To What Extent Were the Aims of Reconstruction Achieved by 1877

4136 Words Jun 30th, 2013 17 Pages
To what extent were the aims of reconstruction achieved by 1877?

The following essay will analyze the economic, social and political successes and failures of the reconstruction period, after the United States’ civil war. In the presidential elections of 1860, Republicans led by Abraham Lincoln opposed the idea of slavery into United States' territories. Although Lincoln had won the elections, by March 4, 1861, seven cotton plantation-based slave states formed the Confederacy. Lincoln’s first movements insisted that republicans would not initiate civil war, leading eight remaining slave states to reject immediate calls for secession. There was an intention to prevent war, but a peace conference failed, and there were no arrangements
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They were four and a half million of them; they were a force to be reckoned with It was not only that their leaders, such as Frederick Douglas was energetic and articulate, nor that they had many powerful white friends among the abolitionists. They had won their freedom meritoriously and by their own efforts. As a result of actions of reconstruction, there where new blacks who enrolled in the US army, and black leaders started arising in different states, which ratified the success.
Also the south had to accept the rules of the US constitution, and this meant that they had to accept the 13th amendment which made slavery illegal in the southern states. Therefore the legal basis for continuing slavery was removed. Southern states were also forced to write new state constitutions, which would next be ratified by the voters and under which elections to the congress could be held in the autumn. In this way reconstruction was successful as the power of the planters was now lowered, thanks to the new 13th amendment, they were not able to use a slavery system any more, in that way cotton plantation became much more unprofitable and in this way dependence of the south on cotton was also reduced, as now blacks had a wage. Finally Afro-Americans were now free by law, which was also one of the reconstruction aims
Moreover blacks as citizens also received rights, they could legally marry, sue or be sued, testify against whites, own land, get paid for work,