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Austin, Jake, and Alec

1. What is the primary goal of reconstruction? Reunification, punishment, civil rights, other? (Thesis)
In broad terms, the primary goal of reconstruction is to rebuild America as a whole after it has been severely damaged by slavery. The act of reconstruction is to rebuild unity within America: by combining the North and the South, which in turn will create one strong, free nation. Reconstruction will have its consequences and dislikes, although the end product will be a unified land. Reunification involves the eradication of any boundaries separating the North and the South. (So states no longer have boundaries?) There shall no longer be the Union and the Confederacy, but instead one nation. In order to reunify the country, steps must be taken in order to establish security and equal rights among all of the people in America, northerners and southerners.(Does equal rights include women?) Northerners and southerners must be in accord with one another and in order to carry out this complicated process respect must be prominent from both peoples(What about people who don't want to respect the opposing side? Like the KKK?) (I second this question) ( Won't there be a certain amount of bad blood left over from the war to prevent this?). Southerners must learn to overcome the hardships of not having slavery anymore and must learn from their recently developed northern comrades how to succeed economically (Will they really be willing to listen to "carpetbaggers?").(How Will the Southerners "learn"? Also, will the North even want to teach the Southerners how to do anything after such a long and bitter war?) (How can you force someone to "learn" to cope with something?) (Neither side is going to feel like "coping" with any of their losses and there is going to be a great deal of conflict.) After this Civil War, the south facing numerous economic problems. Crops, livestock, and southern industries are in ruin. Confederate money is worthless.(isn't it the same currancy as norhtern money?) Emancipation destroyed the southerners work labor. As northern senators it is our job to help the south in re-establishing themselves so they may equally weld with us in order to form one strong nation. We will teach the southerners our ways of life (Whats wrong with their way of life?) (I second this question) and help them economically be providing them with our supplies and factory lay-outs. (Should the factories be so 'cookie cutter'? The South has different products and hasn't established a factory working mentality like the North. Will anyone even be willing to work the factories? Will they be able to catch up with the North who's already had so much experience with industrialization? If they do work in factories, who will grow the nation's crops?) We will propose that all money in this land be the same so as not to lose its value.( they already have a national currency... NAtional Bank Act, passed 1863 )Work labor shall be done in factories, not through African Americans.(Then what will blacks do?????) (Will African Americans be included in factory labor? And if they are, how would the Southerners react to working side by side with an African American?) In order to reunify southerners must learn that African Americans are as equal as them, despite past ways of life(Southerners can't "Learn" to think of Africans as equals, they have always been inferior to them, why start now?). We must help the southerners look toward a future of equally, and not dwell on the past. As far as punishment goes, we senators feel that punishment shall be the same for everybody. Confederate soldiers shall not be punished or kept in prison, for they were fighting for what they believed in: something every American should do from here on out.(But weren't confederates traitors? Don't traitors deserve to be punished?) (I second that question) Slavery shall be against the law (it already is) and anyone who violates the law shall pay the price. There shall be one set of numerous laws that apply to every American, no matter who that person may be, black or white, and whoever violates a law shall be rightfully punished.(Then why weren't Confederates punished for treason?) (You've mentioned punishments a lot, what kind of punishment are you talking?) Punishment will be equal throughout America, just as everything else shall be. Civil Rights must be guaranteed to every American. These would include standing up for what one believes in without being punished.(what about what the KKK believed in? they believed in something...shouldn't they be punished?) Exceptions would include slavery, murder, thievery, or any other act of crime. Everyone, including African Americans, will have the right to vote, own property, and go about their lifestyles as they wish.(Even women?)

