Operation Infiltration
Natalie McCambridge, Brooke Nelsen, Riki Schmitt
  • What is the primary goal of reconstruction?
    Throughout the Civil War the North battles the South; brother verse brother; neighbor verse neighbor; friend verse friend. This tragic war has worked well to tear our country apart, when most only want to be united as Americans. It is for this reason that our reconstruction plan focuses on the reunification of the Southern states and guaranteeing civil rights to African Americans. We, as Americans, have to accept that African Americans and White's alike have all been born on the same ground. We all have the right to feel the same pride for our country. We will never be reunified until the African American is treated like a brother and until the Confederate and Union soldier's can march side by side.
  • What should be done to the ex-Confederates?
    The ex-Confederates will not get by easy even of they have been through a lot. There will be trials set for the main leaders. The punishments will be assigned according to the severity of the crime they had done. All remaining ex-Confederates willing to join the Union will sign an oath not to violate the Amendments as well as other significant Laws. [I agree that the ex-Confederates deserve punishment for their crimes. That being said, with the primary goal of reunification in mind, will these trials not make the South feel even more resentment after their loss in the war? If the ex-Confederates are to be punished according to their crimes, I think that the nation needs to prepare for a reunification to be a much slower process. Also, how will the oath be enforced?]
  • What should be done for the freedmen?
    It is important to make everyone happy; Compromise is key to peace. They will be given the option to receive education, a fair piece of land/property that will be primarily in the west, and the ability to earn pay. They will also be allowed to ride the Pacific Railroad at the given cost. [I like that this plan provides ample opportunities for the freedmen to start new lives. However, how will all of this be funded? The freedmen certainly don't have the money to start over financially on their own. Will the government implement taxes to help provide these opportunities for the freedmen? Elaborate on how this plan will be funded and supported without alienating the South and slowing reunification.]
  • Who should be able to vote and hold office in the new Southern state governments?
    Once states have become once again part of the Union, there is the matter of the Southern governments. We wish not to take away any political rights. Southerns still have their right to vote and run for office. It is those who had been leaders of the Confederates who may not be elected into office. They have proved themselves a danger to the Union, so that may not be put in any place of high authority in which they may abuse their power, putting our country in jeopardy once again. [I like the idea of not taking away any political rights, since that will help keep discontent to a minimum. But, I feel like that conflicts with taking people out of holding government positions, because that would have the exact opposite effect. By restricting who can be in office, it's just as bad as restricting people from voting, even though you're saying that none of their political rights will be taken away. Also, beside the southerners, will the freedmen be able to vote? How about the ex-Union soldiers? What will their roles be?]
  • What requirements must be met before states regain full rights and representation?
    In order for these Southern states to regain full rights and representation, all must abide by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments. The officials from each state must take an oath, proving their loyalty to the country; they must accept the civil rights of all free slaves, that slavery will forever be abolished, and every law and right stated under the Constitution. If this oath is broken, the official will be forcibly removed from office and will be unable to run for office ever again, as they have proved their disloyalty to the country. [Ok, I think this is a good start. Having the officials say that they are on board with reconstruction will definitely have its benefits. But, how will the nation make sure that the rest of the state's population is on board too? Not everyone is fond of their state leaders, so what if they don't want to abide by those laws? On this note, how can you make it the official's fault that the state isn't following the rules if it's not, but rather the fault of some members of the state who just don't agree? I feel like removing the official would just reinforce to the state populations that their leaders are expendable and don't have authority if their power is undermined by the national government.]
  • How should the Southern economy be restored?
    As we all know, the Southern economy has been severely damaged due to the Civil War. The best, and most plausible way to restore the Southern economy is to establish factories in major cities. This will in turn help make up for the deficit of money the South will lose from lack of labor. The "Cotton Kingdom" will surely begin to die out and, while we propose to keep the growth of cotton present in the South, we also feel it is necessary to bring the South into the new age of industrialization. We also propose to form a Bill that will be passed through senate that insure's African Americans can not be taken advantage of by plantation owner's seeking to use the African Americans as a cheap labor force. This will not only please the South because they will now have a labor force and begin to equal our with the neighboring North, but it will also please the North because the country will again be united as one. Good job! I like the idea of the balance between industrilaization and agriculture. Also I like the idea of creating standards of labors to prevent plantation owners from taking advantage of freedman through things like sharecropping. However, I think the North might not be happy because the lack of raw materials will cause their products to be more expensive. Also, would the government do anything about the debt accumulated by the Southern states in the war.
  • What role should Union troops play in policing, governing, or rebuilding the South?
    We propose to pass a Bill through congress that deals directly with the Union soldiers in the South. This Bill will be a compromise for both the North and the South. It will please the South by removing all Union soldier's and allowing the South to return to a normal state as long as the South abides by the new amendments to the constitution. There will, however, be a punishment for the South refusing to follow the new amendments. If the government ever finds proof that African Americans are not being treated as civilians and given the rights the Amendments provide than it will be acceptable for the Union Army to temporarily inhabit the state or region and reinstate the Amendments. The South will also be returned to its normal government before the Civil War with the exception of Civil War leaders and commanders who will not have the privilege of leading again or serving in the house. Do you really think the South is going to change over night? If you immediately remove the union soldiers without any kind of reform, the South will go right back to their old ways. Although I think the bill is a good idea, there should probably be a time period where the union troops are somewhat involved in order to ensure the proper treatment of African Americans. Also, what would be that proof? How would any one ever find out unless there were either spies (which would anger the Southerners) or union troops in the South which would violate the bill in the first place.
  • Re-state the primary goal of reconstruction. (Thesis re-stated)
    Compromise is what we look for. Not everyone will get everything they want. Northerners and Southerners, Blacks and Whites, Republicans and Democrats will all have to learn to cope with one another in order to live in a well built thriving nation. We must all become one. This process of Reconstruction will bring nothing but progress.