and kept under military control similar to that exercised by the district commanders under the ‘reconstruction acts.’
And such recognition would in no manner have interfered with any action Congress might have thought it wise to take looking to the organization of permanent governments and the admission of senators and representatives in Congress.
After two years of ‘reconstruction’ under President Johnson
's ‘policy,’ the Southern State
governments were no better than those he had destroyed.
Then Congress took the matter in hand, and after years of labor brought forth State governments far worse than either of those that had been torn down.
Party ambition on the one hand, and timidity on the other, were the parents of these great follies.
The presidential succession was the mainspring of the first movement and of the opposition thereto, while that and party majority in Congress were the motives of the later ‘reconstruction.’
Both ingloriously failed, as they deserved to do. How much stronger the Republican party would have been if it had relied upon the loyal States which had sustained it through the war, instead of timidly distrusting them and trying to bolster itself up by the aid of the negro and ‘carpet-bag
’ governments in the South
Political reconstruction ought not to have been thought of at the close of the war. What was then needed was local civil government under such military control as might be necessary, restoration of order, industry, and material prosperity, leading to a gradual reorganization of the society which had been completely broken up by the war. After this had been done, and Congress had decided upon the conditions of full restoration, it would have been time enough to inaugurate political reconstruction.
This was clear enough at the time to those who had studied the subject and knew by personal observation the real condition and feeling of the Southern
But the leading politicians of either party do