This essay will describe the events that occurred following the Civil War in a period known as Reconstruction. In the South, during this period of time many people suffered from the great amount of property damage done to such things as farms, factories, railroads and several other things that citizens depended on to keep their economy strong. Some of these economic hardships included destruction of the credit system and worthless Confederate money. Though statistics in the South were vague the historian E.B. Long, a careful student of war strengths suggests "perhaps 750,000 individuals would be reasonably a
close" as an estimate of Southern enrollments in the armies and navy.
In the South Reconstruction meant rebuilding the economy, establishing new state and local governments and establishing a new social structure between whites and blacks. During the war Lincoln had expanded his presidency. With his power he hoped to set up loyal governments in the Southern states that were under Union control.
Lincoln appointed new temporary governors and instructed each to call a convention to create a new state government as soon as a group of the state's citizen totaling 10 percent of the voters in the 1860 presidential election had signed oaths of loyalty to the Union. Under this plan new governments were formed in Louisiana, Tennessee and Arkansas but the Congress refused to recognize them. Republicans in Congress did not want a quick restoration, for the reason that it would bring Democratic representatives and senators to Washington, and in 1864 Congress passed the Wade-Davis Reconstruction Bill. This bill would have delayed the process of rejoining the Union until 50 percent of the people took an oath of loyalty but Lincoln pocket vetoed the bill. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated just as the South surrendered in April 1865, and then Andrew Johnson...