How might a Radical, a newly freed slave, and President Johnson describe the effects of Reconstruction?Any examples too, from documents and/or sources would be helpful.

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Freed slaves would have been ecstatic at slavery ending, but that would have faded quickly as the lives of slaves didn't seem to change at all.  They were no longer called slaves but the Black Codes and the sharecropping system made them slaves in everything but name.  They loved "Father Abraham" as they called Lincoln, but didn't think much of Johnson.

A Radical Republican (am assuming that is what you mean) hated Johnson.  They looked at him as pro-southern (he was from Tennessee) and opposed to civil rights.  The Republicans, with help from the radicals, tried to impeach Johnson, falling only one vote short.  They had won political victories with the Civil War amendments and the Freedmen's Bureau, but failed in securing meaningful land reform and lasting civil rights.

President Johnson was of the "let bygones be bygones" view towards the South.  Let them back in easy (10% Plan) and let them run their own lives and states when it came to race.  He also viewed himself as a victim of the radicals, always under fire, his veto often overridden.



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