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For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to mourn, a time to refrain from embracing, and a time to embrace; a time to hate, and a time to love; a time for war, and a time for peace.
A time to whither, and a time to grow. And now is the time. It is time to resurrect our beautiful nation, and become the United States of America. We seek to unify, to trust, to be free. We seek to grow. Reconstruction is for growth. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are the growth of life, the growth of liberty and the pursuit of the growth of happiness.
In order to facilitate the growth of the National, specifically the Southern economy, we propose the following 4 phase plan:maroon-guavas-debriefing-2010-2011.jpg
Phase 1.) Tax adjustment. In order to counter act national deficits, taxes must be raised, and while this will cause protest; it is a necessary step that must be taken in order to pave the way for economic growth. The first stage of these increases is to make the South and the North equal in responsibility and burden for the percentage of taxes paid (How will the South contribute payment without any monetary resources?). Though this will cause some initial animosity it should nullify feelings of inequality between the two, newly unified, halves of a country. (It will definitely, at least at first, cause protest and more disunion between the north and the south. How do you plan to deal with that?) Stage two: a unilateral increase in property taxes, which is targeted at those who are in the best position to aid the country, the large property owners, while sparing those such as former slaves who are as of yet, unable to assist. However, as large plantation owners will now have higher taxes to pay and no free labor, the next stage is to offer tax breaks to plantation owners for hiring farmhands. (The plantation owners and the wealthy will probably be very unhappy and protest until they get those tax breaks.)
Phase 2.) Federally Mandated Minimum Wage. In order to ensure economic growth across all classes a minimum wage will be established for each industry. Agriculture workers would not necessarily have to be paid the same as factory workers, but all workers in a given industry, regardless of race must be paid at a relatively equal level (Relatively? Why not simply, equal?) (Why not equal for all? Why should one profession have a lower minimum wage than another?). Not only will this ensure social mobility for the lower class but it will be a large step in the dissolution of racism.
Phase 3.) Federally Funded Work Projects. In order to deal with the multitude of uneducated jobless people, as well as the infrastructural problems in the South, a series of work projects will be established by the Federal government. These projects will encompass building roads, railways, public schools and various other government buildings. (Good idea, but where is the government getting the money to fund these projects?)
Phase 4.) Absorption of Southern debts by the Federal Government. In order to increase camaraderie and allow Southern growth, the debts that the Confederacy accrued during the war will be absorbed by the Federal Government and will therefore be paid for by both the North and the South. Though this will lead to some ill will on the side of the North it is necessary to keep the Union strong and unite the country (How is the absorption of Southern debt possible if there are equal taxes?).
Troops: The Civil War was fought to reunify the country, not to conquer foreign land, and as such Reconstruction shall be treated for the most part as a domestic affair with little involvement from Union Troops. To begin, all Northern troops will leave major cities and instead reside in camps relatively close by. Troops will partake in nightly patrols, especially in rural areas to deter organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan (Could the organizations not meet in daylight?). Once it becomes apparent that an area is safe, troops will withdraw, with the ultimate goal of full withdrawal. However, any resurgence of confederate spirit or any large spike in anti-government or racial violence will warrant the return of Union troops. Troops will also be rotating areas to prevent resentment against individuals, either from the citizens or the troops, to develop. These policies will not only allow communities to grow, but will also ensure an environment which will allow the other forms of growth to take place. (Great idea on the rotating areas!)
Our country has suffered enormous amounts of bloodshed for the colored person’s rights and for the preservation of the Union. In order to prevent our country from slipping backwards down the slope into violent issues our government of the people has established the following punishments for ex-Confederate officers: 1.) All officers and above who fought for the Confederates may not run for public office 2.) All generals and higher ranking officers of the Confederate Society are hereby disenfranchised. In addition, we are opening night schools to re-educate Southern whites and provide an alternative to the KKK and other such activities. The ban on ex-confederate corruption, and the disenfranchisement of the high ranking officers is to prevent a reunified and growing country to follow corrupt men down. During this fragile time of Reconstruction it is best for the public to not be tempted by those who have already tried to break away from the United States, and if power was given to the corrupt men who have already tried to secede, they will try once again to dismember this country. The creation of a new army in the South is also undesirable, and would occur if Officers of the Army were allowed to hold office. As for the disenfranchised Ex-Confederates who at one point held a rank of general or higher, not only is this punishment, it is also a protection against fear. It has come to our attention that with the gradual assimilation of colored people, there is racism and terrorism developing, however, through not allowing the tip of the corrupt iceberg to vote, and through the education system which will help teach that racism is a moral sin, that there will, within twenty years, be acceptance. (Very good ideas on how to prevent hate crimes and also on how to spread education so that the social racism will eventually grow out of the next generation. The South may grumble about it at first but the African Americans and the abolitionists would support such an action.)
In order to prevent as much resentment as possible, we have developed a plan for the freedmen’s civil rights. These rights take action over a period of 20 years. To take effect immediately, are their rights to own property, to worship freely, to obtain due process of law, to travel freely, to be a part of a legitimate family, and to buy products from where and whom they please. In 5 years’ time, freedmen shall have the right to be schooled and go to Universities. In 10 years’ time, the freedmen shall have the right to vote and in 20 years’ time, the freedmen shall have full rights as an American, including the right to run for public office. Not only is this a new beginning for their lives, this is a new beginning for a United America. (Why does it need to take twenty years for the freedmen to be given all the same rights as whites?)
In order to me re-admitted as a state each territory must ratify the 13th, 14th, and the 15th amendment. In addition, there must be no laws similar to the outdated and immoral. “Black Codes”.
The 13th amendment will prevent slavery in the Southern states, the 14th Amendment will make the freed slaves citizens, whereas the 15th will allow the newly freed slaves to vote, in time. While we understand it seems cruel to free slaves only to make them second class citizens without voting rights, we are also aware of the extreme culture shock that will rattle the South when those newly freed step up to a ballot box. We must allow time for the dust to settle before the colored people may vote. This will lend time to the cause of educating both whites and blacks. When the time comes to vote, all votes may be cast, educated.
Also, states pending for readmission are not allowed to have any laws that are designed to limit the rights and civil liberties of the freedmen. The reason for this being that the South must eventually accept colored people as their fellow citizens, something to be obtained over time, and to avoid the legal persecution of these citizens. (Good usage of ideas to make sure that there will not be a backlash of racism and discrimination against African Americans.)
We must grow as a nation. This era is for growth. We will grow as a nation, as a people, our rights will grow, our liberties and freedoms will grown. We will share our burdens, we will stand together once more. United. We are the United States of America. We will bind up this nation’s gaping wounds, and let our body become strong again. Let there not be a scar. For growth. Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. (great writing!) Alex: Blue
Madison: Pink