Following the Civil War, the South was left in shambles. Their economy was devastated, the value of property had plummeted and the population was grealy decreased because of the men who died in battle.
In 1865, the Freedmen's Bureau was set up to assist newly freed slaves. Their responsibilities ranged from obtaining relief, land, jobs, education and fair treatment.
Johnson Comes Into Power
Following the Civil War, Lincoln wanted to reunite the states as quickly as possible. His idea was the Ten-Percent Plan, which states that a southern state could be readmitted into the Union once 10% of votes swore allegiance to the Union. Most of the southerners would be pardoned, and their private property protected.
On April 14th, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor sympathetic for the South, shot Lincoln at Ford's Theater. This cut his plans for reconstruction to an end, and Johnson, his vice president, became president.
Lincoln's Vice President, a democrat from Tennessee becomes President. He is known to dislike southern planters and believed that they caused the Civil War. Although, his plans for reconstruction are a surprise to everybody.
He returned property to southerners, issued pardons to former Confederate officers and government officials, and weakened the Freedmen’s Bureau. He also appointed governors to supervise the drafting of new state constitutions and agreed to readmit each state provided it ratified the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery.