The Reconstruction Period Of The Civil War

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Reading Journal #1 for Hist 110: America Since the Civil War

Chapter sixteen begins with the reconstruction period of the civil war. From previous history classes I have learned more in depth about the war and why the North was fighting against the South, but overall I think the most important part to look at from the civil war is the end of it and what was to come after it, which was the reconstruction era. Lincoln had just released his emancipation proclamation and freed the slaves. As happy as this may seem it was actually quite the opposite. Attitudes of white southerners towards black in the south hadn 't changed a bit after the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1865 Carl Schurz was sent by President Andrew Johnson to investigate the current conditions of the confederacy after they were defeated in the civil war. While there he shared in his “Report on the Condition of the South” that southerners have a belief “so deeply rooted… that the negro will not work without physical compulsion”. Overall this just shows how the attitudes of white southerners were no different. They truly believed that the blacks weren 't able to work or function without force. Many northerners and abolitionists, such as Wendell Phillips, at this time saw this and actually said that Lincoln didn 't do enough. They wanted him to do a complete overhaul of southern society. Personally I understand where these people were coming from. They were people who really wanted all the issues to be resolved. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was a step in the right direction, but he could have done more. Schurz even noted that “negroes who walked away from the plantations, or were found upon the roads, were shot or otherwise severely punished”. Former slaves weren ...

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...ocuments and quotes about people’s feelings during this time and because of that they don’t often get considered. Even today it is hard for us to imagine these women being real people with families and busy lives. These women were working around the clock in other people’s houses. Many of them mentioned that they didn’t have set hours. People in the house would call for them during all hours of the day and they never had time for themselves. One women shared just this in her interview when she said, “I had a good room and everything nice, and she gave me a great many things, but I’d have spared them all if only I have had a little time to myself.” Life was extremely difficult for these women even though they weren 't doing strenuous labor. They were forced into the lives of other families with unpredictable hours while still trying to maintain a life of their own.
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