Charles Sumner opening statement for debate over Reconstruction

Essay by showshooter February 2007

download word file, 1 pages 0.0

Opening Statement

My fellow Americans, now that the civil war is over, I think it is time to take drastic and necessary action against those who opposed the ways of the United States. As leader of the Radical Republicans, I propose that we severely punish any Confederates that stand against the equal treatment of slaves. In order for the Reconstruction to be a success, lenient consequences of the South's behavior can not be tolerated, which means that president Johnson's proposal for Reconstruction can not be endured as well. Also, any ex-Confederate leaders should not be able to have the right to run for office, since their seceding ways will only lead America into a further segregated future. They have tried to split up the Union before and if they are allowed power in the form of a political office, they will surely stop at nothing to split up the U.S.

After much thought, I have also come to the conclusion that it is necessary for the freed black population to be able to vote, and for three reasons. They should be voters for their own protection, for the protection of white Unionists, and for the peace of the country. In doing so, America will take essential steps needed to truly make it the land of the free. In conclusion, a bright future is inevitable for the United States of America if we all do what's right for our country.

Bibliography:James A. Henretta,America's future, vol. 5