What mistakes did Andrew Johnson make in dealing with the Radical Republicans?
The main source of conflict between Andrew Johnson and the Radical Republicans came from the Radicals’ belief that Johnson was a southern sympathizer that would eventually undermine Congress’ plans for Reconstruction of the South. They believed this because Johnson, himself, was a former slave owner, and despite him having been the only Southern Senate member to remain loyal to the Union, they thought that his Southern roots would influence his decisions. This distrust eventually prevented Southerners that were elected through Johnson’s state governments from sitting in Congress, and Johnson’s attacks on Radical Republicans led to moderates and radicals uniting to override his vetoes. Therefore, Johnson’s bad relationship with Radical Republicans invalidated many of Johnson’s decisions, and hurt him in more ways than one.
How did sharecropping become a new form of slavery?
Although sharecropping was the preferred method of labor to African Americans (as opposed to gang labor), the sharecropping system was actually just slavery by another name. Although it made African Americans feel as though they were independent and self-sufficient, by allowing families to set their own hours and tasks, giving them freedom from direct white supervision and control, the whites still had control over them and their land. Through this system, whites still had the power to set regulations and quotas for the farm and products, and they had the ability to hold loans against the African Americans. All they really had to do in this system was provide the African Americans with a shelter, some farm animals and tools, and in exchange, they made more profit off of the laborer’s crops than they had invested in allowing the African Americans to establish their own homes/farms.