A Critical Analysis of the Book: Chapters 6-12
According to Eric Foner, the Republicans wanted most of the southern states to join their party. These Republicans used powerful blueprints in order to empower many ex-slaves in the south. This scenario led to the Radical Reconstruction. During the same period, many whites in the south renounced slavery and secession1. However, the idea of white supremacy remained in the south. The Republicans used various constitutional policies and amendments in order to abolish slavery. The Military Reconstruction also played a significant role towards the re-constitution of these southern states.
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The author also examines the era from a political perspective. According to the author, Reconstruction equipped more people with voting rights. Several African Americans were appointed to different offices. Many people in the south also benefited from state-funded institutions. New laws emerged in order to empower more blacks in the south. Many African-Americans in the south also became part of Reconstruction. A new system of taxation emerged during the period. Many whites continued to oppress the poor in the south even after Reconstruction. This situation catalyzed the infamous economic depression that affected the south2.
New challenges and problems emerged during the same period. This development resulted in new ideologies. For instance, many northerners focused on the issue of labor. The northerners continued to focus on their economic positions. This fact explains why the northerners were against different policies. The concept of free labor created new tensions between the south and the north. The northerners also encountered new problems. They eventually stopped focusing on the idea of equality. Corruption and other malpractices became common throughout the period3. Many capitalists in the north imposed different economic programs.
The chapter “The Politics of Depression” identifies the issues arising from the Reconstruction Era. Many blacks had become sharecroppers towards the end of the era. The economic bubble emerging after the war resulted in one of the worst depressions. Many people lost their jobs. Many northerners withdrew their monies from the country’s economy. The Comprise of 1877 played a significant role towards ending Reconstruction4.
What Is The Author Writing About?
The above six chapters show clearly that Reconstruction was a fight between two opposing factions. According to Foner, the Republicans wanted to advance their dishonest ideals. During the same period, the Democrats fought tirelessly in order to support the needs of many citizens. The author also explains how most of the freedmen fought tirelessly for political equality. Many ex-slaves participated in Reconstruction in order to support their liberties5. Racism also played a major role towards the failure of Reconstruction. That being the case, Reconstruction became the beginning of a new struggle in the United States.
Critique of the Argument
Eric Foner has presented the best arguments and discussions. He explains how the interests of many northerners affected the success of Reconstruction. According to the author, many freedmen worked hard in order to achieve their goals. However, many whites acquired more lands in the south. This development created the ground for the economic recession that affected the country6. Many African Americans fought tirelessly in order to achieve their goals. More whites became conservative thus affecting the lives of many southerners. Eric gives a detailed analysis of the issues and developments that defined Reconstruction.
Bressler, Jonathan. “Reconstruction and the Transformation of Jury Nullification.” The University of Chicago Law Review 78, no. 4 (2011): 1133-1201.
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Foner, Eric. A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877. New York: Harper Perennial, 1990.
- Eric Foner. A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1990), 239.
- Jonathan Bressler, “Reconstruction and the Transformation of Jury Nullification,” The University of Chicago Law Review 78, no. 4 (2011): 1142.
- Eric Foner. A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1990), 249.
- Jonathan Bressler, “Reconstruction and the Transformation of Jury Nullification,” The University of Chicago Law Review 78, no. 4 (2011): 1153.
- Eric Foner. A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877 (New York: Harper Perennial, 1990), 268.
- Jonathan Bressler, “Reconstruction and the Transformation of Jury Nullification,” The University of Chicago Law Review 78, no. 4 (2011): 1145.