The Beginning of a New Nation: Southern Reconstruction After The Civil War

The Beginning of a New Nation: Southern Reconstruction After The Civil War

Length: 1049 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Following the Civil War, life in the south was dramatically changed. America faced an arduous task of rebuilding the devastated economy and social infrastructure in former Confederate states. This new movement was known as the Reconstruction era, and it was responsible for the emergence of a multifaceted industrialization of manufactured goods and transportation networks. In the book, Steel Drivin’ Man, Scott Reynolds Nelson conveys the intensity of political debate during the Reconstruction era. The conflict revolved around the role of the federal government in domestic affairs as well as the status of recently freed African-American slaves. This period marked the emergence of John Henry, a former African-American slave that became a classic figure of American folklore myths. He was known as the man who defeated the steam-powered drill in a race, but died shortly after from inhaling the rock dust generated by the steam drills. The story of John Henry emerged out of and reflected the histories of southern reconstruction by outlining the political, social, and economic changes that undermined black equality.
After the north had officially defeated the south in May of 1865, preparations to repair the fractured nation began taking place. However, the country faced political turmoil when several opposing ideas on southern reconstruction emerged. Those ideas were divided into three opposing sides: Conservatives, Moderates, and Radicals. The Conservatives believed the South should be readmitted back into the Union without suffering any consequences for secession. This included the repudiation of Confederate war debt and the issuing of pardons to former Confederate generals. Their goal was to return the South to the political, social, a...

... middle of paper ...

... exponential growth of the railroad network. This created a large gap in the social hierarchy between the factory owners and the labor force. This resulted in violent strikes due to unfair pay and long backbreaking hours. Nelson incorporates this by presenting the hardships that John Henry had to endure while working on the railroad expansion. Not only was he forced into labor by the prison system, but he ultimately forfeited his life by living under the influence of the undemocratic south and among various modes of discrimination.
Overall, the story of John Henry is a good reflection of the influences brought upon by the southern reconstruction. Whether it involved a time of political turmoil, or exponential growth of industry, the backbreaking sweat and sacrifices made by immigrant and black labor forces will be forever immortalized in our nation’s history.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Beginnings of the Northern and Southern Societies Essay

- The society that became known as the United States had its beginnings when the first English settlers set foot on North American soil. Whether that person was a Puritan in Massachusetts, or a Jamestown Englishman they all brought a part of their own experiences, desires, knowledge, and their culture with them. Those societal, cultural, economic and political beginnings can be traced throughout our history in the mindset that both the North and South represented. This migration to a new world set the stage for the cultural oddity of slavery that although not the only cause by any means certainly went a long way toward bringing about the American Civil War....   [tags: U.S. History]

Strong Essays
1518 words (4.3 pages)

Essay on The Beginning of Nationalism

- ... Wilhelm notes “It will now be my task to see to it that this place in the sun shall remain our indisputed possession (Doc 11).” For, the involvement in trade and retrieving outside resources could accommodate to Germany’s stature. As the growth of nationalism continued to spread and expand, it profoundly united citizens of the countries Germany and Italy. The Marzrevolution painting represented the 1848 Berlin uprising (Doc 2). In the painting, bulks of people are shown clutching German flags, which are also raggedly scattered along the ground and also swaying at the top of tall buildings....   [tags: garibaldi, european countries, governments]

Strong Essays
1763 words (5 pages)

The War The New Independent Nation Of America Essay

- After the Revolutionary War the new independent nation of America sought to expand their democracy and power. As rebellions, such as Shay’s rebellion started to occur, the founding fathers and congress realized that the government needed more power. Through several compromises, the constitution was ratified and the government had more control over internal and external threats to their democracy. As time went on the government sought to expand its authority, power and democracy through compromises and taxes to fund their ambitions....   [tags: United States]

Strong Essays
1144 words (3.3 pages)

