United States History. Free Paper

Published: 2023-01-29
United States History. Free Paper
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Racism American Civil War Liberty Abraham Lincoln American history
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1701 words
15 min read

Reconstruction is termed as the historical era that started amid and after the American Civil War (1865-1877). Reconstruction encountered far-fetching transitions in the nation's radical and societal life. The U.S administration at that time was headed by President Andrew Johnson who faced the responsibility of reunifying the North and South together after the Civil War. In the Southern side, African American men were for the preliminary time privileged with the liberty to elect and work in an office and an electorally ineffective black community united with white associates to bring to power the Republican Party (Guelzo 234). The Reconstruction was a period when the regime assumed that all citizens required human rights even African Americans. The paper examines whether Reconstruction was a success or failure for the country and African Americans in particular.

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Analysis of the Reconstruction Period

Reconstruction was America's initial effort at interracial democracy. Almost all efforts by Lincoln and his replacement Andrew Johnson were weakened by the spiteful partisan plans of the Democratic Party. Dishonesty trailed pioneered by warped northerners who grabbed the excess resources of the government, Southerners who took part with the Republicans for specific achievement and unknowing and immature-free African American people who had no abilities to exercise new radical influence that had been given to them.

A short time after Restoration commenced, the South's white group joined in what they termed to as patriotic movements like the Ku Klux Klan to expel these "black" administrations and reestablish "home rule." Propagated by cinemas, for instance, in "Birth of a Nation," this opinion depended on the assumption that African-American suffering was the severest error of the Civil War time frame. This fortified the South's plan of ethnic exclusion and the dissatisfaction of African American electorates explicitly. Elementary to the civil assertion over Reconstruction were the perplexing replies of Southerners, extremely conflicting, to the conclusion of bondage. To the blacks, liberty proposed autonomy from white rule and their relatives persisted as the underlying backbone to the post-liberation contrast (Foner 560).

Under enslavement, almost all African Americans lived secluded from families. Reconstruction allowed setting their household links. One Northern writer in 1865 fronted a liberated man who walked over 400 kilometers from Georgia to North Carolina, looking for the spouse and kids from whom he had been enslaved. Management of their domestic life was important to the preceding slaves' illustration of freedom. Over time, the blacks were pushed back from white-owned spiritual organizations, where they had been barred from any part in chapel management and were regularly needed to remain in the back chairs amid services. The progress of the black chapel (Methodist and Baptist for the most part) assumed a major component in redrawing the spiritual escort of the South, turning into a place of worship, hosting schools, gatherings, and social, partisan times (Foner 564).

The other remarkable instance of Reconstruction's influence on freed individual groups' actions to implant importance into liberty was their rush toward instruction. Before the war, every South state rejected the instruction of slaves. Nowadays, adults and youngsters ran to the institutions built up during and after the Civil War. The longing for freedom and self-transition also formed the Blacks' monetary sense of freedom. Overwhelmingly, blacks failed to function in associations of the course of a manager and for the majority, part preferred letting zone to operating for wages. In case preceding slaves deliberated on Restoration to be declared in another era of history due to self-sufficiency and equity, most Southern whites replied to army flaying and emancipation with terrifying and crime (Summers 112).

During the end of slavery, most African Americans in the South remain poor. They did not have property, political power, and economic opportunity. Some former slaves desired to work on their land. In some cases, the federal government gave land to African Americans. Former slave owners also attempted to impose contract labor. Yet, the African Americans insisted on sharecropping. As Reconstruction progressed, the South created black codes to return African Americans to semi-servitude. Extreme violence and segregation were reported during the Reconstruction era. The Jim Crow laws permitted discrimination and limited black civil rights. The North and Federal government did not do much to avert the Jim Crow laws (Summers 178). Various secret societies focused on keeping African Americans out of partisan processes and also exploit them. After the removal of federal soldiers from the South, southern state government and organizations like the Ku Klux Klan deprived Blacks of the right to vote.

