Reconstruction : The End Of The American Civil War

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Reconstruction was to be what took place following the end of the American Civil War. To most scholars this is true. However, to truly understand the magnitude of reconstruction, one must take the path less traveled as Eric Foner did in his book, Reconstruction; America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877. What is that? 1863? Yes, Foner believes that reconstruction officially started then with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Why, you may ask. The reasoning behind this premise is simple, when the proclamation was signed it marked a change or “adjustment of American society to end slavery.” (xxv) With the end of an historical style Southern life, slavery, reconstruction officially started. This change in direction is hard to comprehend, especially since most of us have been taught the exact years of reconstruction and the civil war for following between two distinct time lines. The alteration, however, is a good alteration and a welcomed one if you have an open mind and are eager to assume the responsibility of an improved understanding this crucial alteration. This alteration can be examined by looking at certain aspects of reconstruction and the impact of each facet as it pertains to the new outlook of reconstruction. So, sit back and take a journey of improved understanding to how reconstruction has been transformed by Foner. With our journey in full swing, we need to begin to examine what aspects of our understanding is rooted in the same beliefs of Foner.
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