Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Failures of Reconstruction

Reconstruction is the era from 1865 – 1877 when they rewrote the constitution and nation’s laws to guarantee the essential formerly enslaved people. Black American governments came to power throughout the Confederate States. According to this viewpoint, progressive Congressional republicans, intent in imprisoning the conquered Confederate states, fraudulent Southern authorities ruled over by colonists (untrustworthy) were formed. Northern people who traveled south to reap the benefits of office), scumbags that is the Southern whites who implement the new rules (Foner, 2015). They liberated Native, rendering them unfit to exercise democratic rights. Notwithstanding economic failure and the struggle of the scumbags, Reconstruction aimed to spark a social-political upheaval. In these circumstances, its accomplishments were extraordinary. For instance, African-Americans who had only recently been freed from enslavement served in local and state governments. African-Americans ensured that they received adequate resources that were denied to them during slavery. The fourteenth and fifteenth Reforms were enacted by Congress, laying the groundwork for African-Americans to end racism in the 20th century. Changes to the constitution assured formerly enslaved people’s rights, but the federal and state governments failed to secure them. Formerly enslaved people needed wealth and radical Republic authorities were unable or unwilling to give manpower to break the cycle of poverty. Government social conservative parties were unable to maintain voter coalitions of black and white electorate, which would have allowed them to continue to rule and persist in progressive revolution (Simpson, 2020). Therefore, in this paper, we will debate why we refer to Reconstruction as a failure, how Reconstruction has aided southern progressive reform, and the criteria used to assess the failure of these reconstructions.

Despite the high quality of current scholarship and the ongoing advancement of our understanding of the era, Reconstruction modern historians find an exclusive problem. The revisionists of the 1960s were successful in establishing a number of negative opinions: Reconstruction regimes were not as terrible as they’d been depicted, black- American superiority was a false narrative, and the Revolutionaries were not skeptical freedmen propagandists. Nonetheless, their writings failed to provide a convincing overall picture of social and political life quality.

Reconstruction should be viewed as an event in a longer past context- American civilization’s change to the repercussions of the liberation and civil war—rather than as a discrete-time period bounded by 1865 and 1877 (Simpson, 2020). The social revolution known as freedom was the central focus of Reconstruction. Plantation slavery was a labor system, a system of racial dominance, and the establishment upon which the South developed a distinct sovereign class. Its departure raised some of the most necessary economic, social, and political issues. To replenish slavery, a new labor system, racial, social, and diplomatic relationships had to be developed.

According to Foner, (2015) Few present researchers agree the Reconstruction amendments formed in the South in 1867 – 1868 met the needs of their poor constituents. While their contributions to public rights education, and the industrial Reconstruction of the South are now broadly acknowledged, scholars agree they had little impact on the financial situation of formerly enslaved people or the ongoing progression of self-governing land owners into cotton property owners. On the other hand, saw the Reconstruction governments as representatives of an upheaval that had lowered the bar, both economic and racial, to the fore. Thus, explain the ferocity they were attacked and the prevalence of violence in the post-emancipation South.

For many Southern whites, the sight of African-American men voting and holding office was repulsive. The rise of local authorities, white and black, who allied with the predicament of the slave workman was even more distressing, at least in the eyes of those who still governed the cotton fields regions of the South. The legislation emerged to sustain and support the plantation system during congressional Planters and their allies controlled politics during and after “Redemption.” Even if Radical Reconstruction failed to reallocate land in the South, removing the ruling classes from governmental elites ensured that the black workforce would not be subjected to criminal justice sanctions.

Understanding this fundamental difference over government-society relations helps explain the widespread complaints about abuse of power and “extravagance” during Radical Reconstruction (Foner, 2015). There was a lot of corruption, and corporate taxes went up dramatically. The change in the occurrence of taxpayers was more critical than the taxation rate. For the first time, plantation owners and white South Africans had to pay a large portion of the tax to the authorities, whereas landless African-Americans often got away with it. Furthermore, several regions imposed high taxes on undeveloped land in order to discourage property speculation and force property onto the economy, thereby profiting the freedmen, it was hoped.

