Legacies Of Reconstruction After The Civil War

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The American Civil War ultimately preserved the Union and freed the slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Yet, it left a legacy of economic and social problems that required postwar solutions. The goal of Reconstruction from the end of the Confederacy to 1877 rested on the physical, economic, and political transformation of the South. However, Reconstruction was complicated by the legacies from both the South and North of the Civil War. During Reconstruction, a lack of political focus failed to solve the sectional differences, and the elimination of the freed slaves' newly gained rights with the Black Codes allowed for the same Southern leadership to come back into power. To reassert white supremacy in the postwar South, former Confederate …show more content…

Opponents of this progress, however, soon rallied against the former slaves' freedom and found ways to oppress the rights of blacks. The failure of Reconstruction was based on the Republicans divisions between the moderates and radicals on the severity of Reconstruction policies and its commitment to Black enfranchisement in the South to maintain power within the federal government allowed the development of a two-party platform which led to the reestablishment of ex-Southern leaders in the South. The opposition by President Jackson also hindered the ability for Reconstruction initially to enforce its agenda in the South. Within a decade, the emergence of the Democratic party defeated the Republicans in the newly established governments and reestablish political power for themselves by fighting the adoption of new constitutions at the polls “through calculated abstention aimed at delegitimizing the process, and, in some places, with extralegal violence and intimidation.” Reconstruction fell apart in 1873 when northern Republicans abandoned it for new political issues and facing a power struggle with Democrats, “they stood behind

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