Paper Example: Reconstruction of the West Critical Review

Published: 2023-08-27
Paper Example: Reconstruction of the West Critical Review
Essay type:  Book review
Categories:  Analysis American history Books American culture
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 977 words
9 min read

The Western world, especially the United States, roots its foundation for periodical civil wars. Over the years, many historians have since related to the development of the West in an attempt to understand its regionalism. “The Reconstruction of the West,” written by Elliot West, describes how the West has evolved over the years following many civil wars. Reconstruction, according to the author of this book, refers to a period of transformation in the West that began in 1845 and progressed until the United States acquired the most significant wealth in the world. This paper provides a critique of the work of Elliot West in “The Reconstruction of the West.”

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The west region, notably the continent of America (north and south) are featured to have a broad distinction both in development and culture. The regionalism context widely has been said to be the cause of civil wars. The term, therefore, has a broader perception as far as western society construction is concerned. Basing on the historical resonance of the West, it is an argument of transformation during the midcentury. By these, the writer argues more broadly on the consequential episodes that unrevealed modern western society. In such, he postulates that it has always been concluded that events of transformation in the West are a result of the Civil War; however, historians have failed to recognize the effect of pacific expansion in reshaping the face of these continents.

Elliott starts by defining the roles of Civil wars at different episodes that consequently result in changes. According to him, all the wars deserve special attention since it has been described to hold a more substantial part in reconstructing the United States. Existing civil clashes between northern and southern regions of the West have translated to tensions, fights, and reunification, which consequently have touched by changing the narrative. The author considered four main points of arguments that converted to clashes in the region, and he highlights the effect of acquiring new lands, most notably the struggle for what it contained. More importantly, the writer underlines the pacific region as a vital point of expansion due to the raw materials they possessed. By comparing to the eastern areas, Elliot describes the western part to be unfavorable for expansion due to its topographical characteristics. He argues that deconstruction was necessary, including physical planning and construction, that triggered a regional crisis. Notably, the development of transcontinental infrastructures such as rails and telegraphs was accompanied by a series of crises emerging from surveys and mapping of these regions.

Accordingly, Elliot argues that diversifying the western region was brought about by the expansion of borders that saw many people crossing over from one area to another. Summing up, different communities emanated to local rivalry owing to the variability in culture as well as tribal units. The author further identifies a difference in institutional exposure among the integrated group, which has translated to a mixed domain resulting in civil wars. During the late period of deconstruction, which ended in 1865, the writer relates this period to a diplomatic age in which regional expansion was limited since many borders in the United States had been defined. In recent days, Elliot demonstrates that the West, notably the United States, has thus embraced a populous relation that recognizes variability in culture, ethnicity, race, economic, and historical structures. Critically analyzing the scenarios behind the construction of the western region, the Civil war, as has been postulated by the author, is an intermediate between the historical origin and present society.

As have been presented, Elliot has made a compelling point throughout the reconstruction in the West. In contrast to other historians’ interpretation of the puzzle by the writer claims that the concept of repair is related to dynamicity in racial theory, land conquest in the region, and advancement in capitalism within industries that lead to structural change in the society. Basing on such interpretation, the term “reconstruction” is less symbolic but more descriptive on the whole process of western change. Focusing on such understanding, selection of the topic “The reconstruction and conquest of the west” perfectly fits the subject, making it a core strength of the study.

To a broader perspective, the symbolic importance of reconstruction has been assumed in the topic. From the point of view, relating to Elliot’s arguments, there was a restoration in Great Britain following the end of Cromwell rule civil war (West, 2017). Accordingly, the United States, since it was found not worthy of restoring the foundation slave union, reconstruction of the association was necessary. By Leaning on this understanding, there is viability in recognizing appropriateness in using the term symbolically or concretely because it presents an intersection between revolution and restoration. In such, the fugitive context of the phrase is revealing its assumed importance in the context hence a limitation of the study. Accordingly, considering the facts presented by Elliot West and the evidence linked, the study can be regarded as viable. In line with these, the author has used recently published works to support his arguments reinforcing the content, which indicates the strength of his work.


Deconstruction and conquest of the West as having been outlined has its roots in civil wars. Civil war during the midcentury emanated from episodic regional expansion met with a series of crises. Elliot west, which is the author of the book “The Deconstruction and Conquest of the West,” has ventured mainly in explaining how these Wars have emanated to the present western region. Deconstruction in these frameworks has been seen as a concrete, accompanied by various changes leading to change. Because the metaphorical importance of the term has not been contested widely, more research should be done on the same.


West, E. (2017). Reconstruction in the West. In Forum: The Future of Reconstruction Studies.” Ed. Luke Harlow. Journal of the Civil War Era (Vol. 7).


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