During the post-American Civil War reconstruction period, the reunification of the nation and the great successes in equality among African Americans progressed, although the population was divided in a new and lasting way. When the period came to a bitter end, many of their gains were erased. But in this excerpt from the new book Reconstruction: A Concise History, historian Allen C. Guelzo explains why it is not fair to say that reconstruction failed: II Lincoln had suspected Davis and Wade`s intentions when he suspected that these men wanted to be openly opposed to his re-election. Their “protest” was indeed the first public sign of a step towards replacing him as the Republican candidate in the middle of the election campaign. Davis quickly circulated among the party`s leaders, for their signatures, a document calling for a new national convention “Union” or “people” to meet in September and nominate another candidate. The document, described as a “powerful atonement” for the government`s “failures in the war,” called for the appointment and election of a president capable of “saving the country from anarchy and rebellion.” If the call has received the support of a sufficient number of politicians, it should be made to the world at an appropriate time. The first reaction to a Johnson presidency was optimistic. Even the so-called radical Republicans, who would begin impeachment proceedings three years later, supported the new president.
“By the gods,” said Senator Ben Wade of Ohio, “there will be no problems in leading this government now.” Such good relations quickly regenerated when Johnson`s views on reconstruction emerged. Within weeks, Johnson opposed the political rights of the freed and called for a policy of lenient reconstruction, including pardons granted to former Confederate leaders. The president was looking for every opportunity to block the actions of radical Republicans. He was not interested in a compromise. When Johnson vetoed the Freedmen`s Bureau act in February 1866, he severed the last ties with his Republican opponents in Congress. They responded with the 14th and 15th Constitutional Amendments by promising political rights to African Americans. In March 1867, through Johnson`s veto of the presidency, they also passed the Tenure of Office Act, which was intended to limit the president`s ability to form his cabinet by requiring not only appointments but dismissals to be approved by the Senate. From Lincoln`s perspective, the approach to reconstruction in Florida was as in other parts of the south. On 13 Jan.
1864 he wrote to Gillmore and advised that the general should be “master” if there were to be any disputes; In that letter, the President called for the recovery to be accelerated “as soon as possible” and to be done as part of the December proclamation. To deal with some of the details, John Hay was sent to Florida, “with a few empty books [for recording oaths] and other voids to help with reconstruction.” This trip to Hayes (February-March 1864) was not a brilliant success and the sum of Florida`s gesture for reconstruction was far from impressive.