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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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by Allen W. Trelease, 2006

At the close of the Civil War, Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson successively urged a quick and lenient restoration of the South to the Union, demanding only its renunciation of secession and slavery. To that end, they appointed Unionist provisional governors in each southern state (Lincoln in Union-occupied states during the war, Johnson in the remainder after the war) to reorganize their states and prepare them for readmission. Accordingly, new governments were organized in the southern states, including North Carolina. But the radical and moderate Republicans controlling Congress feared that such a quick restoration would bring to power a coalition of northern Democrats and former Confederates that would perpetuate slavery in substance if not in name and restore the conditions that had led to war. Hence they insisted on stricter conditions for southern readmission and refused to seat the new senators- and representatives-elect from the South.

Keep reading  >> Part 2: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Beginning of Congressional ReconstructionKeep reading

Educator Resources:

Grade 8: Freedom Parade, a Group Project. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Grade 8: Reconstruction After the Civil War. North Carolina Civic Education Consortium.

Image Credit:

"Andrew Jackson, 1824." Photo available from LearnNC. Available from (accessed May 3, 2012).

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