Civil War Reconstruction

Essay by ataf78High School, 10th gradeA, August 2008

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IntroductionThe Civil War is considered the most devastating war in the history of the United States in terms of the number of Americans killed and wounded. In addition to the tremendous loss of life, a young nation and its residents were left to rebuild and reconsider the problems that led them to war in the first place. Through the period of reconstruction that followed the Civil War, the United States emerged from a loose and fragile confederation of sovereign states to a single nation with greatly enhanced federal powers.

Freedom Bound written by Henrietta Buckmaster is chronology of the civil war and reconstruction. Each period-based chapter offers a narrative that delves into deeper issues of the causation of war; a chronicle of events, detailed to the week; and eyewitness testimony, including diaries, journals, correspondence, editorials, and news accounts.

According to Henrietta states reconstruction (1863-1877), although intricately linked to the Civil War, has a more complicated and darker legacy.

During this era, the U.S. government undertook a limited effort in behalf of black citizenship, and-faced with violent resistance from white southerners-abandoned the effort. It provides students with a collection of about fifty essential documentary sources for these periods. Among the documents are presidential addresses, official reports, and a variety of eyewitness testimony concerning significant (and often dramatic) events. In addition to a brief introduction focused on the kinds of materials available and how historians use them, there are headnotes explaining the importance of each document. This book "Freedom Bound" allows readers to acquire a better understanding of the raw materials with which historians create narratives of the past. Its introduction includes an explanation of how historians analyze, contextualize, and interpret a variety of primary sources related to the Civil War and Reconstruction, making "Freedom Bound" a valuable supplement to widely used...