A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States - Vol. 1

By Melvin I. Urofsky; Paul Finkelman | Go to book overview

20

The Union Unrestored

Problems of Military Occupation • Loyalty Oaths •
Congress Takes a Hand • Expanding Federal Court
Jurisdiction • Lincoln's 10 Percent Plan • The Wade–Davis
Bill • Enter Andrew Johnson • Presidential Reconstruction •
The Joint Committee on Reconstruction • Southern
Intransigence • The Freedmen's Bureau Bills of 1866 • The
Civil Rights Act • The Fourteenth Amendment • The
Congressional Plan • Conclusion • For Further Reading

RECONSTRUCTION OF THE Union began almost at the point at which it dissolved, for the Lincoln administration was determined, above all else, to preserve the Union. No one, however, expected that the Union would ever be the same as it had been before Fort Sumter. If prosecuting a civil war raised monumental constitutional issues, the rebuilding of a union that theoretically had never been destroyed posed even thornier questions. Who possessed the constitutional authority? How much, if any, power resided in the federal government to reconstruct the states? What was the status of the rebellious states and of the freed slaves? Under the best of circumstances, reconstruction would have been difficult, but the combination of Southern intransigence and political incompetence turned it into a disaster. All these issues came to the forefront when the Union forces made inroads into the South.


Problems of Military Occupation

During the first year of the war, military events seemed to favor the rebellion, although from the beginning of the war, the geographical limits of the Confederacy contracted, while Union forces occupied more and more territory of the secessionist states. For the first time in a half century, armed troops, albeit American soldiers, occupied part of the United States; the defeated Southerners saw them as a conquering army, and did not know what to expect. To military officials, the situation proved no less confusing; nothing in the traditional rules of war governed a civil conflict of this magnitude. In

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A March of Liberty: A Constitutional History of the United States - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • For Susan and Byrgen—yet Again v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • 1: From the Old World to the New 1
  • 2: Law in Colonial America 17
  • 3: The Road to Independence 39
  • 4: The Revolutionary Era 61
  • 5: The Crisis of Confederation 80
  • 6: A More Perfect Union 93
  • 7: Launching the Great Experiment 120
  • 8: The Supreme Court: the First Decade 147
  • 9: The Changing Face of the Law 165
  • 10: Adams, Jefferson, and the Courts 181
  • 11: The Marshall Court and National Power 207
  • 12: The Marshall Court and Economic Development 229
  • 13: A Law Made for the Times 248
  • 14: Politics, Nationalism, and Competition 271
  • 15: Jacksonian Democracy 296
  • 16: The Taney Court: Change and Continuity 320
  • 17: The Peculiar Laws of America's Peculiar Institution 337
  • 18: A House Dividing 366
  • 19: The Union Sundered 401
  • 20: The Union Unrestored 429
  • 21: Reconstruction 451
  • 22: The Court and Civil Rights 479
  • Appendixes - The Declaration of Independence 501
  • Articles of Confederation 505
  • Constitution of the United States 511
  • Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court 528
  • Case Index 537
  • Subject Index 542
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