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His 120 Week 1

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Reconstruction and the West

Reconstruction of the South According to Eric Foner (2008), “even though reconstruction failed to meet the goals of Radical Republicans, painlessly rebuild the South, and give the freed blacks complete rights.” Reconstruction did give African Americans some new chances and a brief taste of a free society. Public schools were instituted; blacks became citizens, and some whites even offered support with the civil rights movement. However, every opportunity that was given to the free blacks was met with much opposition. As a result, more could have been done. The late 19th century was a troubling time, and although freed slaves were negatively impacted, Whites, and Indians were also affected by the economic hardships. Several events occurred which gave me cause to agree with Eric Foner’s description of the Reconstruction as a “splendid failure”. Blacks did not receive all their rights until 100 years after the war. Furthermore, Northern-born white men who moved south after the Confederacy defeat were called carpetbaggers by Southerners, and Southern-born white Republicans were given the name scalawag; Blacks held fewer governmental positions and was smaller than their proportion in the population; Indians suffered from the white Americans’ racism, paternalism, and belief that the U.S. had a “manifest destiny” to control all the land between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans (Schultz 2012). However, out of all of the ethnic groups mentioned, former slaves were the only group still considered intellectually inferior to whites and not able to run a government. In 1863, President Lincoln was more interested in putting together his Ten-Percent Plan that offered amnesty to any southerner who proclaimed loyalty to the union and support emancipation of the slaves (Schultz, 2012). This was an attempt to bridge the gap between the north and the…...

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