Reconstruction : The Misadventures Of Post Civil War

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Timothy Perdoch CCNY USSO 101 Prof. Van Natter Reconstruction (The Misadventures of Post-Civil War America) 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. Due to a handful of conflicts, a major one…show more content…
The Union went on to win the Civil War, maintain the union and abolish slavery. Problem solved right? Well, not quite. In fact, America’s problems had only just begun. After the Civil War, the country needed to be reconstructed for a few reasons. First of all, much of the Confederate land was now wrecked, with farms and plantations burned down and crops destroyed. People were using now illegitimate confederate money and local governments were in disarray. Former confederates needed to be effectively incorporated back into the Union. Most importantly, slaves were now freedmen and needed to be integrated back into society. The United States was a “new nation,” that, for the first time was “wholly free” (Foner 477). But with the abolishment of slavery, “What is the true definition of freedom?” became a central question in the nation. Black people in America after the war were facing intense scrutiny, racist ideologies and bigotry that was still very prevalent throughout the country. In 1865, Congressman James A. Garfield asked, “Is it the bare privilege of not being chained? If this is all, then freedom is a bitter mockery, a cruel delusion” (Foner 477). Was freedom simply just the absence of slavery, or did it give other rights to former slaves? Five days after the Civil War ended, President Lincoln was shot. Vice President Andrew Johnson then assumed the presidency. Reuniting the nation was a task that now
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