The Congress passed the first United States Reconstruction Act in the year 1867. In this act, the South was divided into five regions which were referred to as military districts that were headed by major generals. At the same time, new elections were conducted and all the male slaves in all states were free to vote. The same act included an amendment that readmitted the Southern States and guaranteed male suffrage. Andrew Johnson, the United States president then vetoed the bill but contrary to his decision, the congress passed the same bill the very day. These controversies led to many disagreements between American societies. Such controversies revolved around restoring the former Confederate States into one powerful union (Foster 167).
The nascent Republic Party at the time was engaged in a division that was torn between protecting the blacks and the Radicals who fought for the recognition of the Southern society. Conservative elements especially the Democrats believed in the old governing structures that protected the relations between the states; which called for the blacks and whites to remain intact. Most of the African-Americans wanted equal political and civil rights, protection of the black, redistribution of land and the break-up of all plantation systems. These diverse perspectives made the period between 1865 and 1877 to experiment interracial democracy. However, the period was dominated by intense political relations and recurrent violence across the South.
The reconstruction process involved civil wars that led to the breakaway of the Confederations States of America which were later reintegrated to form the United States of America. The victory of the American civil war was attained when the Northern Republicans the Radical republicans agreed to destroy Confederacy and all the slavery systems. Controversies surrounded the process of reconstructing the governing system, how, when and who would guide this process. The Radical Republicans were more determined to end the slavery and ended up holding on to their views. Charles Sumner, who was the Massachusetts Senator and a Radical Republican, then insisted that the Congress should abolish the slavery system (Berlin 113). He also called for the extension of political and civil rights to the blacks as well as the education of black and white students together.
During this period, a number of African-Americans were elected into the Congress for the first time. The Reconstruction Act also involved sending federal troops to the Southern states which had a majority of Congress seats held by African-Americans. The reconstruction process involved fighting for free labor instead of slave labor that dominated the South. After the civil war, the Congress proposed prohibition of the slavery through the Thirteenth Amendment. A state was re-admitted into the Union on the condition that it had ratified this amendment. The amendment was also included in the constitution in December 1865.
The moderates claimed victory after ensuring all the former Confederates had abolished slavery and renounced the secession. Most moderates including Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson were for the suffrage of the black army veterans and not for other African Americans. Southern political leaders were angered by the ousting of their federal governments by federal military forces after they had agreed to abolish slavery and to renounce secession. The federal governments were replaced by Carpetbaggers, Freedmen and Scalawags, which made up the Radical Republican governments. The Reconstruction process then led to a revolution of all races. Such revolution included education and empowerment of the ex-slaves (Franklin 43).