The Reconstruction happened in period following the end of the American Civil and the main goal was to reintegrate the Southern Confederate States back into the Union after they had been defeated by the Union (Northern States). As would be expected, the process was met with many challenges as the interests of both groups had to be addressed. There was debate over the terms under which the Confederate States would be allowed back into the Union, and whether it was the president or congress to set these terms. There was also the question about what rights freed slaves had and their role in the new American society. Even though the war had ended, the reconstruction presented a new battlefront for a political struggle between the North and the South. This paper analyses what reconstruction sought to achieve, and why it failed with dire long-term consequences.
Reconstruction is the period of rebuilding the south that succeeded the Civil War (1861-1865). This period of time is set by the question now what? The Union won the war and most of the south was destroyed. Devastation, buildings turned into crumbles and lost crops. The South was drowning in poverty. To worsen the situation there were thousands of ex-slaves that were set free by the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13 Amendment. "All these ex-slaves", Dr. Susan Walens commented, "and no place to put them," The ex-slaves weren't just homeless but they had no rights, unlike white man. The government and congress had to solve the issues present in the south and the whole nation
Reconstruction was a period of time after the Civil War (1865-1877) that was supposed to be the rebuilding of America. It was also the process used to readmit all the Confederate states back into the Union. There was controversy, however, on how to go about rebuilding the nation. Abraham Lincoln proposed a lenient plan. After he was assassinated, Andrew Johnson proposed a very similar plan. The Radical Republicans, a group of legislators that were in favor of freedmen’s rights, were opposed to both plans under “Presidential Reconstruction”. They initiated “Congressional Reconstruction”. Because of the conflicting views, there was little cooperation between the Executive and Legislative branches. This lead to many unsuccessful
In the beginning of 1865, the Civil War came to a close, abandoning over 620,000 dead and a destructive path of devastating all over the south. The North now was confronted with the task of reconstructing the destroyed and aggrieved Confederate states.
The period after the Civil War was a very difficult time in the United States' history. This time was known as the Reconstruction period and it was a very controversial time. There were many issues that had to be addressed such as what to do with the free blacks in the south and how states would be readmitted to the Union. This era saw the rise of the Radical Republicans. The government was going through changes, southerners were going through changes, and blacks were going through changes. Whites in the south were left without people to work their plantations. Slavery was indeed a very important topic during this time. Many of the reconstruction plans that were proposed required states to prohibit slavery in order to be readmitted to
The Civil war could very easily be known as one of the greatest tragedies in United States history. After the Civil War, the people of The United States had so much anger and hatred towards each other and the government that 11 Southern states seceded from the Nation and parted into two pieces. The Nation split into either the Northern abolitionist or the Southern planation farmers. The Reconstruction era was meant to be exactly how the name announces it to be. It was a time for the United States to fix the broken pieces the war had caused allowing the country to mend together and unite once again. The point of Reconstruction was to establish unity between the states and to also create and protect the civil rights of the former slaves.
In hindsight it is sometimes claimed that Reconstruction was a failure. Although there was some good that came out of the Reconstruction it was mostly just a relentless uphill battle against Southerners and immoral politicians that were here to delay change and keep racism alive. Reconstruction brought the Ku Klux Klan who displayed great resistance, and poverty that swept the South once the blacks were freed. The freedom of these black slaves led to discriminatory legislatures such as the Black Codes and the Jim Crow laws to keep the blacks constrained from actually being free. The South was then encountered with corruption and high property taxes, as a rebuild was in order to reestablish the war torn part of the nation.
America: “The land of the free, and the home of the brave” (Key 7-8). When our forefathers overcame the colonial reign of the British Empire, they formed the United States of America based on the premise of enlightened ideals promoting life, ownership of land, and liberty. But after the revolution, the country’s problems were far from solved. The country’s post-revolution issues sparked a Civil War, which was followed by a reconstruction. In some ways, the Civil War and Reconstruction helped the United States accomplish its original goals, but in many ways, that was not the case.
A revolution is a dramatic and sudden change in an organization in the social order that is replaced by a new, more favorable system. When Historian Eric Foner called the Reconstruction period “America’s Second Revolution”, his characterization was correct. Reconstruction can be viewed as a revolution because the previous social order, slavery, was replaced suddenly by a more favorable one, freedom for African-Americans. There was a long period of politicization for incorporating free African-Americans into white society. Reconstruction also revolutionized the preconceived notion that the states had autonomous power.
Although the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction brought great hope to America’s four million former slaves, the efforts of Congressional Reconstruction ultimately failed to establish equal rights for the freedmen because the racist mindset still dominated American society at the time and Democratic influence steadily overcame Republican control in Congress. Despite the Union’s victory, the end of the Civil War brought many significant national problems, including an economically and culturally devastated South and the protection of the freedmen. After a period of Reconstruction under Lincoln and then under Andrew Johnson, it was Congress’s turn to determine the path of Reconstruction. While the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment and the Emancipation Proclamation were large steps in the freedmen’s road to equality, it was never going to be that easy to attain true equality for all. The Southerners’ mindset was still fixated on the idea that freedmen were naturally inferior.
Reconstruction was a time of great pain and endless questions for the United States of America. What was going to happen to the newly freed slaves? How would they be treated? Would the United States ever be one cohesive country? Many of these questions are still unanswered in today's society, but reconstruction was in place to try to rebuild the US after the devastation of the Civil war. The reconstruction era lasted from 1865-1877. During this time the United States military was stationed in the South, so that everything would run smoothly and hopefully allow for readmission of the once confederate states, back into the Union as one.
1. The war in 1862 was only more than a year old and the people in both the Union and Confederate sides didn’t anticipate it would last that long, but it is going to go on. Close to the end of the summer in this same year, the Union has made huge progress in claiming confederate lands, winning some major battles. They have put the confederacy in the defensive. They have taken over New Orleans, with even black troops major on the ground of New Orleans. They have taken Missouri and are working hard to take over the Mississippi Valley and maybe even Richmond itself. Bruce Catton puts it this way in The Civil War, “Except for guerrilla activity, Kentucky and Missouri has been swept clear of armed confederates, Western Tennessee had been reclaimed, there was a Yankee army in Cumberland Gap, another one was approaching chattanooga, and a third was sprawled out from Memphis to Corinth, preparing to splice down through Mississippi and touch hands with the Union occupation forces in Baton Rouge and New Orleans” (85) So not only that they Union had taken over regions, they are advancing as well, but they did not win the way this year for some reason. Firstly, because they did not have generals and army heads capable of taking them to victory. General Halleck, chief of the Union Armies and Pope in charge of one of the Union armies in Virginia, were major examples of this.
During the time of Reconstruction, the federal government did little to help the people of America as a whole, they concentrated on bettering African American lives and “reconstructing” the South. The focus during this time period was to protect the rights of African Americans, which had long and hard been fought for. The federal government made it their priority to ensure equal rights among all black people. Also, the readmission of the Confederate states was essential to the federal
The Civil War left a country divided not only by property lines and borders but by beliefs as well. Not just religious beliefs, moral beliefs also. It left both sides, north and south struggling, trying to figure out what their next move towards reuniting the divided America was going to be. The period following the end of the Civil War would become known as the “Reconstruction Era.” An era that raised just as many questions as it did answers. A reconstruction of America that seems to carry on many decades later.