The Kings of Cali: Spencer, Jon, and Andrew

Group Members: Andrew Pecoraro, Spencer Davis, and Jon Oyan.

1. The Civil War has now ended and we are faced with the task of Reconstruction. One of our main goals is to reunite the North and the South. Regardless of the uncertain fact pertaining to whether the Confederacy ever left the Union or not, there will be no doubt after Reconstruction that we will be united as one country. Another goal we are pursuing is the enforcement of the Civil Rights of all people, especially the Blacks. We will take any measures necessary to uphold common Civil Rights as well as the Civil Rights guaranteed to blacks under the 14th and 15th Amendments. Although it may seem hard at first, our goal is to reconstruct the South in a way that will allow it to prosper in the future, but all we require is the South’s cooperation. Lastly, we are not setting out with the intentions to punish anybody. However, a violation of anything mentioned above will incur strict punishment. We are simply asking the South to set aside their differences and allow us to help them in the Reconstruction process.

2. Dealing with the ex-Confederates is a difficult task. A light policy towards them would create the illusion of victory for the Southerners, while brutal terms may cause retaliation and unrest. It is from this teeter-totter that our policy comes. We have decided that the treason of the South should not go unpunished, for they must understand that they have lost this war. As described later, ex-Confederates above a certain rank will be ineligible for political office. What rank? This could make the higher-ranked ex-confederates angry. They all contributed to the same cause and they should all be treated the same. This is fundamental in making the South realize that it must be led by people not heavily involved in the Confederacy, and that it must move beyond the war and the CSA altogether. Despite their treachery, their lives will be spared and they will be allowed to go back to wherever they please and begin a livelihood past their wartime occupations. In fact, once a state is readmitted into the Union, ex-Confederate soldiers will be allowed a post in the Union army, where they will directly help rebuild and forge this nation again into a whole.

3. The freedmen’s freedom must be maintained; otherwise the North would have won the war for nothing. With our policy, the freed blacks will not only be protected, but they will also be able to start up their own independent lives. To begin, the 14th and 15th Amendments will be enforced by the Union in the South’s state and local governments if necessary, but they will first be provisions that need to be accepted by the state governments in order for them to return to the Union. Second, in order to allow freedmen the opportunity to have independent economic lives, half of the plantation land seized by the Union army during the war will be turned into a homestead-like property. Is it okay to simply take what is not ours? The black families may not be protected on these lands that were not originally theirs. Families of blacks will be allowed to settle on an acre of private land near the plantation fields, while the fields will be opened up for sharecropping. Sharecropping puts blacks in debt to the whites, causing it to be a form of slavery in itself. Is that what we really want to happen to the newly freed slaves? For every one of these, there will be a schoolhouse where government-provided teachers will supply a basic education for both children and adults, so that they can be prepared for a job in politics or just so they can become literate and read the Bible. On top of that, in each city, where plantations are not bountiful, a new local government building will be made. In this building, all local Southern government must meet. In a part of this building will be the city’s headquarters of the government-sponsored Freedman’s Bureau, where blacks can come for education and food. If any whites are compelled to destroy the Freedman’s Bureau and the local government building, they will have their local government suspended (since they destroyed its only federally-sanctioned meeting place), and the military will occupy the city until order is restored, the building is rebuilt, and local elections occur. The South must come to understand that freedom for the freedmen will always be static in their society from now on. Great ideas!

4. The question about who will be able to run for and hold office is very controversial. Although we do not want to bar anybody, or any groups of people from office, this is a necessary step. To prevent possible violence and reinforce the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments we will not allow an ex-Confederate soldier above the rank of Private run for office. Leaders of the Confederate force have already proven to be untrustworthy by showing their willingness to dissolve the Union. Since the survival of the UNITED States of America is imperative and valued above all else, it is clear that those who once wished to destroy the Union cannot be in control of power ever again. However, as previously stated, this will not prohibit soldiers of the Confederate army who held the rank of "Private" from being able to hold office because they were simply fighting for the region in which they lived and were not directly responsible for the orders carried out by the Confederates during the war. Freedmen (Blacks) will also be able to run for office. Any attempts to keep a Black out of office will not go unpunished. There are many Blacks in the South, if not a majority of them in some states, so it would be unreasonable to not let them be represented by a man of their own race. Blacks will have the same chance as any white man to hold a position in office, and if elected, he will also be held as accountable as any white man while serving his term. How can you ensure that the Southerners who were so anti-Black before the war don't harm the Blacks who take office? Any man, black or white, who cannot fully complete his duties of office will be removed and replaced in the same manner. This will prevent any incompetent man, of any color, from holding a position of power for an extended amount of time. While the high ranked ex-Confederates cannot hold office this does not mean that they cannot vote. This will allow them to be represented in the government without giving them the power to take control and put into effect laws that may be detrimental to the welfare of the Black race. As always, regular white people will also be allowed to vote. Also, as protected under the Fifteenth Amendment, Black men will also be able to vote. Any attempt to restrict Black people from voting will be dealt with severely because that would be breaking the Fifteenth Amendment. Would there be police stationed at the voting booths? Because if blacks and whites were in line to vote together some serious violence would occur.