2. What should be done to the ex-Confederates?
The best ways to deal with rebellious former enemies is with kindness and a sense of equanimity.(But didn't they just kill thousands upon thousands of people? and defend an institution built off of forced labor and bondage?) (They weren't kind to blacks...)This is how we shall deal with the ex-Confederates. Respect will be shown to all of them. Yes, many may think that they should be harshly punished for their use of slavery and violence. But what would be the point of punishing them for their past deeds? (well they killed northern families, husbands, parents, children, do you think you have the norths full support on letting them off clean?) (I second what the green person wrote) They had no other choice but to use slavery for their economic needs ( except for the choice to pay the slaves or hire white men or do it themselves.) and now, the present, it is time for them to find other means of labor production.(Like what?) We will not dwell on the past and neither will they (Are you sure? I think they would very much like to revert to their past ways.).(Won't radical southerners and people whose homes were destroyed and lives ruined by Sherman dwell on the past?) In order for them to contribute to the cause of unification towards a strong nation we must give them all of the respect we can so as to show them that we are one. No good would come out of us punishing them for their past deeds for that would only further weaken them.(But couldn't enstilling discipline upon them illustrate no tolerance for "breaking the law" as you said earlier "would be punished"...?)They must become strong, like us, for now they are very weak. (Matt- Are they really all that weak? Human determination can go an aweful long way and when someone takes away your main work force I'd be just a little angry) They paid the price for their use of slavery and now we must show them kindness so as to help them rebuild towards freedom. No ex-Confederates shall be imprisoned and all, including ex-slaves, will gain equal rights. ( well something has to happen to ex-confedrates) In order to provide security, we will place Union troops in the south, although they will not be clad in northern uniforms, but instead in normal clothing, supervising and contributing to the improvement of southern life (Like a secret police force? Will Southerners be aware of the fact that they are being watched by people pretending to be ordinary citizens?) (if the southerners find out that these are northern soldiers won't they get angry, or at least have less respect for someone not in uniform?) (Like big brother, but not on TV or stalin's rd army?). This is not to be regarded as a military occupation, but as a peace-keeping effort.(Then why would they be soldiers and not social workers? haha would they just hang out or what?) The troops will later be withdrawn when a strong sense of unity is established.(How will this be determined?) The dead Confederate soldiers, along with the dead Union soldiers, shall all be respectfully buried in a one cemetery. (yeah, but that just unites the dead...we are dealing with the living. who is gonna give up the land for all the dead to be burried?) Furthermore, laws shall be passed insuring the protection and rights of current slaves and ex-slaves (Sounds very similar to congressional reconstruction...). Treating the southern states with respect and providing them with factories and other alternative work plans besides slaves, will help them realize that slavery is no longer needed.(I like that point) (But won't they still want it?) (But will it make them any less racist?) The ex-Confederates will hold equal rights in voting and land owning, but will not be permitted to hold a government position until their state of residence has been re-admitted to the Union. If ex-Confederates continue to fight for the continuation of slavery, that fight will not last long, for we northerners will provide funds, factory lay-outs, and plans of economic production for the south.(How's that gonna end the fight for the continuation of slavery?)Giving the southerners the right to hold equal governmental positions as the northerners is a privilege and we senators doubt that those ex-Confederates will abuse such a precious privilege of power. (You might be surprised)

3. What should be done for the freedmen?
The freedmen create several obstacles for us northern senators to deal with. They may very well want revenge on their southern owners. Therefore it is our job to provide protection for those southern owners. (Brian - I think it is an interesting idea to state putting troops in the south as 'protection for the ex-owners'. This will stop the KKK from arising?) As already stated, we will have northern troops peacefully placed in the south so as to prevent any act of rebellion from the freedmen. Acts of segregation of the the freedmen and the white southerners are tempting, but we will not propose any means of segregation.(Won't violence break out if segregation isn't permitted?) Acts of segregation will protect freedmen, but they will also give the white southerners a clear understanding that they are more powerful and hold a higher influence over the freedmen. Northern troops will do everything in their power to prevent violence from breaking out among the two groups, yet these troops are not occupying the south to punish the south, rather to protect the freedmen and other innocent Southerners.(How can you insure that they'll be able to prevent violence from breaking out? How many troops are you planning to put in?) Anyone taking part in violence shall be punished accordingly. We must make known that the Civil War is a clear and distinct turning point to the southerners. Therefore we must immediately give all freedmen the same and equal rights that all white men hold with the exception of government positions. This is the one topic that would push the white people overboard, and it is one position that blacks would not care to presently hold.The restriction of blacks holding government offices is a way to satisfy the white southerners for a time.(good idea) (yeah, I like that idea) We shall prohibit the freedmen from running for any government office until their state of residence is readmitted. This act will prevent them from rebelling, for they know that they will eventually gain the right. (Would you be willing to wait for your rights- especially when the time-frame is so flexible and relies yet again on their former masters?)  Many whites will oppose the many freedoms we are giving to the freedmen, but the idea of giving them governmental power for a few more years will satisfy them. Freedmen are people just as white southerners are people. (maybe in the north, but in the south freedmen are not people.) Over time the southerners will come to learn this fact. It is inevitable that violence will occur, arguments will arise, and protests will take place, but eventually through peace, the two races will learn from one another and realize that they are all equal American people.(How will peace come from arising arguments, and protests?) (Yeah, I'm curious about that too) The 13th Amendment will be carried out and freedmen will feel the power of their freedom through citizenship, the right to vote, and the right to own property. Any anti-black group organization (KKK) will be immediately crushed with the full force of the American military, so as to send a message to all white Americans who oppose black rights that all freedmen in this land hold the same rights they do. (Brian - Full force of the American military. Does that mean jail, or death? Either way that may create long lived hate toward the government)(Good point Brian)

