The assassination of President Abraham Lincoln changed everything for Reconstruction in the Southern States. He had run the 1864 election with a unity government made up of Republicans and Northern Democrats in an attempt to make the Civil War less of a Republican versus Democrat conflict. Democrat Vice President Andrew Johnson spoke of hanging Confederates while part of the unity government, but as President he sought a much softer Reconstruction. Few Confederate leaders were imprisoned, none were tried for treason, and only one was executed for war crimes. He did not stop the Southern Black Codes that turned the freedmen into second class citizens, unable to own property, do business, or even walk around in public spaces like a normal man, and he blocked many laws the Republican Congress tried to pass. That was poorly received by Republicans, who fought the election of 1866 with a plan to change everything.