Radical Republicans and the Civil War Amendments: Sectionalists, Nationalists, and Abolitionists


fear: losing control of Congress when returning southern Democrats and northern Democrats unite

want: to enact/protect pro northern legislation, e.g. homestead act, Morrill tariff, Morrill Land Grant Act

goal: maintain control of congress; if possible maintain 2/3 rds majority (veto override power)

method: delay return of southern states to union (slow reconstruction); deny return of old southern aristocracy to government posts; deny south experienced leaders (14th amendment, sections 2 & 3 )


fear: continued political strife caused by states' (rights) challenge to national authority

want: to create a powerful national government; centralism

goal: nation domination; end of states' rights

method: subject state government to national authority through punitive congressional legislation (reconstruction acts and the 14th amendment, sections 1 & 3 & 4 )


fear: continued oppression of the Negro; continuation of "slavery" through "black codes"

want: to ensure the freedmen political/economic opportunity

goal: (economic) equality of the black man

method: limit state power; protect the freedmen with federal legislation; land redistribution (13th amendment, 15th amendment, 14th amendment, sections 1 & 2 )