Civil War Reconstruction Dbq

explanatory Essay
941 words
941 words

During the time period of 1860 and 1877 many major changes occurred. From the beginning of the civil war to the fall of the reconstruction, the United States changed dramatically. Nearly one hundred years after the Declaration of Independence which declared all men equal, many social and constitutional alterations were necessary to protect the rights of all people, no matter their race. These social and constitutional developments that were made during 1860 to 1877 were so drastic it could be called a revolution. The election of Abraham Lincoln and the secession of the South led to the outbreak of the civil war. The civil war was the first revolutionary change in America. States' rights were a major issue during this time. Issues of power, different interpretations of the constitution, and banking issues led to many difficulties. South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union. In South Carolina's Declaration of Causes, it was stated that "powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states" (Document A). The 10th amendment which limited the power of the federal government had acted as a backing for the secession of the South. Nowhere in the constitution did it say that the states had no right to secede from the Union. This secession from the union forever changed the country. Another major change that occurred after the civil war was the thirteenth amendment which abolished slavery. Even though the slaves had fought for the Union in the civil war, they were unable to take any political action and were still inferior as it is stated in document C. The fifteenth amendment granted the right to vote to all men no matter the race. It was argued t... ... middle of paper ... ...dom and right to vote established by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, blacks were still oppressed by strong black codes and Jim Crow laws. The federal government created strong legislation for blacks to be helped and educated, but it was ineffective due to strong opposition. Although blacks cried out to agencies, such as the Freemen's Bureau, declaring that they were "in a more unpleasant condition than our former" (Document E), their cries were often overshadowed by violence. Both constitutional and social developments greatly changed the United States to a revolutionary proportion between 1860 and 1877. The new amendments and the fight for civil rights altered the previous way of life and forever changed American society. Inequality, fear, and corruption sent the United States into turmoil that would transform the country and lead to a revolution of change.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the united states changed dramatically from the beginning of the civil war to the fall of reconstruction. social and constitutional changes were necessary to protect the rights of all people, no matter their race.
  • Explains that south carolina was the first state to secede from the union. the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery.
  • Explains how literacy tests, grandfather clauses, and fear caused by the ku klux klan were used to keep blacks from exercising their right to vote. reconstruction ended in 1877 with the compromise.
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