5. Although the states that joined the Confederacy left the Union and also attempted to destroy it we believe our terms for re-admittance are extremely lenient. Essentially, every person who led the Confederacy committed high treason. However, we will not set out to persecute such people because we believe that under the new plans for Reconstruction the old Confederate leaders will not be able to seize enough power to create such a rebellion again, and that is punishment enough. We do not plan to punish anybody unfairly for past grievances, but we do plan on enforcing the new policies using any punishments necessary. The requirements that all states who have left the Union must meet are as follows: At least 75% of the state’s population must swear an oath to the Union. We now realize that Lincoln’s 10% was far too lenient. Anything less than 50% would show that the states people still do not have the best interest of the Union in mind. We will not allow a state to re-enter the Union with a less than 75% allegiance rate because it would not make sense for a state to gain representation in a government that the majority of its people do not support. Also, in order to regain representation in the government of the U.S.A. the states must show their ability to assimilate Black people into their society in terms of culture, allowing them to vote and hold office, and not forming groups with the purpose of intimidating or killing black people. If any of these terms are not met the state will not be fully represented as it was before the Civil War, and the federal government will take the necessary steps to insure that the terms ARE met. How will you accomplish that? Send Union troops? The Civil War was fought so that Black people would no longer be considered inferior to White people. The war was not fought so that the rights the Black people gained through the Union victory could be erased as if nothing had ever happened. The South lost the war, and it must accept our terms in relation to its Black population if it ever wants to be fairly represented in the government ever again. What about the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments? Will they be ratified?

6. On the subject of the economy, restoration of the Southern economy will be difficult. Our proposed plan is to let the economy regenerate itself in accordance with supply and demand of the South. Basically, the economy will come back as it will with very little help (other than the North’s best attempts to buy what they can from the South). The South made a huge mistake in bringing about the devastation and pain it did to this country, and they will pay for it. The South will re-forge their own economy out of pure necessity if anything else. The road will be long and difficult, and the economy may suffer due to the new found freedom of the Blacks. This is something they must learn to deal with. So the plan for the restoration of the Southern economy may be best described as laissez-faire. It is not a punishment, simply a repercussion of the South’s blunder.

7. The South has proved to be an un-cooperating, treasonous bunch already, but we have a solution. The Union army will occupy every state in the South, regardless of whether they approve or not. The South lost the war but they seem unwilling to accept this fact. They can learn the easy way or the hard way; they have chosen the hard way. At first, before a state has reentered the Union according to our requirements, the Union army will have only a policing task, and that is to keep peace, suppress rebellion, and protect rights of all, especially the 14th and 15th Amendments. If the South gives the US any crap, they will face strict punishment. We have a zero tolerance policy for traitors, and we aren’t very keen on babysitting a bunch of sorry Confederates, so anybody planning on continuing to support the Confederacy can either leave the country or face punishment. The Union army also does not need to spend their time playing hide-and-go-seek with a bunch of white-robed faceless cowards, so anybody attempting to infringe upon the rights of others will be punished. The Union won the war and the Confederacy did not, end of story. The army will not have any patience whatsoever with dirty rebels who try to act as if their side won or something. After a state decides to ditch being an unrepresented loner and join the United States, they will then be helped by the army. The army will then acquire a new task of assisting in the physical reconstruction of that state. Any man of the South will be allowed to join the Union army, and help reconstruct. In this way, the Union army will be policing the South while helping it out positively as well. Won't the Union troops in the South make the Southerners even angrier? Plus, the Union troops were sick of the war so would they really want to drag it out and be forced to stay in the South? It seems like punishment to the Union troops as well as the Southerners.

8. We must, with all attempts possible, get this nation back on its feet. Our purpose in Reconstruction is simple: establish a united nation once again, protect Civil Rights of all, and make sure the Civil War was not fought in vain. Lincoln dedicated what was the last 4 years of his life to this cause, and we will not let our victory slip away. Slavery is forever over, but that does not mean blacks can be treated poorly. Black rights have been bought with a massive amount of blood, and we will not let them be trounced upon. The South will be reintegrated into the Union politically, socially, and physically. Reconstruction will not be easy, and it will not be overnight, but it will be done.