History Final Exam Question Fall 2019
Civil war and reconstruction era
The American civil war happened between 1861 to 1865. It was fought between the confederates (southern states) and the northern states under the rulership of Abraham Lincoln. This piece happens to be the most studied in American history. The reconstruction era occurred immediately after the civil war that is between 1865-1877. The South had been left in a situation of economic decay, political upheaval, and social disorder. The civil war led to the destruction of southern crops, cities and plantations. Inflation was high, while many other people from the South died because of starvation. Thus, reconstruction wanted to ensure that there was a transformation of the southern states, enactment of laws favoring the freed slaves and restoration of the union.
Both the causes of civil war and the goals of the reconstruction era aimed at promoting a peaceful society. One primary goal of the civil war was to end slavery in the South. The north and the South had opposing views concerning slaves. The north wanted to bring slavery to an end by being able to contain it. While the south states were not ready to free the slavery since they Offred free labor in the plantations. The South believed that not owning slaves was against its constitutional rights since their constitution allowed the owning of slaves. However, people from the north believed otherwise because it was illegal for them to own slaves. On the other hand, one primary goal of reconstruction was to build the southern states again and come up with proper legislation of the freed slave. Each state in the South was to be readmitted in the union after pledging loyalty through their voting. They further demanded that the southern states were first to change their constitution on slavery before being readmitted in the union. Freed slaves were also offered land for settlement through their union such as the congressionally of freed slaves bureau. The northern government also ensured proper sanitation, education and growth of the southern states. Laws were also passed to secure the freedom of the freed slaves.
Both the civil war and the reconstruction era looked forward to promote the economy of America. During the civil war the northern states owned manufacturing industries and the southern states engaged in agriculture. Northern states were strong economically compared to the South. Both the north and the South used to trade with each other. The north promoted tariff on goods while the South called for free trade. This might have sparked the civil war. Contrary to the civil war, the reconstruction era was calling for the development of both the South and Northern states. It majored more on the Southern states because everything had been destroyed during the civil war.
However, the reconstruction failed to meet its goals because it lacked a political focus to heal some wounds and eliminate racial segregation among American society. After the war, the union aimed to bring the South to an equal footing and boost its economy. However, this was not possible because there was division in the federal government, making it difficult to achieve these goals. Lincoln first came with ten percent as a demand to be met by the southern states for them to be readmitted in the union. However, Lincoln was assassinated, and Andrew Johnson ascended to power coming up with a new goal altogether. The confederates were later elected to parliament, and the Republicans refused to sit with them. However, both the conservatives and moderates wanted the southerners admitted into the congress and union while the republicans called for more reforms. The republicans also wanted the southern states to be constructed just like the northern states. These conflicts continued for a long time, thus not being able to build the southern states back. The freed slaves were not effectively assimilated in the society as they stated facing racial segregation
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