Success of Reconstruction

President Abraham Lincoln initial objective was to embrace the country together. Therefore, in this, the war and Reconstruction was effective. The Confederation was eliminated in totality and every state that had separated was readmitted to the Union. The federal government banned serfdom with the 13th Amended, delineated citizenship and safeguarded all Americans under the law with the 14th Amendment and protracted suffrage to all men in the 15th Amendment. Federal legislation such as the Civil Rights Act and Freedman's Bureau functioned to get the Blacks back on their feet and took part equally in the administration, people, and economy. African American men were voted to every level of government such as senators and governors. All of the South states conscripted new constitutions and sanctioned the Reconstructions Amendments. Numerous Blacks took part in new state and local governments, which championed for equal rights and reconstructed or create services such as railroads, schools, housing, roads, hospitals and asylums (Zuczek 156).

During the Reconstruction Period, charitable institutions and people, particularly the Northerners focused on improving education and literacy levels for African Americans. There was also the opening of businesses like steel lumber mills and cotton industries to re-energize the economy. Reconstruction also ensures that there was an opening of new cultural centers. In addition, African American institutions and churches attained independence. The 13th Amendment freed the slaves from their owners. The 14th Amendment stipulated that nobody could take away the rights of any citizen regardless of the age, race or gender. The 15th Amendment gave voting rights to African Americans. The acts passed during this period gave African Americans equal rights as other Americans (Summers 170).

State administrations had some prosperity in resolving social issues; for instance, they financed the public school framework open to all people. Additionally, the Blacks developed organizations that had been deprived of them during servitude. Education institutions and families developed during the Reconstruction period. The fragmentation of the estate framework resulted in some rearrangement of land. Another thing to note the achievements of the Reconstruction period reinstated the South to the Union and created a new democracy for both the African Americans and the whites. Reconstruction also enabled African Americans to be prosperous in creating an approach to autonomy.

Failures of the Reconstruction Period

One of the failures of the Reconstruction Period was the establishment of the Klu Klux Klan who was people who clad best clothes and conjured to be the ghost of the Confederate militias, they were worried of change and the increasing rights of the Black Americans. Poverty was highly experienced in the South because numerous white southerners lost their land and newly freed African Americans had no jobs left for them. Industrialization in the Southern part was too slow and sharecropping and tenant farming resulted in more complications because it was partial to the laborers on the land. There was also extreme corruption of taxes which only assisted the government and failed to support the poor people.

In the initial years of Reconstruction, the new state administrations had numerous capable but unskilled politicians. A few of those leaders were inspired by corruption and greed. Southern whites are usually disobliging with new rules enacted by African Americans or Yankees. The relationship between the former slaves and the southern whites, particularly the landowners played a huge role in the reason for the failures of the Reconstruction process. Some of the associations between the two groups were the perspectives of the African Americans' work ethics and the sentiments of mistrust and anger. The African Americans were taught to inquire for a contract when working for any other person, to ensure they received payment and in full terms. The reality that the ex-slaves believed that it was essential to hold a contract with the southern plantation owners, showed the mistrust that was between the former slaves and the landowners (Guelzo 180).

Reconstruction also failed because 'carpetbaggers' came down from the Northern side and took advantage of the damage Sought both economically and politically. Since every person who participated in the Confederacy was not permitted to hold public office, therefore, lawyers, businessmen, and other competent people who came from the North placed men in the office that could be influenced by them. Numerous 'carpetbaggers' purchased farms and houses using illegally acquired taxes, thereby leaving the indigenous residents without homes (Summers 120).


When the Civil War eventually ended, the South was completely damaged. The infrastructure in the Southern region was damaged and ruined. Reconstruction was the era after the Civil War when the Americans needed to reunite the country for peace. There were numerous successes and failures in the Reconstruction period. However, it appears that the successes surpassed the failure. One of the greatest successes was reuniting the country once again. Another success was the freedom of slaves. The slaves were eventually freed after the Civil War. During the Reconstruction period, many acts were passed to benefit African Americans. However, the formation of Klu Klux Klan was one of the failures of the Reconstruction. In addition, people from the North came to the south to exploit the poor. The crumple of Reconstruction profoundly influenced the future sequence of American advancement. The South remained a bastion of a one-gathering response plan and kept running by an old Southern first class who utilized similar savagery and misrepresentation to stifle the Blacks as they had for the past four hundred of years.

Works Cited

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty!: An American History: W W Norton, 2016. Print.

Guelzo, Allen C. Reconstruction: A Concise History. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2018. Print.

Summers, Mark W. The Ordeal of the Reunion: A New History of Reconstruction. , Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2014. Print.

Zuczek, Richard. Encyclopedia of the Reconstruction Era. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2006. Internet resource.

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