Reconstruction: Eric Foner

1673 WordsJan 14, 20117 Pages
Nina Stiener Mr. Maynard APUSH Period 3 10 January 2010 Reconstruction: Eric Foner The Reconstruction time period, 1865 through 1877, was a complex time for America. The southern part of the nation was in need of governmental, economical, and social repair after losing the Civil War. Radical Republicans, Democrats, and newly freed African Americans all were influential in the age of Reconstruction. Historians have struggled to put into words exactly what Reconstruction incorporates and precisely what the motives of the different groups of people were. Renowned American historian, Eric Foner, is a professor at Columbia University. He has written many books concerning the Civil War and Reconstruction eras. Eric Foner’s Reconstruction theory…show more content…
Forever. 170). The Klan were white southerners who were organized and committed to the breaking down of Reconstruction. By methods of brutality, “the Klan during Reconstruction offers the most extensive example of homegrown terrorism in American history” (Foner. Forever. 171). The Ku Klux Klan as well as other groups killed or tormented black politicians or threatened the blacks who voted in elections. The Klan strongly disagreed with the northern idea that slaves should become part of the government. The Historian Kenneth M. Stampp states, “for their [the North] supreme offense was not corruption but attempting to organize the Negroes for political action” (Stampp. Era. 159). This corresponds with Foner’s idea that the South was not open to the idea of change but more so consumed with the idea of recreating a society similar to one of the past. However, the goal of white power groups was not just politics. The Klan wanted to restore the hierarchy once controlling the South. Foner observes that, “the organization took on the function of the antebellum slave patrols: making sure that blacks did not violate the rules and etiquette of white supremacy” (Foner. Forever. 172). Like the power the southern whites formerly held over the slave population, the Ku Klux Klan wanted to control the African American population still living in the South. They did not want the freedmen to become integrated into their society because they saw them as lesser people. By suppressing and
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