Reconstruction: Clashing Dreams and Realities

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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Clashing dreams and realities is a good way to describe the ending of the Civil War. Prior to the war, the same conflicts were facing the north and south, but the problems escalated further after the southern Confederates were defeated and were forced to adopt new views. White and black Americans sought to reconstruct their lives to conform to the much new founded hatred and resentment towards the others race. The rise of new racist groups and the establishment of new slave laws played a role in the discontent that was created. Thus, making the process of reconstruction slow and unbearable to some.

In the overview of folder 12, it gives a preview of what many of the documents tend to focus on. Its is made evident in the overview, that questions arose regarding the success of the reconstruction. The documents focus on political and economic standings of the North as well as the South, and discusses the hardships of being a freed slave and the torment that they had to suffer through.

Many also show what the views were of white slave owners and how they tried to keep slavery as part of the labor force without completely removing it. As the overview states, " White landowners sought ways of finding labor to put their ruined cotton and rice fields beck in cultivation (Overview)." The painting of "The Armed Slave", is said in the overview to contain mixed views. The interpretation of this painting by William Sprang, is that of peace. The assumingly ex-slave seems to be at peace with himself as he reads a book. He is not only an ex-slave, but an seemingly well educated one. At that point during the Civil War era many freedmen and women could only dream of education and peacefulness. This slave...