African American History Through The Process Of Reconstruction

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In W. E. B. Du Bois’ book Black Reconstruction, he discusses the various topics of African American history through the process of Reconstruction. Through its rise and fall, he covers different vantage points and opinions attempting to incorporate all relevant ideas and positions. However, through this process, one theme that transcends throughout is his belief in the strict principles of Marxist economic theory. When applying this to the eventual fall of the Reconstruction era, he constricts the viewpoint to only focus to that of what Marxist theory would have to say for it, however, it must be remembered that complex issues deserve equally complex solutions. While Du Bois’ application of Marxist principles is not one-dimensional, his …show more content…

Thus, creating a cycle of economic superiority that led to strict social classes based on race throughout and after the Reconstruction era. Essentially, that is the view of the Marxist theory in economics that Du Bois champions repeatedly throughout the book, which involves the relationship between the means of production, the “Base,” and all other aspects of society, the “Superstructure.” Marxist economic theory describes and defines the connection between the two stating that the Base influences everything within the Superstructure including politics, religion, and social life.
In the case of the Base and the Superstructure, Du Bois believed that the suppression of the black labor force led to increasingly poor economic conditions, which then directly affected their Superstructure. Du Bois furthers his point by declaring that the White aristocrats of the South encouraged and hired poor White workers to not only enforce the exploitation of the Black working class but to also create an increased divide among the two groups for their own economic gain. The premise behind the argument that W. E. B. Du Bois presents is obvious and makes logical sense both because of the situation that African Americans found themselves in and the economic abuse that Southern farmers could benefit greatly from; thus, it would not be feasible to deny the economic connection that contributed to the downfall of Reconstruction through the oppression of the Black labor force.

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