The Reconstruction: The Darkest Period Of American History

951 Words4 Pages
The Reconstruction (1865-1877) was a period during which the life of the defeated South was to be returned to normal; it was also a time when the Black Americans attained some rights thanks to Lincoln and the Republican part of the Congress and despite Johnson’s intentions. An extremely violent time, it is sometimes called “the darkest period of American history”; still, it brought many important progressive changes to the US. Abraham Lincoln is known for proclaiming the black slaves Emancipation in 1863; he was convinced that it was necessary for the North to win the war. Lincoln believed that the Confederate states needed to be reintegrated back into the US while preserving the abolition of slavery; however, the 16th President wasn’t planning…show more content…
Besides, the endless conflicts caused a severe economic depression in 1873 (Foner 587). Certainly, it was a terrible period; but during these times, Black people were at last freed from slavery and received some rights. Indeed, they faced violence and discrimination at every turn; but it is better to be free and have a chance to protect oneself, than to be a slave, unable to control any of the aspects of your life and completely depend on a whim of somebody who treats you as their personal possession. We don’t know the exact statistics, though; perhaps people, especially Blacks, quantitatively underwent more suffering during the Reconstruction that during many other periods before or after it. But, if we think of e.g. how Blacks were transported from Africa in the 1700s, tightly packed in slave ships so that they couldn’t even change their pose, having to endure this for weeks, massively dying before even reaching America, it is possible to say that the Reconstruction wasn’t “the darkest period of American history”. If I had had the chance to influence the Reconstruction (while retaining the today’s mind of mine), I would have supported the Radicals in their attempts to establish the racial equality. What I would have done differently is that I would also have tried to give more rights to women. There were many women’s organizations (Foner 578-579), so I wouldn’t be alone in my efforts. It would also be useful to help the Blacks and their supporters to network and form more organizations, which would have strengthened them and helped them resist the racist
Open Document