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policy of reconstruction, a policy resting exclusively on and inspired solely by the executive authority — for it was made plain, by his language and his acts, that he was seeking to rehabilitate the seceded States under conditions differing not a whit from those existing before the rebellion; that is to say, without the slightest constitutional provision regarding the status of the emancipated slaves, and with no assurances of protection for men who had remained loyal in the war. In December, 1866, Congress took hold of the subject with such vigor as to promise relief from all these perplexing disorders, and, after much investigation and a great deal of debate, there resulted the so-called Reconstruction laws, which, for a clear understanding of the powers conferred on the military commanders, I deem best to append in full: An act to provide for the more efficient government of the rebel States. Whereas, no legal State governments or adequate protection for life or property