The radical republicans had three goals: to punish the south for causing the war, to help transition slaves into freedom and to keep the Republican Party in power in both the north and the south. The Radical Republicans were a group of republican politicians from 1854 to 1877 who distrusted ex-Confederates.
The radicals often opposed President Lincoln, and they formulated their own plan for reconstruction, which was vetoed by Lincoln. They fought President Johnson, weakened his powers and tried to have him impeached. The radical republicans were also adamantly opposed by the Democratic Party as well as some of the liberal republicans.