The Civil War : The Reconstruction

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The civil war ended in 1865 and what followed was a kerfuffle, otherwise known as “The Reconstruction.” This was a period of violence and turbulent controversy ranging from racial issues to economic problems. In the book Reconstruction, Eric Foner wrote that “When the Civil War ended, the white South genuinely accepted the reality of military defeat, stood ready to do justice to the emancipated slaves, and desired above all a quick reintegration into the fabric of national life. Before his death, Abraham Lincoln had embarked on a course of sectional reconciliation, and during Presidential Reconstruction (1865-67), his successor, Andrew Johnson, attempted to carry out Lincoln’s magnanimous policies. Johnson’s efforts were opposed and eventually thwarted by the Radical Republicans in Congress. Motivated by an irrational hatred of Southern “rebels” and the desire to consolidate their party’s national ascendancy, the radicals in 1867 swept aside the Southern governments Johnson had established and fastened black suffrage upon the defeated South. There followed the sordid period of Congressional or Radical Reconstruction (1867-77), an era of corruption presided over by unscrupulous “carpetbaggers” from the North, unprincipled Southern white “scalawags” and freed men. After much needed suffering, the South’s white community banded together to overthrow these governments and restore “home rule” (an euphemism for white supremacy). Foner concluded that “Reconstruction was the
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