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"Drawing upon the historical lessons of the Reconstruction Era and cotemporary times, what should the role of government be in society"
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ng and vital role in defending the rights of minorities, and must take action to atone for the wrongs of its past (for instance, by not simply ending slavery but actively redressing its effects).; The problem, however, is that from both that time period and today show that the government cannot be fully trusted: it will always act in its own self-interest.
One of the most important lessons from the reconstruction era is that the government, to actually make societal changes for the better, must work to actively redress the crimes of its past – this is something that was simply not done enough during the reconstruction era, to the detriment of America today. Slavery was a crime committed by the various governments of the United States for almost 100 years – a crime that led to millions of people suffering and dying needlessly.2 America fought the civil war, at least in part, to atone for these crimes. The government also passed “constitutional amendments, [and] laws for racial equity” following the Civil war, believing simply outlawing their past crime was enough to make up for it.3 The problem, however, was that this did little to actually make up for the crimes of the past – black Americans were still widely discriminated against, and still relied on “privileged whites”4 for their work and sustenance – and if they tried to stand up against those whites they could be fired, deprived from work, otherwise harassed or even suffer violence.5 This led to black Americans having generation after generation of oppressed people, to the point where they still, more than one hundred and fifty years after the end of slavery, suffer from more societal ills such as poverty and crime. The United States government should have made a concerted effort to actually reverse the effect of the crime of slavery, not just stop committing that crime – if it had we might not need to be having debates about things like affirmative action today – and we would not
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Further aggravating the situation was the fact that the wounds of defeat were still fresh in the collective psyche of White Southerners and these wounds were deepened with the rising political and economic power of their Northern conquerors (referred to as carpetbaggers) as well as their former slaves.
Soars people got by then still run deep in the hearts of Americans as more than six hundred thousand people lost their lives and left over four hundred thousand with grievous wounds. As recorded, millions of people lost their property worth millions of dollars, many families got displaced as well as losing made fortunes hence when the country ceased fighting in 1865, it was very different from the way it was five years earlier.
Reconstruction may be perceived at the time in history to have caused economic adjustments that enable American freedom to struggle forward and mark history with crucial events that had advanced interests of the Southern citizens. When the acclaimed historian Eric Foner conveys in argument “What remains certain is that Reconstruction failed, and that for blacks its failure was a disaster whose magnitude cannot be obscured by the genuine accomplishments that did endure (Foner, p.
During that time, many spiteful republicans were drastic and wanted to ensure black supremacy is secure upon federation. The life of African Americans changed after the civil war and the beginning of reconstruction era (Cannon 2009, p.59). Since then reconstruction was viewed as being laudable regarding racial democracy.
However, complete guaranteed freedom during then was far from its realization due to key groups and influential icons in the government who had conflicting intentions. Hence, prompting Dubois term the attainment of equality during then as a “splendid failure” because an individual’s recognition or mode of treatment assumed racial lines.
Despite historical injustices suffered by them, black Americans exhibited bravery in the battle grounds as they joined forces with fellow Unionists and staked their lives for the promise of emancipation. Having
implications of the unsuccessful war with all the limitation in the social standards and quick discouragement and hatred was a situation that would make it hard under any criteria to come up with new civilization and new government. Additionally, the 4 million freemen and the