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In the U.S. history, the term “Reconstruction” includes a historical period which followed the Civil War between the North and the South and the transformation of the South in the period since 1865-1866 to 1877 in time of the government and society restructuring in the former Confederacy. The Reconstruction’s fail, the President’s failure in regards to Reconstruction, and the question of punishment of Southern leadership are significant points to be discussed in this paper.
Historians give many different causes of Reconstruction failure after the Civil War. One of the reasons is the inability of the South to fulfill a number of important measures related to the Reconstruction. The most widespread reason is that slavery was the main source of labor and revenue after the Union left the Confederate in such shambles.
During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln created the Reconstruction government in several Southern states such as Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. He gave the land to former slaves in South Carolina. When Lincoln was killed in 1865, an ex-slaveholder Andrew Johnson became a president. He started his own plan of Reconstruction. The next President Ulysses S. Grant promoted the Reconstruction and compliance of protection of African Americans in the South. Reconstruction plan failed in 1866 when the Radical Republicans gained control in Congress. “Because white Republicans almost always outnumbered them, they could not enact an agenda of their own. Moreover, black leaders often disagreed among themselves about issues and programs” (Hine, Hine & Harrold 331).
However, the biggest mistakes of the Reconstruction were the Civil War, violence against African American population, and racism among the white population.
South was punished when it was defeated in the war. In addition, the Reconstruction was a systematic way of punishing the rebellion southern states by joining them back to the union.
The Reconstruction is the hardest period of the U.S. history. However, it is significant to analyze such event order to prevent another war, racial manifestations, and economic situation specific for that historical period.