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Name Instructor Course Date History Assignment. Essays. 2. Explain the course of Presidential and Congressional Reconstruction. (Page 560) Reconstruction refers to the controversial period 1865 – 1877, following the American Civil War, and pertains to the political, economic, and social attempt to rebuild and reform the South after the Civil War, and to address the racial issue…
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Download file to see previous pages... These new governments passed the discriminatory ‘Black Codes,’ which denied Blacks the right to testify against whites, barred entry to juries and state militias, denied them suffrage, mandated yearly labor contracts, restricted the occupations open to them and denied them property rights. When Jackson vetoed the Civil Rights Bills, establishing equality before the law for all races, and the Freedmen’s Bureau Bill, the Republican Congress broke with him. Radical Republicans in Congress embarked on their own reforms, through constitutional legislation, in a period called the Radical Reconstruction, extending from 1866-1877. The Fourteenth Amendment of 1868 guaranteed Blacks civil rights and equality before the law; the Fifteenth Amendment of 1870 mandated racially impartial voting rights; the Civil Rights Act of 1875 banned racial segregation. The Freedmen’s Bureau, whose powers were expanded by Congress, assisted former slaves to assert their rights. Several former slaves held legislative office, and entered the Congress, the Senate and the judiciary. Equal civil and political rights for African-Americans were ensured by such constitutional reforms. Former slaves succeeded in obtaining small family plots and a share in revenue through sharecropping. Socially, the African-Americans could now enjoy public conveniences, legalize their marriages and obtain educations. Radical Reconstruction struck a blow against racial discrimination, and laid the foundation for social integration of African Americans. With the election of 1876, and the Democratic dominance of Congress, the Reconstruction came to an end. 5. Explain the course of the Spanish-American War. (Page 663) The Spanish-American War was the offshoot of American expansionism, ignited by rising nationalist sentiment, and the doctrine of ‘Manifest Destiny’: it was the ‘duty’ of the ‘superior’ Anglo-Saxon race to spread Christian and Democratic values to ‘backward’ people. The war originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain that began in 1895. American public sympathy for the Cuban revolutionaries was exacerbated by the ‘yellow press’, reporting atrocities committed by the Spanish on civilians. American investments in Cuba, and the perception of the strategic importance of the island in Central America, led President McKinley to dispatch the battleship USS Maine to Havana, to pressurize Spain. The mysterious explosion of the Maine in February 1898, with the loss of nearly 270 lives, was attributed to Spain. When Spain rejected American demands for a cease-fire and Cuban independence, McKinley declared war on Spain in April 1898. “The splendid little war,” (Foner, 663), to quote Secretary of State John Hay, resulted in only 400 American casualties and ended in four months. On May 1, the Spanish fleet was destroyed by the American navy under Admiral George Dewey at Manila Bay in the Philippines. The charge at San Juan Hill, outside Santiago, was highlighted by the popular press, which made Theodore Roosevelt a national hero. American troops landed in Cuba after another naval victory in July. American victory was declared in August. Contrary to its pre-war statements, America set to acquire an overseas empire. Under the following peace treaty, Cuba became an American Protectorate under the Platt Amendment of 1902, and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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