Download A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865-1881 by Edward O. Frantz PDF

By Edward O. Frantz

A better half to Reconstruction Presidents presents a sequence of unique essays that discover numerous very important matters, issues, and debates linked to the presidencies of Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. supply, and Rutherford B. Hayes.

  • Represents the 1st entire examine the presidencies of Johnson, provide, and Hayes in a single volume
  • Features contributions from most sensible historians and presidential scholars
  • Approaches the research of those presidents from a historiographical perspective
  • Key themes comprise every one president’s political profession; overseas coverage; family coverage; army historical past; and social context in their phrases in office

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Extra info for A Companion to the Reconstruction Presidents 1865-1881

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McKitrick’s work was, for one, a more detached study than previous efforts. It was also a book which was less a history of Johnson than a study of power. What McKitrick wanted to examine was how a leader who inherited a political juggernaut like the Republican Party, could squander so much, so quickly, and with such disastrous results. His critique of Johnson and his administration was not vitriolic. Writing with an eye fixed on the post-World War II period, McKitrick argued that after nearly five years of total war, it would have been difficult for any nation to make the transition from conflict to peace without some profound shifts of political attitude and struggles in the vacuum of power which the war created.

In the end, Johnson’s plan was not so much reconstruction as reunion, with the new president acting as national mediator (McKitrick, 1960: 93–119). Johnson’s Reconstruction plan was also based upon a strict reading of the Constitution, one in which rights for African Americans was a nonstarter. Johnson made no effort to clarify the position of African Americans in the republic because he believed it was not within the federal government’s powers to legislate on these matters. It was also not the kind of cause which would help those poorer white Southerners, whom Johnson believed were his key supporters.

Johnson’s plan was based upon a particular interpretation of secession. While many white Southerners argued that secession was constitutional – that the Union was a collection of polities who agreed to form a republic without forfeiting their rights to independent action – many Republicans in Congress argued that secession was treason, and states who seceded ­rendered themselves territories subject to congressional power following Union v­ ictory during the war. Between these diametrically opposed p ­ ositions lay several compromising ones.

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