Post Civil War American Reconstruction

Essay by BrigidADHigh School, 11th grade May 2006

download word file, 1 pages 3.0

After the Civil War, the United States was in a serious state of distress and needed a serious period of reconstruction. The government had to find a way to reintegrate the South back into the country. Doing this meant figuring out how to address southern power in government and merging the economies of the North and South. Finally, the country's biggest problem was integrating the newly freed African-Americans into society. African Americans needed to have all the rights as whites to transform their lives which included the rights to vote, be educated, and to no longer be enslaved.

The Fifteenth Amendment signed in 1870, stated that no one can be told they can not vote because of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This amendment meant that now blacks, even those who were slaves and descendants of slaves could now freely vote in the country. Although this was passed it was not really until 1965 nearly a century later, with the passing of the Voting Rights Act, that all people were truly given voting freedom.

After the Civil War blacks were supposed to have a separate but education system, although blacks did have an education system, it was in no way equal. The 1954 Supreme Court case of Brown vs. Board of Education noticed the unconstitutionality of the separate but equal state institutions and removed them. After this case, there were no longer separate schools, but rather they were now integrated.

In September of 1862 President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which was to free all slaves in the United States not under Union control. It was not until the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution emancipated slaves on a national level. This amendment was ratified in December of 1865.

Reconstruction in the United States drastically transformed the lives of...