Everybody has something they feel that makes their lives easier, something a person becomes so accustomed to they could not live without it. This is what African slaves were to the Southern colonists. Slavery was a huge factor in the Southerner’s lives. Originally the colonists used indentured servants to work in their homes and on their plantations. This situation was not ideal because the Southern farmers wanted more control over their workers (orange). Virginian farmers heard about the success of slavery in the Caribbean and thought it would be a good solution to their problems (blue). The southern colonists had a very different way of earning a living than in the north. They needed people to work through “the harsh realities of a
Due to the gradual elimination of African-American rights and the withdrawal of Federal troops from the South to enforce such rights, the end of Reconstruction surfaced in 1877. In the eyes of blacks, Reconstruction was a point in history where they could see their civil rights expanding before their very own eyes. On the contrary, whites were deeply disturbed at the way their once “white supremacy” government was dwindling in the rear-view mirror behind them. This fourteen year period known as Reconstruction houses the memories of temporary freedom, scandal, backdoor deals, and the unresolved social, political, and economical issues of our country.
Prior to the publication of any slave narrative, African Americans had been represented by early historians’ interpretations of their race, culture, and situation along with contemporary authors’ fictionalized depictions. Their persona was often “characterized as infantile, incompetent, and...incapable of achievement” (Hunter-Willis 11) while the actions of slaveholders were justified with the arguments that slavery would maintain a cheap labor force and a guarantee that their suffering did not differ to the toils of the rest of the “struggling world” (Hunter-Willis 12). The emergence of the slave narratives created a new voice that discredited all former allegations of inferiority and produced a new perception of resilience and ingenuity.
Following the Civil War came a period of regrowth and rebuilding known as Reconstruction. Reconstruction can be broken into different sections and types, one of which is Congressional, or Radical, Reconstruction. There are many scholarly debates about Congressional Reconstruction and its failures, successes, and its overall logistics. Another common debate concerning the Reconstruction period is its purpose and what the intentions of its instigators were. This paper will be discussing an article written by Frederick Douglass entitled Reconstruction. In this article Douglass discusses the Congressional session taking place in 1866. He calls upon the Congressmen to undo the "blunders" of the previous
In 1865, the United States government implemented what was known as Reconstruction. Its’ purpose was to remove slavery from the south, and give African-American’s the freedom in which they deserved. However, the freedom that they deserved was not the freedom that they received. With documents like The Black Codes restricting them from numerous privileges that white people had and the terroristic organization known as the Klu Klux Klan attacking and killing them, African-American’s were still being oppressed by their government as well as their fellow man. Slavery may have been abolished, but African-American’s were not yet given the freedom and rights that their white counterparts took for granted.
The American Civil War claimed the lives of over 700,000 people. The war was fought from 1861-1865. The results of the war were described as; a union victory, abolishment of slavery, territorial integrity preserved and the destruction and dissolution of the Confederate States. The twelve years that followed were called the Reconstruction Era, 1865-1877. The purpose of the Reconstruction Era was to restore National Unity, strengthen the government, and guarantee rights to freed slaves. The reality of reconstruction though was; violence (260,000 dead), newly freed slaves suffered the most, and Lincoln's hopes of trust and rededication to peace were lost when he was assassinated on April 15th, 1865. It is these realities of the Reconstruction Era and beyond that this paper will address and how those realities affected the newly freed slaves. Life in post-bellum America for African - Americans was violent and filled with fear because of white supremacy, lynching, and the brutal mutilations of blacks.
In “Reconstruction Revisited”, Eric Foner reexamines the political, social, and economic experiences of black and white Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War. With the help of many historian works, Foner gives equal representation to both sides of the Reconstruction argument.
The era of Reconstruction was a fourteen-year period following the Civil War filled with political and constitutional strife, extreme suffering, grand political ambitions and huge turns in race relations and human rights (Blight 32). During this period, many Americans realized that remembering the war “became, with time, easier than struggling over the enduring ideas for which those battles had been fought” (Blight 31). To people such as Frederick Douglass, a reborn United States could not
Few topics in American history garner the attention, and generate the level of raw emotion among the populace, as chattel slavery during the nineteenth century. However, despite the importance this peculiar institution played, and continues to play, in shaping American society, relatively few people understand its history at more than a elementary level. Edward Baptist attempts to change this fundamental deficiency in The Half Has Never Been Told. Structured as a narrative, it brilliantly describes how a collaboration between white citizens of southern and northern states worked together to secure the continuation of white domination long after the Civil War removed slavery’s physical chains. While the author’s writing style and methodology is a welcome departure from tradition, and his research is commendable, his insistence that his main arguments have never been told by professional historians is dubious.
In 1928 Ulrich B. Phillips wrote an argumentative essay about the reasons for the massive support that slavery received from both slaveowners and Southerners who didn’t possess slaves. The essay was well-received and supported by critics in the 1930-s. However, closer to 1950-s critics started doubting the objectivity of Phillip’s writing. It’s important to note that Ulrich B. Phillips is a white historian from the South, writing from a perspective of a white Southerner. When he was writing his article he failed to step back from his bias and provide fully objective support for the main theme of his argument, setting a doubt to the reliability of his work.
Eric Foner’s A Short History of Reconstruction is a shortened version of his Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877; however, in the shorter version certain broad themes unified the crucial narrative. His first theme is the midst of the black experience, second theme is to trace the ways Southern society as a whole was remodeled, third theme is the evolution of racial attitudes and patterns of race relations, and the fourth theme is the emergence during the Civil War and Reconstruction. This narration of Reconstruction begins not in 1865, but with the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. This was done to stress the importance of the Proclamation in unifying two major themes, grass-roots black activity and the newly empowered national state and to indicate that Reconstruction was the beginning of a broadened historical process: the adjustment of American society to the end of slavery.
As a country, America has gone though many political changes throughout its lifetime. Leaders have come and gone, and all of them have had their own objectives and plans for the future. As history has taken its course, though, almost all of these “revolutionary movements” have come to an end. One such movement was Reconstruction. Reconstruction was a violent period that defined the defeated South’s status in the Union and the meaning of freedom for ex-slaves. Though, like many things in life, it did come to an end, and the resulting outcome has been labeled both a success and a failure.
The Columbian University journalism professor Nicholas Lemann’s aim of writing this book is to look at the brutal campaign of fraud and violence during the mid-1870s that ultimately led to the restoration of conservative, white governments in some southern states. The author focuses on the reconstruction of Mississippi. He stirs memories of the murderous Southern resistance and to civil rights movements 90 years later. Lemann writes at an era when neo-Confederate sympathies have cropped up again in southern politics, and amid several reports of the suppression of the minority voting throughout the country. Mr. Lemann presents the last battle of the Civil War.