Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples

Type of paper: Case Study

Topic: America, Slavery, Lincoln, War, United States, Politics, Time, Union

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2021/01/08

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In the Podcast ‘Reconstruction and Citizenship’, Eric Foner discusses the efforts of the nation in coming to terms with life in the aftermath of the Civil War (reconstruction) and the questions that arose from it. During the war itself, the two main agendas to accomplish were the preservation of the American Union and the destruction of slavery.
During the War, Lincoln did everything he could to preserve the Union, and in his efforts of doing so over time, his views on blacks changed. I do agree that Lincoln was anti-slavery, but he also never considered himself an abolitionist since he neither viewed them as equals nor saw them in the future of American society. He solely believed that one should be able to enjoy the fruits of their own labor and demonstrated so with an ad of a Black woman doing just that. As analyzed in the postings, his changing views are apparent during his presidency. For example, blacks were not able to enlist in the Union Army in the beginning of the war, but overtime, when the need arose, Lincoln finally allowed it with his Emancipation Proclamation and then found himself surprised by how well they served. Subsequently, over time, after a group of educated Negros from Louisiana had approached and met with Lincoln, he again was surprised and changed his view as to seeing that they (along with African-Americans who served) could one day be a part of the American political dynamic. This led to his ‘last’ speech stating as such and which surely caused uproar among many White Americans leading a few days later to his assassination.
There were approximately 4 million slaves at the time the Civil War ended and their freedom won. It raised the critical question of ‘what is their political status? Are they equal? What exactly are their rights? What qualifies someone as an American Citizen?’ From this debate, as well analyzed, the term we know today as ‘Birth Right Citizenship’ was born (If you are born here, you are a citizen). Foner discusses the Declaration of Independence and the Founding Fathers intent of the words. When Jefferson wrote the words, ‘We the people’ he was referring to the citizens of the United States as outlined in the Constitution to these three groups of people: 1) The people (the political society) 2) Native Americans (the federal government dealt with them through treaties) and 3) Other persons (while never calling them slaves, there were three clauses referring to slaves). I am not certain if Jefferson, as Foner claims, was referring to the three groups identified. However, it is notable that slaves/blacks were not included, but finally in 1866, when Congress passed the Civil Rights act, it gave ALL Americans full access to their rights.
I think it is interesting that even though we are taught to idolize and revere men such as Lincoln, it really is men like Fredrick Douglas that had the mindset of the world we live in now. The words ‘All men are created equal’ are read now as pertaining to everyone regardless of race, religion, or nationality. Nonetheless, it has been an uphill battle since the 1866 Civil Rights Act and racism today is far from being the type of racism from ‘yesterday’.

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WePapers. (2021, January, 08) Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples. Retrieved May 14, 2021, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/
"Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples." WePapers, 08 Jan. 2021, https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/. Accessed 14 May 2021.
WePapers. 2021. Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples., viewed May 14 2021, <https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/>
WePapers. Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples. [Internet]. January 2021. [Accessed May 14, 2021]. Available from: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/
"Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples." WePapers, Jan 08, 2021. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/
WePapers. 2021. "Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples." Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. Retrieved May 14, 2021. (https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/).
"Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples," Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com, 08-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/. [Accessed: 14-May-2021].
Eric Foner: Reconstruction And Citizenship Case Studies Examples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/eric-foner-reconstruction-and-citizenship-case-studies-examples/. Published Jan 08, 2021. Accessed May 14, 2021.
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