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The Nature of Reconstruction in African American History - Essay Example

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The purpose of the paper “The Nature of Reconstruction in African American History” is to analyze numerous Economical, Political, and Social consequences on the American society. There were many driving factors which caused the division of North and South…
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The Nature of Reconstruction in African American History
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"The Nature of Reconstruction in African American History"

Download file to see previous pages  African Americans participated in huge numbers in the war as soldiers either enslaved by the confederate rulers or as loyalists to the Northern states due to their denouncement of slavery. The northern states, known as the Union, won the war in 1865 with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at McLean House Virginia. With the victory of North, and their policy of emancipation was universally implemented in the entire country. This along with other political and social measures taken in the aftermath of the civil war for reconstruction of the war struck areas and to ensure the integration of freedmen in the society are collectively referred to as reconstruction. As mentioned earlier, the reconstruction refers to the steps taken by the federal government to counter the effects of Civil War, specifically on the former Confederate States and on the freedmen. There were various objectives of the reconstruction initiated by the then President Abraham Lincoln and the Republican Congress in 1863. An administrative and political structure had to be re-established in the southern states which lost the war. Moreover, their incorporation in the Union itself, and the congress was also to be carried out in the long term. Moreover, even after the war ended, there was a huge following of the ex-Confederate leaders in the nationalist white men of the southern states (Horton, 2005). The status of the Confederate leadership had to be decided in order to avoid any conflict or chaos. Another, rather more serious, issue was to decide the social, economic and political rights of the freedmen under the constitution. Most important of them was the question that whether or not the freedmen should be given the right to vote. Hence, the reconstruction can be thought of as political, social, economic, legal and administrative restructuring of the southern states by the President and the Congress. There were two different approaches followed by the Union politicians during the Reconstruction era. The office of the president, under Abraham Lincoln, and after his death by Andrew Johnson, resorted mostly to administrative measures to avoid conflict, and contain the chaos caused by southern nationalists over the above-mentioned issues. The policy of both presidents was very lenient towards the southern states and ex-Confederate politicians. They wanted the Reunion of Southern States with the federal government as early as possible. Starting from 1862, military governors were appointed in ten out of eleven states which exercised administrative and legal powers. At that time, it was decided that these governors would give way to a political set up when at least ten percent of the white men in a state vowed allegiance to the Union and also accept the declaration of emancipation (the Ten Percent Plan). The states were then allowed to elect their own governor and legislative assembly and write a new constitution embodying concepts of emancipation and federation. These measures proved to be very effective in the immediate control of the riots, which had broken in the southern states. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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