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Civil War and Reconstruction - Essay Example

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Name: Course: Tutor: Date: The Civil War and the Reconstruction in American History: Changes towards the Better End In the US history, the Civil War and subsequent Reconstruction had brought about a number of momentous changes in the race-relation in the US society…
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Civil War and Reconstruction

Download file to see previous pages... Consequently historical events like Reconstruction, Wade-Davis Bill, Black Codes, Segregation, Jim Crow laws, the 13th Amendment to the 15th Amendment to the Constitution etc were some steps towards the construction of a race-blind society. The next mentionable event in the Reconstruction era was the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864. The racial Segregation and the Jim Crow laws, in a single phrase the “separate policy” of the south was essentially the South’s reaction to the 13th, 14th and the 15th constitutional Amendments during the Reconstruction in the post Civil War Period. Reconstruction’s primary goals were to establish the Black rights by withering out Slavery and to reintegrate the South with the nation. The Reconstruction started with President Lincoln’s affirmative actions for a race-blind, equal and reunited America. While Lincoln followed a more moderate course to establish black people’s right and to reunite the South, the Radical Republicans “opposed it on the ground that Lincoln reconstruction plan had freed the slaves without paying much attention to establishing their socio-political, economic and other rights” (Stampp, 1956, p. 78). By passing the Wade-Davis Bill in 1864 Republican dominated Congress declare that Southern States should be run by military governors and, Secession and Slavery would be outlawed with the consent of the fifty percent of a state’s voters. ...
Both theoretically and legally by the 13th Amendment of the Constitution slavery was outlawed; empowered by the 14th Amendment, people of colors could enter into contracts, business, ownership, etc and by the 15th Amendment they earned the right to vote. But the reality was totally different from what the Northerners expected from the Amendments and their enactment, as Gerald Early says in this regard, “white southerners, inspired by the North's old Black Codes, instituted their own version…..in response to the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution…” (Early, 2011, p. 2) While before the 13th Amendment in the pre-Civil War period, the Southerners enjoyed unchallenged mastery over the Blacks and exploited the black labor to sustain the South’s plantation and other agriculture based economy, after the constitutional abolition of slavery the South sought to generate unofficial laws limiting the blacks’ civil rights, during the Johnson Presidency, with a view to manipulate black labor evading the Constitutional restrictions. Indeed the Southerners’ strategy was to retain psychological inferiority of the Blacks so that the cheap black labor could easily be manipulated. Since slavery became an indispensable part of the colonizer’s economy and became socio-politically integrated into the early American society, it began to shift its basis from war to color after the 13th Amendment. Josef Healey (2010) says that “blackness” itself as an ideology was critical for the exploitation of the labor of the African blacks in early America, and it “provided the very source of whiteness and the heart of racism” (Healey, 2010, p. 288). This master-slave association greatly ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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