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How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
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Love and Honor Offline
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How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
It's April 10th, 1865, the day after the Confederacy surrendered to the Union in the Civil War. You can enact literally any policy you want to reconcile the United States in your desired manner. This includes amendments, congressional legislation, etc, we'll assume that you can pass this legally because Lincoln and the Republicans had so much political capital and legislative power at the time. What would you have done and why?
10-30-2018 07:31 PM
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
Exactly what Lincoln wanted to do and what Johnson tried to do.

Instead the Radical Republicans did what the Shiites did in Iraq and disenfranchised a huge segment and the most important economic segment in the area. It greatly contributed to a 100 year backlash against the freed slaves.
10-30-2018 07:42 PM
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Legend
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
A successful reconstruction was Western Europe after WWII.
10-30-2018 07:43 PM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
1. Set aside a distinct area of land — open to discussion but probably the area of mainland Florida roughly south of St. Aug./Gainesville/Cedar Key — and declare it to be a free and independent State, not subject to US or Florida law. Invite any American slave/ex-slave/etc. who wishes to live there. Incumbent landowners in the new State who choose not to remain will be compensated by US Govt. in gold, at market value, payable over period of years. Maintain sufficient military presence along the “border” as needed to keep the peace. Provide military escort, if requested, to eligible persons wishing to enter.

2. Withdraw all federal troops from ex-Confederate territory as of 10th April 1866, except as needed to maintain possession/control over trains and railroads.

3. No criminal prosecutions by US authorities for acts committed within Confederate-territory prior to 10th April 1865.

4. To those who desire it — free passage to Liberia.

5. With benefit of hindsight — 24/7 bodyguards for President Lincoln.
(This post was last modified: 10-31-2018 10:15 PM by Native Georgian.)
10-31-2018 10:12 PM
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Captain Bearcat Offline
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
(10-30-2018 07:42 PM)bullet Wrote:  Exactly what Lincoln wanted to do and what Johnson tried to do.

Instead the Radical Republicans did what the Shiites did in Iraq and disenfranchised a huge segment and the most important economic segment in the area. It greatly contributed to a 100 year backlash against the freed slaves.

With the benefit of hindsight, this seems like the correct course of action.

But at the time, after four bloody years of war, I can understand the desire for revenge.

(10-30-2018 07:43 PM)bullet Wrote:  A successful reconstruction was Western Europe after WWII.

Bear in mind that the primary reason Western Europe (and Japan) were successfully rehabilitated into allies was the threat of the USSR. The Germans and the Japanese had a choice: become friends with America or get taken over by the Russians. If the Soviet threat hadn't existed, I think they'd have quickly gone their own way and become a threat again (much like the Iraqis have done).
11-04-2018 08:27 PM
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49RFootballNow Offline
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
Honestly, and admittedly with hindsight, I don't think there would be any way to successfully integrate former slaves into southern society or even US society as a whole. It would have probably been a good idea to do a repeat of Liberia, but this time as a US protectorate. Let free blacks make the choice to stay or go, but incentivize going to make it more prevalent.

The truth is that wouldn't happen though because northern cotton mills liked slave labor as much as southern landowners. They both figured out that if you rename it and put the onus of feeding, housing, and clothing your family back on the former slave there were additional profits to be made.
11-05-2018 09:36 AM
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Native Georgian Offline
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RE: How would you have addressed Reconstruction?
(11-05-2018 09:36 AM)49RFootballNow Wrote:  Honestly, and admittedly with hindsight, I don't think there would be any way to successfully integrate former slaves into southern society or even US society as a whole.
True. There were a handful of small towns/villages, primarily religious in character (and probably consisting of <5% of the overall white population) that were willing to implement a racially-integrated society. But in most places it was just a recipe for bloodshed and chaos.

Quote: It would have probably been a good idea to do a repeat of Liberia, but this time as a US protectorate. Let free blacks make the choice to stay or go, but incentivize going to make it more prevalent.
Agreed. That is sort of what I was suggesting with my idea for central/south Florida earlier in the thread.

Quote:The truth is that wouldn't happen though because northern cotton mills liked slave labor as much as southern landowners. They both figured out that if you rename it and put the onus of feeding, housing, and clothing your family back on the former slave there were additional profits to be made.
A similar thought expressed differently, that I once heard when I lived in Alabama: “You white folks didn’t start killing each other because you cared about us.”
11-17-2018 10:03 AM
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