While at first the North had good intentions on transforming conditions of the South they were never fully committed to the cause. The Republican Party in particular while not committed to transforming the political and economic conditions were committed, however, to improving the racial conditions of the South. Although committed initially lost motivation over time and eventually left the racial conditions alone. President Lincoln had compassion for the South and saw it as though they never actually left the Union.

He intended on letting the South back into the Union with little penalties. After his assassination with Johnson as president the North expected harsh punishment for South. During Johnson’s presidency Northern views changed from reforming the former state of the Union to punishing the Southern states for their actions and maintaining Republican power in the government. Eventually the Southern states were all readmitted, although it took time and was not very successful in improving conditions in the South. The Republican Party tried to improve racial conditions in the South after the Civil War.

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During the Reconstruction era Radical Republicans tried their best for equality for former slaves. Some radicals such as Thaddeus Stevens even suggested taking land from Confederates and giving it to the former slaves. Conditions for blacks improved in the South slightly with the fourteenth amendment. They even managed to earn blacks the right to vote with the Reconstruction Act of 1867. Improvements continued in the South but all great things must come to an end and with the appearance of racism and violence represented by the Ku Klux Klan and other southerners Republicanism disappeared in the South and the North backed off the idea of equality. Equality was not to reemerge until the 1950’s and 1960’s.