Reconstruction and the Problems of Race

During the Civil War and after it, there was a period of controversial and turbulent events in the history of America known as Reconstruction. Addressing the problems of race was one of the aims of Reconstruction as advocated by the 16th president of the United States of America, Abraham Lincoln. He planned to reconstruct the south which was the central area occupied by the Union soldiers during the war. Before and after the Civil War, the Reconstruction aimed at reuniting the nation by protecting citizens’ rights and realizing racial justice which is still unresolved up to date.

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When Andrew Johnson took office as the 17th president of America, the Reconstruction path took a new dimension since he had different beliefs. Constitutional amendments were allowing the federal government to enforce equal rights, and black southerners were equally allowed to hold offices and vote as any other citizens. The northerners were not pleased. Consequently, they abandoned their commitment to Reconstruction principles. Due to this tension, the reconstruction could not achieve the racial justice mission since people were divided. The Reconstruction was viewed as a way to justify the racial segregation which was being practiced by the southerners and a system set to deny the vote to blacks. There was a strong ideal of racial segregation existing in the South as whites were targeting the blacks with the rules put to control people during the Reconstruction era, despite attempts by the Congress to narrow racial inequality.

Although many Americans expected much to be achieved during the time of Reconstruction, regarding social, political, and economic changes that would unite people and reduce racial discriminations, there was an opposite result. The period created a generation which is divided in the line of the race following the problems faced to implement reconstruction plans.