The Revolution Brought About by the Reconstruction Era


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During the Civil War, the Eastern theatre was made of the states such as Virginia and Pensylvania. The Western theatre was made up of operations, which were carried out in the coastal areas along the Atlantic ocean. Major campaigns were being undertaken at the Eastern theatre and the Confederate capital of the Richmond the state of Virginia. The surrender of Lee’s army brought about a major operation in the year 1865. There was a virtually complete Union military victory. Lee could have ordered a charge that would have been a slaughter, and lost, or just surrender, but he was out of choices of maneuver. He chose to surrender. Days later Sherman’s Army of the West more or less did the same to the remnants of the Confederate armies of Tennessee and other places under the overall command of Joseph Johnston, and Johnston surrendered rather than suffer a slaughter and defeat. Other smaller Confederate forces, hearing the news of the surrender of their major armies, and the flight of their government out of the capital of Richmond into the wilderness of southwestern Virginia, seeking some refuge somewhere, did the same, the last being those under Kirby Smith on the western side of the Mississippi.

The Confederacy was adamant that blacks were not to bear arms on behalf of the Confederate states. Period. Certainly a few would have tried, just from a ‘proof of manhood’ perspective, but the opportunity was not presented. We’re not talking one or two in the bush, or personal slaves, or whatever, we’re talking on the payroll, regular soldiers in the Confederate army (Neely 458). This was a major reason the war started in the first place. The Nat Turner Rebellion and John Browne’s raid at Harper’s Ferry gave the white plantation owners nightmares of what might happen if black men had access to guns (Neely 458). The plantation owners blamed abolitionists in the North for putting ideas into the heads of slaves. There may have been a few free men, but the majority were slaves. Blacks were not permitted by law to join the Confederate army, but a few armed blacks were serving.

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Black women slaves performed supporting non-combat roles. Most of the slaves involved knew no other life, and many were probably actually loyal to their masters to bring about positive changes. At the end of the war, there were proposals to recruit blacks with the promise of freedom, but the war ended. Though the South could have won the 1861–1865 civil war, it is unlikely that it could have solved the underlying problem of North-South competition, and, increasingly, unlikely it would have been able to win an ensuing cold war with its Northern neighbor.

Reconstruction Era

The reconstruction era is one of the most remarkable in the US, and it contains controversial eras in the history of the Americans. The civil war came to an end in the year 1877. After the end, there were changes in the way leaders managed and conducted their affairs. The rate of democracy increased among races. Divisive politics, however, turned to the status of former slaves who were affected by the civil war(Neely 448). Currently, reconstruction remains at present because of the increasing number of issues which are affecting the citizens across the globe. There is a possibility of economic and racial justice, but it can only be attained when the leaders develop sound strategies which will change the attitude and opinion of people to the decisions they make in life.

Military operations ceased in 1865, however, political order in the Southern states were not declared to be in order until 1866. It is a little known fact that the US kept 266,000 troops under arms for over a year after the war was ended. By the end of 1866, it was reduced to 57,000. While a semblance of order was recovered, Reconstruction was a bitter period of resistance in the South that drug on until 1877 when much of what had begun in 1865 was overturned with Jim Crow legislation suppressing racial civil rights and retaining white supremacy where it did not exist democratically. The war has not ended it hasn’t ended. There are people still trying to destroy Confederate soldiers. Of course, the soldiers are already dead, and the people attacking them are wearing masks and hiding under cover of night, so I guess they would be thought of as cowards. People are still struggling to change their attitudes to the changes that took place during the war.

The Era changed the perceptions and attitude of people to race. Perhaps the great historian, John Hope Franklin, described this ignoble end of reconstruction best. The South was back into the Union with leadership that even today resembles those of past eras showing little concern for human degradation (Neely 450). The North wants now to return to being a colossal serving mostly middle-class disaffected whites. The hopes and dreams of millions of people currently given way to despair once again. As the past has taught us, ‘there will be a better day. Not that long ago war involved two national armies meeting on a battlefield away from civilians and trying to kill each other. How “civilized” that even was depended on which continent you were on and when it was in history. War is often defined as a declared violent conflict between two nation-states. However, now the term war is used on everything:

  1. Scott’s Anaconda: A plan developed by Scott in 1861 to end a rebellion by use of economic forces.
  2. The Vicksburg campaign: The maneuvers which were directed against Vicksburg during the time of the civil war.
  3. Monitor Vs Merrimac: A period in the year 1862 which marked the beginning of the new era on the naval warfare.
  4. Julia ward Howe: An author in the American poet whose effort to abolitionism changed the perception and attitude of people to women.
  5. Pacific Railroad act, Homestead act, Morril act: The act was passed in 1862 when individuals were granted land to support development
  6. Emancipation proclamation: A time when president Lincoln issued the emancipation act in 1863.
  7. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan Bantony was a leading figure in social acticism and a strong advocate for the rights of women.
  8. The Black codes: The laws were passed by the Southern states in the year 1865 and 1866 and they were restricting the American civil war.
  9. Jay Cook and Co the company operated from the year 1861 to 1873 but the business soon collapsed.
  10. The compromise of 1877: the deal was unwritten and it intensely disputed the US presidential election during the reconstruction era.
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