The five years of war was the nation's most devastating and wrenching experience. Although the Union was saved and slavery had ended, the South being defeated and occupied by union forces was ruined and in a state of disaster. Public structures, private homes, and farm buildings had been burnt, rail road tracks uprooted, cotton gins wrecked, and the earth scorched in many sections of the defeated land. The nation's next task was to rebuild the ruined South and the government's plan to do this is known as Reconstruction.
In the South Reconstruction meant rebuilding the economy, establishing new state and local governments and establishing a new social structure between whites and blacks. During the war Lincoln had expanded his presidency. In , Lincoln wanted to end the Civil War as quickly as possible. He feared that strong northern public support for the war would wane if the fighting continued and knew that the war was also taking an enormous toll on northern families and resources.
Lincoln worried that if the war dragged on, a settlement would be reached that would leave the North and South as two separate nations. As it turned out, his fears were justified: As a result, in the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction of , Lincoln drafted lenient specifications for secessionist states for readmission into the Union—an attempt to entice Unionists and those tired of fighting in the South to surrender.
His Ten-Percent Plan, part of the proclamation, called for southern states to be readmitted into the Union after 10 percent of the voting public swore a loyalty oath to the United States.
Lincoln did not want Reconstruction to be a long, drawn-out process; rather, he wanted the states to draft new constitutions so that the Union could be quickly restored. Radical Republicans, on the other hand, wanted the South to pay a price for secession and believed that Congress, not the president, should direct the process of Reconstruction.
The Radical Republicans saw serious flaws in Civil War—era southern society and were adamant that the South needed full social rehabilitation to resemble the North. Many Republican Congressmen also aimed to improve education and labor conditions to benefit all of the oppressed classes in southern society, black and white. In the end, Radical Republicans in the House impeached President Andrew Johnson in because he repeatedly blocked their attempt to pass radical legislation.
Had Lincoln remained alive, he might have been in the same position himself: The African Americans were under his protection after fleeing from various areas. The letter highlights the inquiry by a White American regarding the status of the African Americans within the constitution.
It shows the different forces in the reconstruction agenda. The agenda for equality was not only pursued by the African Americans but also by liberal White Americans. Public Law of North Carolina, , Chapter discusses the electoral laws that were stipulated by the North Carolina authorities. The laws are discriminative in that they demand that black Americans seeking registration must be literate. Voting was also a preserve of those that had cleared poll tax.
It also specified that only the male gender was allowed to participate in the electoral process. Additionally, no black male person born past was allowed to vote. All these allow in the historical context were against the spirit of reconstruction which was deemed on pursuing equality and inclusivity in a state full of immigrants drawn from various corners of the world. The laws, however, signal the journey pursued by America in attaining democracy and equality for all.
Middlebury College Type of paper: This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers. Why was this time in America called the reconstruction era The reconstruction era marked the rebuilding of America after attaining freedom from the British Empire.
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Reconstruction was a success in that it restored the United States as a unified nation: by , all of the former Confederate states had drafted new constitutions, acknowledged the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, and pledged their loyalty to the U.S. government. Reconstruction Essay essays Reconstruction was the period of 'repair' after the civil war. It was to repair the North and South, politically, socially, and economically. It was also to rejoin the South back into the union, as it had succeeded during the civil war.
Nov 26, · Characteristics and Impacts of American Reconstruction Essay Words | 7 Pages Characteristics and Impacts of American Reconstruction The key goals of Reconstruction were to readmit the South into the Union and to define the status of freedmen in American society. Reconstruction Essay Words | 4 Pages Reconstruction was the time between and when the U.S. focused on abolishing slavery, destroying the Confederacy, and reconstructing the nation and the Constitution and is also the general history of the post-Civil War era in the U.S. between and