heck, I might interpret that loose piece of information that until all the Freedmen are dead its not a real problem. Just having an army there will raise conspiracy theories, heck just taxing these people more and more will raise conspiracies. Scratch that, why are you so concerned about a few unavoidably conspiracies when you are putting down terrorism?!?!?!

Sydney Knoechel