APUSH per. 5
October 31, 2010
Civil War and Reconstruction DBQ
The United States Civil War was one of America’s darkest hours of nationhood, but resulted in new rights and liberties for African Americans and revolutionized the United States for the better. The war resulted in the freedom of black slaves, and called for a complex reunification procedure to rejoin the depleted South and the high spirited North. Constitutional and social developments during the Civil War and the Reconstruction period created a sense of hope and promise for African Americans, but with these new possibilities came much resistance and struggle.
The Civil War was not officially fought over the issue of slavery, but one of the most important outcomes of the war was the emancipation of all slaves in the United States. The reasons for southern states’ secession ranged from unfair duties imposed on the states to the recurring issue of slavery (Document A). This secession unofficially started the war and created great tension between the North and the South. President Lincoln’s main purpose of commencing war was to unite the divided nation, and with tactics such as his Emancipation Proclamation and gaining the Border States’ support he was able to achieve his goal of reunification. Other results yielded by the war were the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. These provisions formally ended slavery and guaranteed the black freedmen future citizenship and suffrage. The blacks argued that if they fought in the war to preserve the Union that they were entitled to voting and having the same rights as other American citizens (Document C). The Civil Rights Act of 1866 declared that every person born in the United States, without regard to race, color, or previous conditions of slavery or involuntary service, is entitled to citizenship. This legislation was truly revolutionary as it gave citizenship to every American-born person, and would...