Legislation. United States. Congress. General Amnesty Act (1865)



The United States Congress General Amnesty Act (1865) was enacted by President Andrew Johnson on May 29, 1865, giving amnesty (or an official pardon) to former Confederates who participated in the Civil War following an oath of allegiance to the United States and the acceptance of the abolition of enslavement. This act excluded high-ranking military leaders and officials, as well as those who committed war crimes. Johnson believed that amnesty was the surest way to rebuild the nation and the General Amnesty Act was one part of his Reconstruction Plan. This act was welcomed by many Northerners who wanted to move on from the Civil War, but was criticized by many radicals who felt the act was too lenient on Confederate actors and wanted those people excluded from society and punished for their actions in the war. (Wikipedia; National Archives)

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pardons_for_ex-Confederates

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