Reconstruction in America After the Civil War

879 Words4 Pages
The Meaning of Reconstruction America has gone through many hardships and struggles since coming together as a nation involving war and changes in the political system. Many highly regarded leaders in America have come bestowing their own ideas and foundation to provide a better life for “Americans”, but no other war or political change is more infamous than the civil war and reconstruction. Reconstruction started in 1865 and ended in 1877 and still to date one of the most debated issues in American history on whether reconstruction was a failure or success as well as a contest over the memory, meaning, and ending of the war. According to, “Major Problems in American History” David W. Blight of Yale University and Steven Hahn of the University of Pennsylvania take different stances on the meaning of reconstruction, and what caused its demise. David W. Blight argues that reconstruction was a conflict between two solely significant, but incompatible objectives that “vied” for attention both reconciliation and emancipation. On the other hand Steven Hahn argues that former slaves and confederates were willing and prepared to fight for what they believed in “reflecting a long tradition of southern violence that had previously undergirded slavery” Hahn also believes that reconstruction ended when the North grew tired of the 16 year freedom conflict. Although many people are unsure, Hahn’s arguments presents a more favorable appeal from support from his argument oppose to Blight. The inevitable end of reconstruction was the North pulling federal troops from the south allowing white rule to reign again and proving time travel exist as freed Africans in the south again had their civil, political, and economical position oppressed. The st... ... middle of paper ... ...ights for African Americans as well as a political rights for the people, his goal was to abolish slavery and felt that “all men created equally” should uphold for everybody, everybody that was man at least. Johnson the president, in the beginning proved to be loyal to his radicals by chastising the confederacy making sure there would be repercussions for their actions. Also his amnesty plan to reinstate the south states was far harsher than that of Lincoln's. Johnson’s sanctions deprived confederacy officers, people in high power, and anyone who owned valuable assets could be subject to confiscation. The purpose was to shift political power in south and reward it to freed blacks and white southerners who stayed neutral during the war. Hahn states in his article that, “During reconstruction, black men held political offices in every state of the former confederacy”
Open Document