Amrican History to 1877 –

Amrican History to 1877 –
listed below are three student responses. Respond separately to each of the three responses in a 100 words for each of the 3 student responses.

Radical Reconstruction-

1. What is Radical Reconstruction? Let’s first start with understating the meaning of the words. According to the Webster’s dictionary radical means having a very different political view or opinion that is not shared by most people. Reconstruction refers to the process of rebuilding something that was damaged. It also has to do with examining a process or series of events to find out what happened to see how to better rebuild the process. Put these two words together and it sounds like one view on a change process, and that others are having conflict with giving into the new change. “The Reconstruction Act of 1867, enacted in March, divided the conquered South into five military districts, each under the command of a U.S. general. To reenter the Union, each former Confederate state had to grant the vote to freedmen and deny it to leading ex-Confederates. Each military commander was required to register all eligible adult males, black as well as white; supervise new state constitutional conventions; and ensure that new constitutions guaranteed black suffrage” (Henretta, Self and Edwards Pg451). At the time of the radical reconstruction they were not only fighting for blacks to be allowed to vote but woman and Chinese as well. “Despite these defeats, radical Reconstruction created the conditions for a high-profile, nationwide movement for women’s voting rights. Amid debates over the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments, some Americans argued for the measure as part of a bold expansion of democracy” (Henretta, Self and Edwards Pg456). I’m so mind blown from taking this class and learning about all the politics that have gone on for so long. This radical Reconstruction movement paved the way for women rights and haven a voice. I can see how it was a bit of struggle for everyone to accept the change and go with the flow.
Historical Legacy-

2. The long, slow decline of Radical Republican power and the rise of ex-confederate power in the South assisted with the legacy of Reconstruction. African Americans were able to achieve dignity and equality in American life. The most important historical legacy was the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. They transformed the nature of American citizenship. Congress moved to ensure black civil rights. The Fourteenth Amendment defined U.S. citizenship and asserted that states could no longer limit or supersede it. They declared that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States” were citizens. It declared that when people’s essential rights were at stake, national citizenship took precedence over citizenship in a state. The Fifteenth Amendment gave full voting rights to formerly enslaved men. It protected male citizens’ right to vote irrespective of race, color, or “previous condition of servitude.” The amendment left room for a poll tax and literacy requirements, both necessary concessions to northern and western states that already relied on such provisions to keep immigrants and the “unworthy” poor from the polls. In the Western Hemisphere, lawmakers had left emancipated slaves in a condition of semi citizenship, with no voting rights. The ballot helped African Americans gain full voting rights. These amendments remained in the Constitution, an enduring statement of belief in equality, even if equality in practice was as yet unfulfilled. Reconstruction had shaken up the political and legal framework that had once been viewed as a white man’s country. Americans had often worried about European interference in their domestic affairs. After the Civil War, the United States began to proudly describe itself as Britain’s leading rival, after emancipation and advancing civilization. The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments allowed for African Americans to become humans again and to be counted as whole people, instead of 3/5 of representation before the Civil War.

Did Reconstruction address the problems of race?

3. Post civil war times in the south where poor and conflict was at every corner. African Americans where finally freed and could begin to seek better lives. Their was a big problem though the African Americans who stayed in the south where mostly disrespected and hated. Many in the south believed that African Americans where to be slaves and did not deserve the freedoms they have been bestowed. Race was a major factor in reconstruction; race issues where in some ways the foundation of reconstruction.
The Republican party was in control at the beginning of reconstruction, southerners where unhappy and at a loss with all the changed that ensued. In an attempt to rid the south of the Republicans and there beliefs Nathan Forrest became the head of the Ku Klux Klan. Forrest led raids against African American churches, and schools. In an attempt to scare the Republicans out of the south the KKK also would murder and assault Republicans that held office in the south. Southern Democrats did not like the way republicans where giving Africans Americans rights and Southern Democrats wanted to end “Negro rule”. Forrest eventually pulled off the feat and rid southern states of Republican governments also congress would become majority democrats as well. In 1873 the Supreme court ruled that voting rights where a state issue. The Supreme Court also rejected the Civil Rights act of 1875. African Americans never had to go back to slavery, However sharecropping was not from it. African Americans faced an uphill battle in the era of reconstruction after the civil war. The battle went on for almost a hundred years. Reconstruction addressed race and what it showed was although African Americans where freed and longer at the will of their masters they still where not looked at among majority of white southerners as people that deserved rights. Race still was a controversial things for years after reconstruction.

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