As years progressed, grievances about Southern governments’ “extravagance” and corruption noticed a compassionate ear among powerful Northerners. The Democratic cost that the South’s political participation was to blame for high taxes and wasteful government oversight accorded with a growing belief among the North’s TOWN working class. That should reclaim city government from the foreign-born poor and return it to the “best men,” the LEARNED, competent, independently wealthy citizens who have been powerless to impose much radical control in an era of machine politics and mass parties. The “respectable” middle classes START to drift away from the concept of collective democracy. The oppressed were not seen as truthful and the reliant of society; instead, they were labeled “vulnerable class” and “mob.” As historian Francis Parkman put it, “masses of imported ignorance and hereditary ineptitude” wielded far too much power. “Witness the municipal corruptions of New York and the monstrosities of negro rule in South Carolina,” Parkman said, referring to both the Irish in Northern towns and the blacks in the South. As they removed the South’s Reconstruction regimes from power one by one by political violence, such attitudes helped justify Northern inaction.

In the end, neither the emancipation proclamation nor Reconstruction, we’re able to resolve the discussion over the meaning of liberty in contemporary American life “If Black Folks have the privilege of becoming free, the owners have the irrefutable right not to be ruined by the Black folk’s freedom,” Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the prospect of the abolition of slavery in France’s colonies twenty years before the American Revolution. A rigid political and social dichotomy between former enslavers and formerly enslaved people, a concept of racial oppression, and a predicated work force with inadequate financial chances (Titus, 2020). All were repealed in the United States, as they were in nearly every cotton plantation that saw the emancipation proclamation. African Americans were placed in a kind of no-land man’s by freedom, man’s partial liberty that damaged the reputation of the American ideal of equality unless one defines freedom as simply not being a domestic servant.

Nonetheless, the final result emphasizes Reconstruction’s uniqueness. For a brief period, the United States, only among the civilizations that outlawed slavery in the nineteenth century did freedmen have some political influence over their fates. Despite its brief reign, Reconstruction did allow for remarkable social and political mobilization of the African-American community. It started opening up a world of possibilities that could never be closed completely (Morris, Schwartz, & Itzigsohn, 2021). Southern blacks’ lives were changed by Reconstruction in ways that facts and the legislation cannot account for. It raised their hopes and expectations, changed their social status, and made room for the founding of organisations that would keep them alive from the repression they faced. It also established civil rights equality as constitutional principles, which were openly violated following the Redemption, laying the groundwork of potential conflict. Also, Offered the scandals involving the Tweed Ring in York City and President Ulysses S. Grant’s administrative structure, black right to vote could hardly be criticized; corruption existed in the postwar South. The new governments had a successful track record. They established the first government public school systems in the South, increased the bargaining power of plantation laborers, broadened taxation, and outlawed racism in access to public transport and accommodations. They aided railways and other organizations in the hopes of building a New South that would profit them.

In conclusion, the federal and state governments failed to protect the rights of formerly enslaved people protected by constitutional reforms. Formerly enslaved people needed economic power to break the poverty cycle, and federalist governments were incapable or unwilling to provide them in the future. State Libertarian parties were unable to sustain white and black voter collaborations that would have allowed them to stay in power and continue progressive change. Racism was a national problem, not just a southern one. Furthermore, Northerners were more concerned with territorial expansion and modernization than with the problems of previously enslaved people. At the end of Reconstruction, formerly enslaved people found themselves back in a subjugated position in society. As a result, whether assessed by the dreams of freedom or the more limited goals of protecting black Americans’ rights under the law, making it a failure.


Foner, E. (2015). Prohibition: A case study of progressive reform | Progressive era to new era, 1900-1929 | U.S. history primary source timeline | Classroom materials at the Library of Congress | Library of Congress. The Library of Congress.

Morris, A., Schwartz, M., & Itzigsohn, J. (2021). Racism, Colonialism, and Modernity: The Sociology of WEB Du Bois. In Handbook of Classical Sociological Theory (pp. 121-143). Springer, Cham.

Simpson, T. (2020). “Reconstruction never ended”: A review of Eric Foner’s second founding. Facing Today – A Facing History Blog.

Titus, J.O., 2020. Reconstruction. In Parks Stewardship Forum (Vol. 36, No. 3).


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics