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The Concept of Reconstruction - Case Study Example

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This paper "The Concept of Reconstruction" discusses reconstruction of the South following the Civil War that was a conception of Abraham Lincoln whose motive was to unite a deeply divided nation.  Establishing the rule of law in the South was the first priority…
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The Concept of Reconstruction
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Download file to see previous pages The rampant oppression of black citizens remained commonplace in the South due mainly to the racist, pro-slavery sentiments of Lincoln’s successor Andrew Johnson. Racist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan emerged and flourished during Reconstruction, a circumstance that would have been much less likely had Lincoln lived. Lincoln’s dream of rebuilding the South and unifying the nation fell well short of his expectations. His dream became a nightmare for Southern blacks under the Johnson administration.

Slavery was an emotional topic in which everyone in the country at the time maintained a strong opinion. Lincoln and those of abolitionist ideology acknowledged that slavery was a part of the American culture and of vital economical concern to Southerners. Lincoln pointed to the founder’s actions to eradicate slavery such as banning it in many parts of the new country and believed their intention was for the practice to eventually fade from society. “Perhaps Lincoln overstates the fathers’ view on the subject for there surely were some for whom this was not true, but on the whole, he is correct most of the founders thought just as he said even those among them who were large slave-owners, like Washington, Jefferson, and Madison” (Wills, 1992 pp. 38-9). Lincoln’s motives and actions intended to change the collective conscience of the nation is universally applauded today and considered the earliest beginnings of the Civil Rights movement. During his presidency, however, Lincoln was, of course, hated by Southerners and questioned by many in the North for engaging the South too aggressively, especially following the carnage at Gettysburg. Northerners were generally ready to fight for the Union but not many were willing to die simply to end slavery in the South. They believed that Lincoln used the ‘Emancipation lever’ as a punishment for the Southern States that broke apart the country and declared war. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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