Was the Reconstruction of the South a success or a failure? essay

Reconstruction is a period in American history immediately after the Civil War. It is the rebuilding of the Southern cities, railroads, and farms destroyed during the War. The most important part of the restoration was the process of reestablishing the southern states back into the union. North and South observers view the Restoration as a failure because of its corruption. Scholars based at the History Department of Columbia University claim that it took the freedoms and rights from the qualified whites giving them to unqualified black people who were tricked by the carpetbaggers. They argued that the equal rights was

smokescreen hiding the true motivation, which was to promote the interests of financiers, railroad builders and industrialists in the Northeast. The South was exploited by a wide variety of business interests from the North. Northern businessmen moved in many directions with their money and seldom gave little attention to the Reconstruction issue. The Radical Republican’s took control in Washington in 1866. Thaddeus Stevens and Charles Sumner, the leaders of the Radical Republicans judged the moderate policies as a failure, especially Johnson’s opposition to civil rights for the freedmen.

The radicals skeptical of southern intentions demanded straight federal action. Historians in the 1960’s, argued Reconstruction needed a “Second Reconstruction” to complete what was established, the full equality for the African-Americans. He argues the failure of Reconstruction was not the fault of the blacks who couldn’t govern themselves, it was the civil rights promised which were then temporary. The rights were suspended in the South from the 1880’s to 1964, and restored in the Civil Rights movement.

Work Cited

– 1865-1877: Reconstruction History- American history guide. WWW. Bookrags. com