The peace agreement ending the Civil War was actually a very simple one. President Lincoln understood that the South needed to be brought back into the Union, so he didn’t want a harsh peace treaty for the South. Basically, the terms of the peace treaty called for the southern soldiers to put down their weapons, take their animals, and go home.
It is what transpired after the peace agreement that would really reshape the South. A plan for rebuilding the South was needed. There were many reconstruction plans discussed, but only one went into effect. This was the plan of the Radical Republicans. This plan was very harsh for the South. It divided the South into military districts, gave African Americans many rights, and forced the southern states to write new constitutions approving the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteen amendments. This harsh reconstruction plan angered most white southerners. They refused to vote for Republican Party candidates for decades, and they worked to try to reduce or eliminate the new rights African Americans received from the Radical Republican reconstruction plan.
While the peace agreement ending the Civil War was unbelievably simple, the plans for rebuilding the South were far more complex.