The Ineffectiveness Of The Reconstruction Era

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Most historians deem the period of United States’ history known as the Reconstruction Era a total failure. This is the period of time directly following the end of the Civil War in which the government put reforms in place to reintroduce Confederate states into the Union and aid former slaves in their new lives as free people (McFeely). The era was deemed a failure because of the ineffectiveness of the governmental reforms to solve the problems America was facing. The United States Government could have handled the Reconstruction Era more effectively if they had acted more swiftly and decisively, compromised and cooperated, did not sacrifice the improvement of the nation for their own political gains, and attempted to change the culture of the Southern States.

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When the President’s Reconstruction plan proved to be too moderate and ineffective in changing the climate of the South, Congress realized they would have to make a new plan when they were in session. The efforts of Congress were making a difference. They passed the Freedom Bureau Bill and the 14th Amendment (Castel). The Freedom Bureau Bill extended the life of The Freedom Bureau indefinitely. The Freedom Bureau aided African-Americans in their transition from slavery to freedom (McFeely). The 14th Amendment gave African-Americans equal protection under the law as whites. Although these pieces of legislature were successful once they were instituted, their institution was dramatically slowed by one person: Andrew Johnson. He vetoed every single one of these legislature because they would damage his relationship with the South, and thus he would lose their votes. Eventually, Congress passed these laws and became the first Congress to override a presidential veto. After continuing to defy Congress for his own selfish gains, Andrew Johnson was impeached but later acquitted
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