The Birth Of A Nation Essay

- The Birth of a Nation: An Insult to Cinema and Sensibility At its release, D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film The Birth of a Nation was regarded as a revolutionary and masterful piece of cinema. It was heralded as one of the greatest films ever made for the next fifty years, and is still revered by some for its amazing visuals and ground-breaking cinematic techniques. But these praises, some of which may be well deserved, obscure the film’s blatantly racist and offensive content in the minds of many viewers....   [tags: Ku Klux Klan, African American]

Strong Essays
1072 words (3.1 pages)

The Bible : The Old Testament And The New Testament Essay

- Introduction The Bible contains sixty-six books in different styles. In the beginning it tells a story of God’s movement of creation, and the series of stories about the lives of people who overcome battles by using a faith-based journey. With the last sixty-six book of revelation, which is the most difficult book to understand, it describes the details of an eternal place call Hell. To understand substance of the bible you will have to obtain the history, cultural, and the literary background of the bible....   [tags: Bible, Old Testament, Jesus, New Testament]

Strong Essays
1976 words (5.6 pages)

Essay on Analysis Of The Movie ' The Birth Of A Nation '

- D. W. Griffith’s 1915 film, “The Birth of a Nation,” initially titled “The Clansmen,” did little to refute the prejudice undertone of post civil war america. Constructed from a novel by Thomas Dixon Jr., the film nearly deemed the emancipation of slavery a mistake which displaced the construction of society ­ a mistake that could only be corrected by stainless sheet wearing vigilantes born of the film who bore the name, the Klu Klux Klan. The civil war was thought to start the momentum of a turned leaf in the United States; however, “The Birth of Nation” brought reconstruction to a screeching halt, revealing the hatred present in America and reverting American opinion back more than fifty ye...   [tags: African American, Black people, White people, Race]

Strong Essays
1756 words (5 pages)

Essay about The Birth Of The Nation Of America

- Constitution The birth of the nation of America was a miraculous occurrence, but not without a few obstacles along the way. As with any beginning nation, a form of government was the top priority. However, the founding fathers of America failed to accomplish this feat with their first attempt, the Articles of Confederation. Thankfully, in this situation, second time’s a charm, as the Constitution was created and ultimately ratified to rule the land. This magnificent document has withstood the test of time and still keeps the government flowing....   [tags: United States, United States Constitution]

Strong Essays
1340 words (3.8 pages)

An Introduction To The Nation of Germany Essay

- Introduction & County Background Geographically, Germany is centrally located in the heart of Europe. Germany’s land mass goes from the North Sea to the Baltic Sea in the North, to the Alps in the South. (World Geography, 2012) The country covers 138,000 square miles, making it approximately the combined size of Missouri and Washington State. (US Fast Facts, 2012) Germany is a federal parliamentary republic that has a current population of around 81 million people, making it the fifteenth most populous country in the world....   [tags: Countries of The World]

Strong Essays
896 words (2.6 pages)

The Aztec Nation Essay

- The Aztec Nation A distant sound is heard. It sounds like a deep drum being hit with a heavy instrument. You hear it again and strain your eyes in the direction of the sound. All around you is dense jungle. Snakes slither between your legs. You hear the sound once again. In front of you is a dense stand of ferns. You part them and look down into a wide open valley. The valley gets so wide and it is so green that it takes your breath away. But that is not what you are looking at. You are staring at a huge city with glittering buildings shining in the spring sunlight....   [tags: essays research papers]

Strong Essays
5935 words (17 pages)

Slavery in America: The Beginning of the Civil War Essay

- Slavery in America: The Beginning of the Civil War Should humans be autonomous or responsible. In other words, should they follow the convictions of their own hearts or surrender their ideals to another power presumed to be superior in its wisdom. This dilemma between autonomy and responsibility presents itself constantly. The struggles over abortion, euthanasia, and drug legalization are perfect examples. In each of these cases, individuals are either pushing for stronger individual rights (the freedom to make decisions regarding their own lives) or a stronger stance on the behalf of their government (to legally prevent individuals from making bad decisions)....   [tags: Slave Slavery Racism History Essays]

Strong Essays
2110 words (6 pages)