The Reconstruction of America After the Civil War Essay

1468 Words 6 Pages
The Reconstruction of America After the Civil War

At the close of the American Civil War in 1865, the United States’ government was faced with the tremendously difficult problem of re-integrating the Confederate States into the Union. Between 1865 and 1877 this problem was addressed by various forms of “Reconstruction,” programs whose goals also included the rebuilding of the ravaged Southern economy, and the integration of freed slaves and other African Americans into citizenship and culture at large. Complicated by an incompetent president, corruption, and a backlash by southern culture, the success of Reconstruction as far as achieving its objectives is questionable. If we, however, look at the Reconstruction’s achievements in
…show more content…
According to Boyer, Republican rule could be seen as “the most stupendous system of organized robbery in history.” (589) In Louisiana, for example, the governor stole state funds and corruption accompanied every government transaction. It can easily be imagined that Southern Democrats noticed and resented this profiteering. Corruption extended to the presidential level under the rule of President Grant, as well. Known as “Grantism,” bribery, scandal, and profiteering were characteristic of this time period. The wide-spread corruption led to the formation of the Liberal Republican faction. The Liberals served to make the political scene even more chaotic and opposed Reconstruction, claiming that it had already achieved its goal and that it was only serving to spawn more corruption. (Boyer, 589)
Another obstacle to Reconstruction was the backlash of southern anti-black culture against the newly imposed legislation freeing and enfranchising African-Americans. As early as 1865, directly after the war, the Freedman’s Bureau was reporting acts of terrorism against blacks. (Boyer, 590) Vigilante groups sprung up all across the former Confederacy, and the notorious Ku Klux Klan developed into the most wide-spread. By 1868, Klan chapters existed in every southern state. (Boyer, 590) Actions by the Klan, such as night raids, served to intimidate the black populace and prevent them from voting. The Klan also leveled their fury against

Related Documents