The struggle to restore the society after the civil war
Otto von Bismarck, the Chancellor of Germany, welcomed Grant as a nation builder, who had accomplished on the battlefield something—national unity—that Bismarck was attempting to create for his own people.
In short, Americans engaged in a strenuous debate about the nature of freedom and equality. In —after an economic depression plunged much of the South into poverty—the Democratic Party won control of the House of Representatives for the first time since the Civil War. The recalcitrance of white Southerners opened Republicans to extending full citizenship to the formerly enslaved. This exercise turns Reconstruction into a dynamic process of contestation, negotiation, and compromise, which, of course, is precisely what Reconstruction was. The role of African Americans in Reconstruction The search by African Americans for allies during Reconstruction is the focus of another worthwhile exercise. The old decentralized republic in which the federal government had few direct contacts with the average citizen except through the post office became a nation that taxed people directly, created an internal revenue bureau to collect the taxes, drafted men into the Army, increased the powers of federal courts, created a national currency and a national banking system, and confiscated 3 billion dollars of personal property by emancipating the 4 million slaves. In short, on national terms. In the s, Tennessee farmers began to organize in a series of political movements.
Before the two words "United States" were generally used as a plural noun: "the United States are a republic. The late s and s were a period of breakneck railroad construction and consolidation. This political fighting was only slightly less violent than the war that had just ended.
If so, then the federal government or, in other words, northern whites and Republicans could dictate the reconstruction of the South.
The struggle to restore the society after the civil war
In addition, each southern state had to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment to the federal Constitution. In the House of Representatives, northern congressmen pushed through the Wilmot Proviso specifying that slavery should be excluded in all territories won from Mexico. In the process, they fundamentally revised the portrait of African Americans. How could such a conflict happen? In this system, prisoners were leased to private businesses as laborers. In addition, those same voters would decide the content of citizenship in their states. And the war came. The army in numbered 14, men, the federal budget was minuscule, and nearly all functions of government were handled at the state and local level. We must settle this question now, whether in a free government the minority have the right to break up the government whenever they choose. Poll taxes and literacy tests targeted African American voters and greatly reduced the number of African Americans participating in the political system. These opposing views set the terms of conflict for the next decade. He died the next day, April 15 They recognized that the Civil War had ended slavery and destroyed the antebellum South, but it had not created a clean slate on which they had a free hand to write their future. Were the former slaves American citizens? The issue of African American citizenship provoked equally complex competing views.
With Brownlow gone, the Klansmen saw a path back to political power. Democrats, however, spread rumors that the Populists and Republicans had made a deal.
President Grant used the authority granted to him by this act to dismantle the KKK which did not resurface until the beginning of the 20th century. Fisk University was originally established at the site of former Union army hospital barracks.
One method that the state used to raise revenue, or income, was the infamous convict lease system.
Why did reconstruction fail
The new governments established during the summer and fall of enacted laws—the notorious Black Codes—that severely limited the rights of former slaves in an effort to force them to return to work as dependent plantation laborers. McElwee, Styles Hutchins, and Monroe Gooden, elected in , would be the last black lawmakers to serve in Tennessee until the s. Antebellum Americans had been fond of boasting that their "land of liberty" was a "beacon light of freedom" to the oppressed peoples of other lands. Blacks won election to southern state governments and even to the U. The KKK did not resurface again until the beginning of the 20th century. It divided the states of the South into military districts under federal military command. If the federal government had expropriated land and resources from former slave masters, what consequences would that policy have had for private property elsewhere in the United States? For better or worse, the flames of the Civil War forged the framework of modern America. Put another way, on what grounds could each any of these groups found common cause with African Americans? In , with military success elusive, Radical Republicans in Congress and abolitionists clamoring for action against slavery, and slaves by the thousands fleeing the plantations wherever the Union Army appeared, Lincoln concluded that his initial policy of fighting a war solely to preserve the Union had to change. In addition, a group of young Northern reformers came to the islands to educate the freedpeople and assist in the transition from slavery to freedom.
The delegates were about a hundred and twenty in number, but crowds of colored citizens were interested spectators through the four days, and the house was always filled full.
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