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American History - 'Reconstruction succeeded in reintegrating the union, but the attempt to grand civil rights to the country - Essay Example

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Name of student: Topic: Lecturer: Date of Presentation: Introduction The civil war which was the deadliest in American history left the South smashed thus the post-war period was that of Reconstruction. The main aim of this Reconstruction was to bring the confederate states back to the union and to punish those had engaged in the rebellion…
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American History - Reconstruction succeeded in reintegrating the union, but the attempt to grand civil rights to the country
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"American History - 'Reconstruction succeeded in reintegrating the union, but the attempt to grand civil rights to the country"

Download file to see previous pages The presidents that assumed office thereafter continued with the same trend though they were more sympathetic to the white South. The Republican Radicals were not happy with the presidential Reconstructions hence decided to take over the mandate themselves through the congress. Although congressional Reconstruction was moderate it managed to secure some civil and political rights for the blacks especially through the push of Republican Radicals. The issue of most contention during this period was the social rights which most of the Americans believed should be earned through hard work and not through legislations. In the end, the question that needs to be answered is; were Reconstruction goals achieved? This paper will argue that although Reconstruction succeeded in reintegrating the union, the attempt to grant civil rights to the country’s black population was already lost by 1877. This is because although Black rights were afforded through the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the US constitution and the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875, much of it was reversed by the Jim Crow laws with the blessing of the Supreme Court. The terror groups such as Ku Klux Klan, Red Shirts and White League also did not give opportunity to the blacks to enjoy their rights. This was further worsened by the union of Northerners and Southerners at the expense of black rights. 100 years after the end of slavery, racial inequality still persisted and continues to haunt Americans to date. Abraham Lincoln in his inaugural speech stated clearly his plans for Reconstruction of the South even before the war had ended. By 1863, the confederates had already accepted defeat and were waiting to be reprimanded by the Union. However, civil the war ended in 1865. Lincolns Reconstruction was very moderate and lenient. In December 1863 he made a proclamation of amnesty and Reconstruction granting pardon to those who took oath to support the constitution of United States and the Union of states.1 He also established provisional governments which were to be under executive control. The only individuals exempted from amnesty were those who aided in the rebellion especially confederate army and navy. Conspicuously missing in oath-taking, voting and holding office in the new governments were the blacks. This is despite his declaration that “the restoration of Rebel states to the union must rest upon the principle of civil and political equality of both races”.2 This clearly indicates that the intention of Reconstruction from onset was the unity of the union while the black rights were relegated to the background. The emancipation proclamation of 1863 freeing all slaves had given hope to the blacks that their condition would improve but this was just rhetoric. According to Kenneth Stamp a great historian, Lincolns hope was to persuade a great mass of blacks to leave the country although his views had changed by 1865 when he was assassinated. By this time, he believed blacks could become integral part of American life.3 He faced his death due to his insistence on abolition of slavery especially in the south. After him came Andrew Johnson in 1865. The reign of Johnson was filled with many gains as well as losses. Many Republicans had high hopes that he would deliver the promise of racial equality and punish the rebel states. His hatred for the South planter class was apparent and in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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