American Democracy Changed After The Civil War Essay

American Democracy Changed After The Civil War Essay

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Equality in American Democracy
American democracy changed drastically after the Civil War. One of the major changes in American democracy was equality. Today, American citizens are more equal than the Americans before the Civil War. Major movements, events, and government decisions changed the way people view equality today. Some of these changes improved the equality between American citizens, but others only increased the inequality.
After the Civil War came the Reconstruction. The Reconstruction gave some power back to the states and eventually brought the states back together. It gave the state’s power by allowing them to govern themselves under military commanders from the Union. Although this brought the 14th amendment which gave former slaves some rights, states made their own laws, like the Mississippi Black Code. Laws similar to the Mississippi Black Code restricted the former slaves by disallowing them basic rights granted by the Bill of Rights, like the 2nd amendment the right to bear arms. Reconstruction was an attempt to reintegrate the South and the North. It led to some improvement to equality, like the 14th amendment, but also led to major inequality, like the Mississippi Black Code.
In the book Abraham Lincoln and The Second American Revolution, James M McPherson offers a similar perspective of the Reconstruction. McPherson talks about the people who wanted equality for all men and those who would not accept former slaves as equals. People like Wendell Phillips sought for voting for freedmen, while people who joined the Kul Klux Klan sought to repress the freedmen. Throughout this, McPherson talks about the power of the federal government versus the power of the state. People who sought equality, argued for mo...


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...s. They held higher expectations and protested for things such as civil rights, equality, and the Free University. Protests such as these changed American Politics today. Government officials at the time began to fear their own citizens and government officials show the outcomes of this past fear with armored cars and bodyguards.
Today we live in a society full of opportunities and freedoms. We are all equal as men and woman no matter the race or religion. Some people may not think this way though. American Democracy changed very drastically after the Civil War. We see these changes today in our current liberties that we take for granted such as the right to vote. People have different perspectives of these changes, but they all share the common goal of wanting to live equal to your neighbor. Although Americans are diverse in mind and body, we are still all human.

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