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Who Killed Reconstruction?

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Who Killed Reconstruction?

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  • March 2013
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North or South:
Who Killed Reconstruction?

Harper’s Weekly
September 1, 1868
Harper’s Weekly
September 1, 1868
“Is This a Republican Form of Government?

Is This Protecting Life, Liberty, or Property?”
“Is This a Republican Form of Government?

Is This Protecting Life, Liberty, or Property?”

Overview: The twelve years after the Civil War proved to be a difficult time for America. Called Reconstruction by historians, this era saw an increase of freedom for former slaves. However, there was also great resistance to change. In 1877 attempts to reconstruct the South officially ended, leaving white-only governments in power. This DBQ asks you to decide who, North or South, was most responsible for the end of Reconstruction

Background Essay
North or South: Who Killed Reconstruction
...the slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery. -W.E.B. Dubois 1876 was an exciting year for America. It was the 100th anniversary of The Declaration of Independence and America was on the move. Homesteaders and ranchers were filling up the land west of the Mississippi River. Railroads were being built at an astounding rate. It seemed the United States was creating enough opportunity that all Americans and millions of immigrants could pursue their hopes for happiness just as Thomas Jefferson had envisioned 100 years earlier. So it is a great irony of history that the election of 1876 officially crushed the American dream for millions of black Americans. This election saw Rutherford B. Hayes, the Republican candidate and eventual winner, square off against Samuel J. Tilden, the Democratic nominee. Although Tilden won the popular vote by a wide margin, election results in Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana were so close that a winner could not be determined. If these three states went for Hayes, he would win the Electoral College vote and become President. Talk of a new Civil War was in the air as the opponents...