4. Who should be able to vote and hold office in the new Southern state governments?
Ultimately, we want one united nation with no division between North and South. In this union, each qualified citizen ( are blacks and whites both qualified?) should have the right to run for office; however, those who were involved in coordinating Southern secession should have some penalty.(But I thought confederates weren't being punished?) Yet if the northern policy is one of forgiveness, why penalize southerners? (because they killed my son) It is expected for a number of southern legislators to seek revenge against the northerners, those who might be regarded as political enemies. In reality, we are all part of one united country and those who may still be "hot-headed" from the Civil War must take the time to realize that their "enemies" are actually their allies. Therefore, administrative members and military officers of the Confederacy will not be allowed to run for office until their state has been re-admitted to the union (requirements for re-admission addressed in next point). By that time, the loyalty of the southern states and their citizens will have been confirmed and previously penalized members of the former Confederacy will regain their eligibility to participate in the U.S. government. In the meantime, citizens residing in Southern states whose loyalty can be warranted through lack of participation in the government or military of the Confederacy will permitted to run for office. When a state is readmitted, all residents of that state will be allowed to hold a position in the government. In order to quell the turbulent Southerners, freedmen will not be permitted to hold a government position until their state has been re-admitted to the union. By doing this, we hope to eliminate resentment between freedmen and white southerners. (are the white southerners gonna let the blacks vote?) (I'm confused about this.. earlier you said that none of the Confederate states would be able to hold a position in government until their state has been readmitted to the Union.. and then you said that blacks wouldn't be able to hold a place in government for a few years so as not to anger the Southerners, but now you're saying they can once their state has been readmitted..?)

5. What requirements must be met before states regain full rights and representation?
Our goal is to restore the Union, yet the Southern states must fulfill certain requirements before they may be readmitted to the union, in which they will regain full rights as a state and complete representation in Congress. First and foremost, each member of a state's legislature must sign an approved oath of allegiance to the union. (will you be checking behind their back to see if their fingers are crossed?) (<--- haha) This written agreement will ensure loyalty by outlawing acts of rebellion against the government and outlining the punishment for a repeated secession. States must respect the laws passed by Congress, most importantly the Civil War Amendments which grant equal freedoms to all races in the U.S., such as citizenship, voting rights, and outlawing slavery.(good) If a state violates one of these or any other amendments, its admission process will be delayed for a minimum of 6 months based on the severity of the perpetration. Segregation based on race, religion, or any other ethnic difference will not be tolerated, and any evidence of such divisions will be addressed as a violation of federal law.(Ok so a state gets re-admitted then starts to break these laws, are you going to just un-admitt them, and does the government have the support or the power to do that?)(What would happen should a violation like that occur?)

6. How should the Southern economy be restored?
At this point, the Southern economy has completely crashed and has lost its value completely. The Southern currency is worthless - as previously stated, we propose to make one currency throughout the country, and the south will be granted currency in the place of their valueless money (This will probably make the South happier, but will Northerners really be willing to pay such a high price for the South?) . As was done in the early years of America, the federal government will sell bonds in order to boost the southern economy - private citizens will invest in the south, and when the economy has been rebuilt, they will see their money return along with interest. The federal government will provide infrastructure in order to give value back to the south, as concrete assets will increase the south's worth because they can be liquidated.(Good) Because the southern economy was based upon slave labor that produced cash crops and slavery is no longer legal, the north must provide the south with blueprints for new factories that will produce goods that can be exported. (how will the south et money to build new factories?is the south really gonna just accept a factory after selling cotton for so long?)(Won't the South not accept not having slavery? wouldn't they be infuriated by the loss of one of their most prolific labor forms being simply destroyed in a split second?) In order to stimulate exportation of goods, the south will be provided with new harbors and ships in order to foster trade. Finally, we propose a tax cut to the middle and lower class in the south in order to promote purchasing of goods, thus injecting more money into the economy than high taxes. (I like this plan)

