Reconstruction: The Post Civil War Era
Friday April 12, 1861, America embarked into war with its biggest adversary; America! The American Civil War broke out, and what was believed to be a quick battle by the North, turned out to be a long bloody four years and left the country devastated. President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, successfully lead this country through its greatest constitutional, military and moral crisis. Everything he did was in the best interest in preserving this nation to what it is today. If President Lincoln task of preserving the union would have failed, our nation would be a split nation today. All the events of the Civil War are what truly shaped the face of America today. The President knew that if he wanted to preserve this nation as a whole, not only would he have to win the war, but he would have to have a plan in place to immediately fix the nation to help it move forward from war. During his time in the white house and towards the end of the war, when it was evident the North would prevail, he worked on a reconstruction plan to get the South up and moving. During the war, the northern armies had gone through the South destroying everything that would help the south to prevail in the war. The agricultural belt that was the strength of the was nothing more than ashes as the North marched his armies from Atlanta to the Sea, famously known as Sherman’s March, in which they destroyed everything from crops to railroads. After four long years of war, on April 10, 1865 General Lee surrendered, and the Civil War came to an end. Lincoln was preparing to move the nation forward in Reconstruction. The President, however, never saw his plans for Reconstruction in America because on April 14, 1865, he was assassinated, leaving Andrew Johnson to take over as President, and to lead forth Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction.
There are many historical events that happened during the reconstruction era that helped shape the course of America today. The first of the two events would be the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act was put into place to counter the harsh “black codes” that the south had emplaced on the newly freed black Americans. Black codes were any law that defined and especially limited the rights of former slaves after the Civil War (Schultz, 2012). These codes were modeled on the slave codes that existed before the Civil War. The Civil Right Act was the very first law that ever passed over a presidential veto. This bill granted all citizens mandatory rights, regardless of racial considerations. The Civil Rights Act has affected our country today because there are more black Americans sitting in high political positions. It has enabled this country to elect its first black President in Barack Obama. The second major historical event that has an impact on America today is the right to vote as so put forth in the fifteenth amendment. The fifteenth amendment, which was ratified on February 3, 1870, prohibited any state from denying citizens the rights to vote on the grounds of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. In today American society, every man and woman has the right to vote and cannot be denied that right to vote based on those characteristics noted in the fifteenth amendment. The hardest time during the right to vote reconstruction period was how it was outlined. Since the wording of the newly ratified amendment did not speak of women voting or women rights, women (both black and white) had faced the hardest time when it came to voting.
The time reconstruction would have been much different if President Lincoln had not been assassinated. Andrew Johnson was believed to have no backbone or power against the reconstruction of the south was such a headache. Although they sought to do well, they did it...