Causes And Effects Of Reconstruction

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The Civil War stole the lives of 620,000 brave American men, amounting to the bloodiest conflict in United States history. One hundred fifty-three years since the end of the Civil War, racism still persists throughout American society. Why, after all these years, does hate continue to pervade this great nation? Why were the sins of our past not redressed during Reconstruction? As the Era of Reconstruction began in the latter half of the 1860s, the Union was forced to confront the following question: Who is an American? Would Southerners be rewarded for their treason, or would African Americans finally be able to bask in the glory of freedom? Following the war, the Radical Republican government made its post-war intentions clear: to reunite the country and to bestow full rights to blacks. “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as G-d gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation 's wounds” (Lincoln). Reconstruction culminated in 1877 due to economic crisis and a lack of Northern will. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments were added to the Constitution, yet they were not enforced. While Reconstruction concluded in a reunited America, it was ultimately a failure because of economic, social, and political factors that prevented full equality for blacks. The economic foundations of the South after the war were largely identical to the pre-war slave system, thus inhibiting any

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