Good Research Paper About Reconstruction 1865-1877

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Slavery, Reconstruction, Party, Congress, Law, President, Radical, Amendment

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/05

Once the civil war has finished, the country faced the problem of national unity restoration and the lifestyle reorganization in the South. The complete abolition of slavery was the first step to the Reconstruction. In February 1865, the Congress passed the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited the slavery throughout the country (Campbell & Fraser 137.) However, there were many other unsolved problems, such as the admission conditions for the former Confederation states, the status of former slave owners and slaves, and the organization of power in the South. The US ruling circles could not obtain a consensus on these issues after the death of President Lincoln.
The new President, Andrew Johnson’s way of addressing the curial issues differed from that of the Congress. Johnson took the position of appeasement. In May 1865, he decreed that the planters restore the civil, political and property rights, except the right to have slaves. South planters accepted the decree as a weakness. They started returning their plantations and forcing the former slaves back to work. Moreover, they have created an extensive terrorist organization Ku Klux Klan, which punished the disobedient “blacks” and “whites” who sympathized with “blacks”. In other words, the Lynch law has become the popular way of punishment. Once the planters have restored their authority, they passed the Black Codes through the State Legislatures. These laws prohibited former slaves to own property, marry with “whites” and deprived of the freedom of speech and movement (McNeese 42.) A new civil war between planters and former slaves threatened.
The situation worsened after the election of deputies from the southern States to Congress in December 1865. Among the newly elected deputies were many leaders of the Confederation. Radical members of the Congress have made the decision not to allow these deputies to enter the debating chamber and transferred the issue of Reconstruction to the Congress. In July 1866, the Congress passed the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. According to the Amendment, the former leaders of the Confederation had no right to occupy the public positions, and Negroes were equalized in rights with “whites” (Campbell, & Fraser 191.) The Black codes have been forbidden. Republicans won the congressional elections and resorted to a radical reconstruction. In 1867, the martial law has been introduced, and the old State Constitutions have been abolished. As a result, the southern States ratified the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution in 1868. Radical Reconstruction was a forced democratization of life in the South.
William Grant, the former North Army Commander won the new presidential election. Entrepreneurial activity has significantly increased during his presidency. The rapid development of market relations contributed to the gradual elimination of differences between the South and the North. The former plantation owners and their slaves adjusted to the new economic conditions. In 1877, the federal troops left the South (Roark, Johnson, Cohen, Stage, & Hartmann 320.) As a result, the last elements of martial law have been eliminated.
The US party system has undergone the significant changes during the period of the Reconstruction. Democratic Party started representing not only the interests of the former planters due to the joining of the farmers and entrepreneurs. The Republican Party transformed into a party that reflected the interests of industrialists and bankers and lost its radical spirit. In 1876, the presidential election drew a line under the tragic period in the US history. The representative of the Democratic Party won the most votes. However, the election results were reviewed, and the Republican Party candidate, R. Hayes became president. These events have led to the backstage collusion between the party leaders who agreed to cease the Reconstruction and withdraw the troops.

Works Cited

Campbell, J. & Fraser, R. Reconstruction: people and perspectives. California: ABC-CLIO, Inc. 2008.
McNeese, T. Reconstruction: life after the civil war. New York: Infobase Publishing. 2009.
Roark, J., Johnson, M., Cohen, P., Stage, S., & Hartmann S. The American Promise: A Concise History, Volume 1: To 1877 Bedford: Macmillan Publishers. 2013.

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