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Johnson's views about the nature of Reconstruction are reflected
in this quote from his annual address to Congress in 1867: Blacks
possess less "capacity for government than any other race of people.
No independent government of any form has ever been successful
in their hands. On the contrary, wherever they have been left to
their own devices, they have shown a constant tendency to relapse
into barbarism."
Stevens hated Johnson and worked to have him impeached.
While the final vote fell one vote short in the Senate, Johnson
was permanently weakened and reduced to a figurehead for the
remainder of his term, being replaced by Ulysses Grant in 1868.
Stevens did not live to see the passage of the 15th Amendment;
however, most would agree at the very least he inspired it. It
guaranteed all male citizens the right to vote.

During this time, Stevens became the most powerful congressman
in Washington. He chaired the House Ways and Means Committee
and later the Appropriations Committee. He was responsible for
funding the war effort and later Reconstruction. His goals during
this period were the following: (1) the abolition of slavery; (2) full
legal rights regardless of race; (3) voting rights regardless of race; (4)
and the result of Reconstruction to be the empowerment of African
Americans by redistributing power and wealth in the South.
Stevens' legislative legacy is the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments
to the Constitution, which serve as the basis for all civil
rights legislation. Stevens drafted his own version of the 13th
Amendment, but when it failed to gain support, he shepherded
a more popular version through Congress. It ended slavery in all
states, whereas the Emancipation Proclamation only abolished
slavery in the Confederacy.
Stevens also guided the 14th Amendment through Congress.
This Amendment established a national citizenry with all citizens
given equality before the law, which no state could alter. He was
disappointed because the Amendment still made references to
males only, allowed states to restrict voting rights based on race,
and allowed Confederates to vote.
Stevens' disappointment in the shortcomings of the 14th
Amendment paled in comparison to his outrage over the failure of
Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War. He wanted the wealthy
white political power structure of the South to be dismantled
and redistributed. He proposed that every black free man should
receive 40 acres and a mule and that Confederates should not be
allowed to vote immediately. Unfortunately, any chance of Stevens'
vision becoming a reality was lost when Lincoln was assassinated
and Andrew Johnson, the vice president, became president.
Amendment paled in comparison to his outrage over the failure of
Reconstruction at the end of the Civil War. He wanted the wealthy
white political power structure of the South to be dismantled
and redistributed. He proposed that every black free man should
receive 40 acres and a mule and that Confederates should not be
allowed to vote immediately. Unfortunately, any chance of Stevens'
vision becoming a reality was lost when Lincoln was assassinated
and Andrew Johnson, the vice president, became president.
8 * Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology

Thaddeus Stevens died at midnight on August 11th, 1868. The public
expression of grief in Washington was second only to Lincoln's. His
coffin lay in State at the Capitol Rotunda, flanked by a Black Union
Honor Guard from Massachusetts. Twenty thousand people, onehalf of whom were black free men, attended his funeral in Lancaster.
He chose to be buried in the Shriner-Concord Cemetery because
it was the only cemetery that would accept all races. He wrote the
inscription on his headstone that reads:
"I repose in this quiet and secluded spot, not from any
natural preference for solitude, but finding other cemeteries
limited as to race, by charter rules, I have chosen this that I
might illustrate in my death the principles which I advocated
through a long life, equality of man before his Creator."



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of 2016-17 Course Catalog

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http://www.nxtbook.com/stevenscollege/ThaddeusStevens/2016-17_Course_Catalog
http://www.nxtbook.com/stevenscollege/ThaddeusStevens/annualreport_2015
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com