What was one success during the reconstruction era

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what was one success during the reconstruction era

Reconstruction Quotes (27 quotes)

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Reconstruction: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Reconstruction

The Reconstruction era was the period in American history which lasted from to It was a significant chapter in the history of American civil rights. The term has two applications: the first applies to the complete history of the entire country from to following the American Civil War ; the second, to the attempted transformation of the 11 former Confederate states from to , as directed by Congress. Reconstruction ended the remnants of Confederate secession and ended slavery, making the newly freed slaves citizens with civil rights ostensibly guaranteed by three new Constitutional amendments. Three visions of Civil War memory appeared during Reconstruction: the reconciliationist vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included segregation and the preservation of the traditional cultural standards of the South; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans. Johnson favored rapid measures to bring the South back into the Union, allowing the Southern states to determine the rights of former slaves. Radical Republicans in Congress sought stronger, federal measures to upgrade the rights of African Americans, including the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution , while curtailing the rights of former Confederates, such as through the provisions of the Wade—Davis Bill.

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. However, Reconstruction failed by most other measures: Radical Republican legislation ultimately failed to protect former slaves from white persecution and failed to engender fundamental changes to the social fabric of the South. When President Rutherford B. Hayes removed federal troops from the South in , former Confederate officials and slave owners almost immediately returned to power. With the support of a conservative Supreme Court, these newly empowered white southern politicians passed black codes, voter qualifications, and other anti-progressive legislation to reverse the rights that blacks had gained during Radical Reconstruction.

CORE LESSON

At the end of the Civil War the crucial question was, How was the defeated South to be treated? During and the newly formed southern state governments, dominated by former Confederates Democrats , enacted the infamous Black Codes. These were laws designed to reestablish white supremacy and return African Americans to conditions similar to slavery.

By the end of the Civil War, the South was in a state of political upheaval, social disorder, and economic decay. Inflation became so severe that by the end of the war a loaf of bread cost several hundred Confederate dollars. Thousands of southerners starved to death, and many who did not starve lost everything they owned: clothing, homes, land, and slaves. As a result, by , policymakers in Washington had the nearly impossible task of southern Reconstruction. Reconstruction encompassed three major initiatives: restoration of the Union, transformation of southern society, and enactment of progressive legislation favoring the rights of freed slaves. Under the plan, each southern state would be readmitted to the Union after 10 percent of its voting population had pledged future loyalty to the United States, and all Confederates except high-ranking government and military officials would be pardoned.

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