November 23, 2014 by Lorene
To restore southern states to the union, each had to write a new constitution accepting the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, as well as make illegal the right of a state to secede from the union.
Johnson pardoned all southern citizens willing to take an oath to the union and the constitution. Anyone who was a leader of the Confederate government, former US military officer who fought for the south, wealthy landowners and merchants who actively supported the Confederacy were required to apply directly to Johnson for a pardon.
Anyone who qualified for a pardon could run for office and vote in elections.
Johnson’s plan did not mention former slaves. He wanted to leave that up to the states in good faith. However, the states did not give any rights to former slaves and enacted harsh laws to make their lives difficult.