A Discussion On The Myth And Failure Of Reconstruction Following The Civil War, And How This Failure Impacted And Changed America


Then And Now
"Spell the word one way, with a small r , and it has a good American purposefulness; for it means a putting together, a rebuilding, a rehabilitation. Spell it another way, with a capital R , and it becomes for many a malediction; and for others an almost forgotten, unreached, and needful goal; and for still others a vaguely unclean memory."(Carter 11) The Reconstruction period should have been a time of cleansing and a return to what had been but instead it turned out to be a terrible failure and its repercussions have continued up to this day, 130 years later.
The Civil War lasted from April 14, 1861 to April 9,1865. 620,000 lives were lost and approximately four million ...

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defeated states of the Southern Confederacy would be joined again to the Union, the more than four million black freedmen living within them absorbed politically and economically in a nation reunited by the force of arms, and safeguards provided against any possible renewal of rebellion."(Carter 11)

Reconstruction officially began with Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction in 1863.(Tindall 452) Lincoln's "10 Percent Plan" ,as it was called, would allow a state to be admitted into the Union if 10 percent of its voting population took an oath of allegiance to the Constitution and the Union.(Tindall 452) Congress did not like Lincoln's plan so when Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana all completed the requirements for readmission into the Union, the Congress would not recognize them as states.(Tindall 452)

Most of the conservative and moderate Republicans supported Lincoln's plan of immediate restoration but a small group known as the Radical Republicans blocked the ...

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Lands in order to provide "such issues of provisions, clothing, and fuel" as might be needed to provide relief to "destitute and suffering refugees and freedmen and their wives and children."(Tindall 453) Oliver Howard who was appointed commissioner of the Freedmen's Bureau was "a poor executive, a naive, too-trusting administrator in an agency which would become uncommonly tainted by fraud, inefficiency, and gross political misconduct."(Carter 56)

According to W.E.B. DuBois the Bureau was authorized "to make as rapidly possible a general survey of conditions and needs in every state and locality; to relieve immediate hunger and distress; to appoint state commissioners and upwards of 900 ...

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Added: 1/26/2005 10:51:08 PM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 5063
Pages: 19

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