SAT Subject US History Practice Question 804: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 804

65. During Presidential Reconstruction, congressional Republicans opposed Andrew Johnson's policy of

A. letting former members of the Confederacy run the new postwar state governments.
B. guaranteeing suffrage to African Americans.
C. requiring each former Confederate state to ratify the 14th Amendment.
D. banning former members of the Confederacy from voting and holding office.
E. granting each freedman 40 acres and a mule.

Correct Answer: A


For congressional Republicans, letting the former rebels run state governments meant that the North had "lost the peace" after winning the war. Andrew Johnson did not go far enough, in the eyes of the Radical Republicans, in punishing the rebellious plantation-owning class and helping freedmen and women. Letting former Confederates run new state governments demonstrates Johnson's business-as-usual approach to Reconstruction, while all the other answers represent dramatic actions in creating a new type of South-actions favored by many congressional Republicans. Suffrage was extended to African American men (B) by the 15th Amendment (1870). The 14th Amendment (1868) (C) extended citizenship rights to African Americans and banned many Confederates from public office (D). The idea of giving freed people 40 acres and a mule (E) was a Radical Republican idea, but it was never implemented.

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