The First Reconstruction: A Revolution?

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 20 times

Many people will argue that the social and constitutional changes in the period between 1860 and 1877 culminated in a revolution. This time period, known as the First Reconstruction, made many advances in equality for Blacks in voting, politics, and the use of public facilities. The lawmakers of the time were however unable to make adequate progress in advancing economic equality, therefore Blacks didn?t completely escape their original plight. This should not be considered a revolution because its results were quickly reversed when former confederate leaders and other bigots reclaimed the power of legislation in the South.

The First Reconstruction was a result of the Civil War and lasted until 1977. The political, social, and economic conditions after the war helped define the goals of lawmakers during the Reconstruction. Congress now had to decide on how they were going to address such topics as, Black equality, rebuilding of the South, admission of southern state to the Union, and deciding who would control the government.

In the south the newly freed slaves wandered the countryside and the white population was devastated due to their loss in the recent war. The south was also devastated economically, plantations were destroyed, railroads torn up, their labor force gone, and cities were burned. In the post Civil War era there was a struggle for the power, each with their own ideas on how the country should go about in the reconstruction process.

First, the Southern Democrats, a party made up of former Confederate leaders and other members of the aristocracy strived to end the perceived control of the North over the South. They also sought the reinstitution of slavery under a different name, Black Codes. These codes would provide a cheap labor force to the plantations by limiting the rights of Blacks to move, vote,