As a nation, America has gone through multiple political upheavals during history. Heroes and leaders have come and gone, eyeing and envisioning various goals for the progress of the country. As the period passes these "progressive developments" reach a point of conclusion. The essay will argue that the reconstruction period was a success with the help of annotated bibliography.
“Reconstruction Era: 1865 - 1877.”
the above source stipulated the origination of the reconstruction period and how it has evolved during and after the end of the civil war. Lincoln started to think about the program during the civil war. Lincoln wanted to expedite the unification of the country to initiate the process of reconstruction. In December 1863, he put forward his plan for reconstruction envisaging a new constitution that outlawed servitude in the liberating states. In January 1865, the amendment abolishing the institution of bondage in the United States was proposed in congress. Congress ratified the amendment in December 1865, thus formally abolishing the institution of slavery.
The source also tells the challenges the were present at the time of initiating the reforms. When Reconstruction started in 1865, a damaged America had just done away with the civil war. In most respects, the end of the civil war was the first step towards the realization of reconstruction. At this moment, America tries to become an operational state. Nevertheless, it was not child’s play to reform the nation which was battered by the civil war. Furthermore, the memories of the civil war were still kept fresh in the mind. One of the main architects of the reconstruction program was Abraham Lincoln. He introduced the Lincoln plan which set forth the outline for the confederate states to join the union. For reunification, the seceding states must have a moderate number of citizens, besides outlawingthe practice of slavery and espousing dependability with the association.
"American History: The Civil War and Reconstruction: Amendments, Acts, and Codes of Reconstruction.”
The above source explained the laws and acts that were passed during this phase. This source will elaborate on the measures that were taken up to 1867 or 1868. During this phase, many acts and programs were initiated. The southern states introduced Black codes in 1865 and 1866 to strip the availability of opportunities for the Blacks. In the northern states, the black codes were viewed as an effort to offset the effects of the 13th amendment and allow the remnants of pre-war slavery to continue and entrench themselves. the striking feature of these black codes was elements of vagrancy laws which forced black people to toil hard and preclude them from taking high positions. the radical congress in 1866 retaliated to this law by incorporating the south in the military principle as part of their broader program of reconstruction. For instance, the 14th amendment and civil right acts of 1866 point to this. Military remaking continues to manifest itself up to the year 1877. In 1868, the fourteenth amendment was passed to give the right to vote to the black people. It enfranchises them and grants them citizenship.
As laws were introduced by congress to address the problems of inequality, the southern state was keen to neutralize and maintain its hegemony. Here, the above source will have explained that after the end of the civil war, more acts were passed to address the deep-rooted problems of inequality. Besides this, these reforms were also introduced to counter the policies that were passed by the south to marginalize black people. The civil right act was enacted in 1871. It has a special purpose to fight against the Ku Klux klan. Grant, the president of America, employed this to undermine and destroy the Ku Klux klan, which saw its resurgence and revival at the end of the 20th century. Similarly, the article also mentioned that enforcement acts were passed. These were passed in 1870-71 b the central government to guarantee that black people can hold offices and can enjoy security and protection under the law. As demonstrations were held to hamper African Americans to vote. The acts were passed to ensure that such blacks cast their vote safely.
So forth, the origin and acts of the reconstruction period were discussed. In the ensuing paragraphs, the essay argued that how reconstriction was successful and will defy the claim of those who considered it a loss.
Patterson, T. M. (2020, January). Many African Americans made education a high priority after the Civil War. National Museum of African American History and Culture What everyone should know about Reconstruction 150 years after the 15th Amendment’s ratification.
In this source, Tiffany has argued how reconstruction spurred major changes in the political and social life of African Americans. . Of all the pitfalls mentioned regarding the reconstruction period, it is indisputable that the period resulted in improving the lives of erstwhile slave people. In many ways, it widened the political horizon by granting them the right to vote and contributing to the realization of a healthy and equitable democracy. No doubt that the reconstruction did not immediately result in the end of racial discrimination. The organization targeted black people and generated a biased opinion against them. Furthermore, the initiation of jim crow laws further marginalized black people. Despite this, it can be argued that reconstruction was a move in the right direction, albeit a small one. Because it gave political consciousness to the black people and allowed them to fight from within the system as well as outside the system. The step laid the basis for the civil rights movement of the 1960s which culminated in an even bigger success. If viewed from a broader perspective, the benefits of reconstruction outmaneuver its disadvantages. The article has eloquently argued how it improves the lives of black people.
Foner, E. (1982, December). Reconstruction Revisited.
In this above journal, Foner has argued that the period of reconstruction should be revisited which leads to the conclusion of its successes. Reconstruction was an important period about the history of struggles for civil rights in the United States. There are conflicting perspectives regarding the success of this program. Most analysts have deemed it as a failure because the reconstruction program bounded the erstwhile servitude to an agrarian business. Whereas the natives in the south have employed multiple methods like coercion, intimidation, and violence to undermine the rights and hamper their participation in the political process.
Still, the writer argues that the period of reconstruction period has been accoladed for the strengthening of democracy and contributing to the American dream of democracy, equality, and liberty. During this phase, widespread changes were made in the political, economic, and social domains to bring southern states at par with northern ones. At the national level, new laws and amendments in the constitution were introduced to extend voting rights and made American citizenship more inclusive. It speeds change contributed to the movement of America toward a more egalitarian and inclusive society. If this doesn’t happen? The situation would have been very different. Therefore, the author has argued taht there is a need to revisit this period more broadly.