U.S. History/US Hist


Reconstruction was a period of

A) judicial supremacy.
B) political inaction and indifference.
C) congressional supremacy.
D) executive expansion

Is C right ans.

A main weakness in the plan to confiscate land from large plantations to give to freedmen was that

A) the large plantations were the main source of employment for freedmen.
B) freedmen did not want the land because they did not want to be tied down.
C) it was strongly opposed by Congressmen Stevens and Sumner.
D) it would only provide land but no tools, seeds, or other necessities

Is it C?"

For the first question, I would go with C.  

The second question seems especially stupid as no answer is really correct.  C is definitely wrong since Stevens and Sumner supported such programs.  B is also wrong because most freedman certainly wanted land.  

Of the other two answers: A is a possibility since it was argued that breaking up the large plantations would be a problem since the freed slaves would not know how to manage their own farms.  Giving them employment on existing farms owned by whites at least maintained the existing system which allowed the farms to prosper and provide employment.  But I find that answer rather silly since giving the plantations to the freedmen would have allowed them to grow their own food, something they had been doing for their masters for many years.  They would not have needed to be employed if they had their own land.

D also could be a valid answer since the freedmen lacked resources to farm if simply given land and nothing else.  But the obvious solution to that would be to give them the land and also set up agencies to help them acquire the other things needed to run their new farms.

The real reason such proposals did not pass was that it was seen by many as a violation of the 5th Amendment which holds that property may not be confiscated unless the owner is reimbursed or it is seized in the commission of a crime.  Since owning slaves had been legal, no crime was committed and the federal government was not ready to reimburse southern property owners for confiscation.

But of the poor choice of answers given, I would probably go with D.

- Mike

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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