From the start of the Civil War until the end of the Reconstruction period, America faced what can be considered a revolution. During this time, many social and constitutional developments emerged and brought great change to the country. Social developments that contributed to the revolution were the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Black Codes. Constitutional events that sparked dispute were the three civil rights bills, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the reconstruction. Between 1860 and 1877, both constitutional and social developments merged to created drastic changes that threatened the balance of life in the United States, causing revolt throughout many Americans and bringing about reform to the nation.
Before 1860, the United States was split into two sides fighting for power: the North and South. Slave states and free states were constantly competing for representation in Congress. In order to reduce conflict, the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850 were passed. Tensions lowered to a degree, but the compromises only delayed the inevitable discord. State’s rights was a critical topic during this time period. The south believed that they had the constitutional right to secede. After Lincoln was inaugurated in 1860, seven states seceded from the Union. Four more states followed after that. South Carolina, in particular, felt their rights had been stripped off of them, and challenged the Constitution of the United States. (Document A) South Carolina feared the north would gain enough power that they would abolish slavery in the south, crippling their slave-based economy. This sequence of events induced the bloody Civil War, later leading to the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation, which meant the freeing of slaves that were still under possession in 1863. Eventually, the 13th amendment, which abolished slavery, was passed. The end of the Civil War meant the end of bloodshed but the start of reconstruction of the nation....
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