7. What role should Union troops play in policing, governing, or rebuilding the South?
Since the South is still and will always be apart of our great country we should treat them just like any other state belonging to our great union upon re-admission.(but they just killed the people of the north and fought the bloodiest war in American history...are we really gonna just let them slide? Won't we be biased at least a little bit?) The South will follow the same laws and regulations as the North and will vote and elect officials to congress just like the North. They will still be treated with equality and will be looked upon as a equal to the North. If a southern state refuses to obey the laws of the Union, our troops have the right to intervene and to do what is moral and deserving to those who choose to disobey our laws and those who disobey will also be punished according to U.S. Law. (you start off stating that they are breaking the laws of the Union but then end with saying that its U.S. law) Slavery is no longer in existence and segregation will not be tolerated. The South, in the Unions effort to rebuild, will still have soldiers positioned in every major city for the protection of the Union and the maintenance of the rebuilding process - not a military occupation (Wait, military troops are occupying every major city but it's not military occupation? This confuses me.). (I'm a bit confused by that as well..)The Union troops will not have uniforms on and are simply there as protectors against any violence that may break out.(so you have northern soldiers who don't want to be there being disrespected because they are out of uniform, and walking around with guns? Do you have northern soldier support?) (if America is united why would the south mind if thier wearing a US uniform or would they still wear Northen unifroms even thought America is united?).(How would people even know that the uniformless guys trying to protect them are on their side, should violence break out?) After reconstruction is over the Union troops will return to their homes. Southerners who fought in the Confederate army can become Union troops( You mean United States troops).(Would people really want to fight alongside people who they were just recently trying to kill?) Everything about the south will be as it was previous to the War with the exception of slavery and intolerance of African-Americans.(I feel as if you can't force the southerners to be tolerable of African-Americans) (I don't think you can decide how you are going to "make" the Southerners "feel") Union troops are needed to see that all this is done accordingly and efficiently.

8. Re-state the primary goal of reconstruction. (Thesis re-stated)
The primary goal of reconstruction is to unify America into one land. It is to re-establish the southern states into the union by the process of fully abolishing slavery. Reconstruction involves the equal rights of all people in America and satisfactory southern states. Reunification is crucial in the process of reconstruction and acts must be carried out by northern senators, such as us, to help the southern states grow strong without the use of slavery. We must provide economic help by selling bonds, providing infrastructure, replacing slavery with factories, and proposing a tax cut. Everyone in the southern states shall be treated with respect and care. Laws must be passed in order to protect ex-Confederates and freemen. There shall be no segregation and blacks and whites all have equal rights, with the exception that blacks and ex-Confederate military officers and political leaders may not yet hold government offices until their state has been re-admitted. Military occupation will not be tolerated in the south, for reunification is of great importance in order to establish a establish a strong nation. Northern people of governmental authority will simply live in the south for a time being so as to protect the black and white communities.

Blue = Brian

Purple = Averi

Green - Taylor

Goldish = Dawson

Lime Green = John Sheehy

Blue-ish= Greg Oyan Good job guys, you had some good ideas. You had a well though out plan that probably required a lot of hard work, effort, and time. Good job.

Orange-esque = Taylor Kennepohl

Pink-Mia

Light Blue - Lauren Sahli

Dear Easy Skankers,
I especially liked and agreed with "We must help the southerners look toward a future of equally [equality], and not dwell on the past." and "Everyone, including African Americans, will have the right to vote, own property, and go about their lifestyles as they wish." But there is a lot of intense, racist hatred in the South, how are you going to make this happen? Blood was shed partly because of race and racial domination, how are you going to change the opinions and feelings of the South?

I also liked your fair, moderate stance on Reconstruction, focusing on the present instead of dwelling of the past, and showing respect to the South. You also mentioned providing funds and factory lay outs for economic production for the south, but how much is that going to cost, who's going to foot the bill, and how long will it take? I also thought it was interesting that you didn't want to promote segregation and tried to appease white Southerners by restricting African Americans in government positions. With all the burning hate floating around the South, that might not be enough for the whites and may only lead to more violence. In addition, using the "full force of the American military" to stop racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan seems precarious and may anger a very determined South even more.

Overall, this was very well-thought plan. I was especially impressed with the part about restoring the Southern economy, but I also found it strange that nowhere in your plan did you guys mention anything about education or schools and opportunities for African Americans. This would be important for African American children to further excel in their futures or even education to teach white children that racism is wrong.

Other than that, it was a good plan and a great job!

Sincerely,
Myha