Reconstruction Period

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The American Civil War and the Reconstruction periods played an important role in defining the nation’s political, social, and economic identity in the sense that the country’s survival and democratic principles were radically tested. As the country was becoming a hemispherical power, sectional tensions and dissenting attitudes of opposing groups make these periods comparable with the Revolutionary War in three major components: the issue of slavery and struggle for equality, the role of the federal government vs. states’ rights, and scuffles related with economic power. Prior to the Revolutionary War, there was an existing struggle between social classes as the southern states had an inflexible social structure, whereas in the northern states the Industrial Revolution was beginning to take place, causing a dramatic shift of labor force after the country gained its independence in 1783. With the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1791, southern landowners took advantage of the slave force to increase their profits radically, and this reliance on slaves for the…show more content…
However, this struggle of political power had a significant continuity as Southern states during the antebellum period advocated for states’ rights with the so-called ‘theory of nullification’ that was actually a primary cause of the Civil War. Consequently, the Reconstruction era showed what kind of political role the Southern states actually had during the post-war period, and a perfect piece of evidence is the landmark case of Texas v. White (1869), which argued that Texas had never seceded because there was no provision of the Constitution for a state to secede, giving the federal government a stronghold of power to keep the states under its

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