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Reconstruction Project

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Michelle Lynch

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of Reconstruction Project

Michelle Lynch, Emma Cronin. Charli Baden, and Anna Byrd Reconstruction Project Issues: Many southerners had invested in many now worthless Confederate bonds and currency. Many faced starvation and homelessness, especially former slaves, who had nowhere to go. Maintaining Order The losses inspired people to protect what remained. Reconstruction became a struggle to define the meaning of freedom. Freedom to freedmen To former slaves, or freedmen, freedom meant an end to all injustices and humiliation as well as the acquisition of rights and protection. Essentially, they wanted to live as the average white man did. Some demanded the distribution of land and money while others simply asked for legal equality. Freedom to Southerners To southerners, or former confederates who had suffered greatly from the Civil War, freedom meant control of their destiny without interference from the North or federal government. These demands were not possible to respect because it would render the war pointless. Northern Efforts The federal government kept troops in the South to protect freedmen. The freedmen's bureau was created to distribute food and land to former slaves as well as to create schools. Less than 1,000 people were working on the freedmen's bureau, so the south made other reconstruction efforts such as fundraisers to bolster the cause of the freedman's bureau. Lincoln's Plans Lincoln believed that a lenient reconstruction policy would encourage people to join the Republican party and prevent the readmission of the south from strengthening the Democratic Party. He believed that Southern Unionists could become the nucleus of new, loyal state governments in the south. Rebuilding the government Main issue: Readmitting the states who had seceeded to the federal government posed many questions Assesment of overall success Through the efforts of people on the freedmen's bureau and other similar organizations, the people of the U.S. genuinely attempted to meet the needs of former slaves. Also, by ensuring that troops kept order in the South, the federal government prevented the efforts of the Civil war from being reversed. Although there were still outbursts and many disgruntled people, the government kept order to the best of its abilities. Northern View Northerners feared that readmitting the south to the electorate would reunite the Democrats and weaken the republicans. While the south was absent, the north had passed many things such as railroad subsidies, protective tariffs, and currency reforms to benefit northern business leaders and industrialists. These would be in jeopardy once the south was readmitted. The majority of the northerners wanted the South to be punished for the pain their rebellion had caused. Many wanted the south to be made over in the north's urbanized style. People said the south's "backward, feudal, undemocratic society" needed to be civilized and modernized. Conditions for South Rejoining CONSERVATIVES-
Insisted that the south accept the abolition of slavery. MODERATES-
Agreed on extracting some concessions from the South for black rights. RADICALS-
Urged that the military leaders of the Confederacy be punished, large numbers of southern whites be disenfranchised, legal rights of blacks to be protected, and that the property of wealthy whites who aided the confederacy be distributed. Lincoln sided with the Moderates and Conservatives. He offered general amnesty to white southerners who would pledge loyalty to the government and accept the elimination of slavery. When 10% of the number of voters in 1860 took this oath in any state, they could set up a state government. In this way, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Tennessee joined. The Radicals were outraged by this so they convinced Congress to ban the 3 states from voting in the election. A Change in Leaders A few days before beginning his second term, Lincoln was killed. Johnson, Lincoln's VP, became president. He was less skilled as a politician and sought to simply restore instead of reconstruct. He issued a proclamation of amnesty to allow the former confederate government to apply for amnesty to the president himself. The south was forgiven by the president without any consequences or changes being issued, so southern society began to replicate itself. Confederate generals and politicians were even allowed to be representatives in the federal government. Because no problems had been solved, disputes erupted between congressional republicans and Johnson. Congress Takes Charge Congressional republicans decided to rewrite the constitution to empower blacks, who would fairly represent the south as opposed to the "treasonous representatives" who currently had power. Johnson vetoed all reconstruction acts, claiming that he was "protecting the constitution". Congress promptly overrode him. 13TH AMMENDMENT-
Abolished slavery 14TH AMMENDMENT-
Made blacks citizens, guarenteed them protection of the law, gave them priviledges and immunities, and due process of law. 15TH AMMENDMENT-
Gave blacks the right to vote Assesment of overall success Lincoln, during his time, did his best to listen to the desires of his people and choose his actions carefully based on what his people needed. With his death, Lincoln left the leadership of a country in turmoil in the surely incompetent hands of Andrew Johnson, who only looked at the big picture rather than the details of what was really going on. But Johnson's inept leadership gave the United States an opportunity to find strength within themselves and get involved in their government to ensure that the right decisions were made. Through a twisted path, Lincoln's death brought about the success of the reconstruction of the American government. Rebuilding the Economy Issues: After the Civil War, the Union had to figure out what to do to about Greenbacks, and how to rebuild the Southern Economy The Greenback Question During the War, the Union used greenbacks to supplement the economy and pay expenses. In 1873, the economy underwent the largest depression the United States had ever seen before. This raised the concern of how Greenbacks were to be dealt with. Debtors wanted the government to continue issuing greenbacks, which would make paying off their debts easier. Grant and most republicans, on the other hand, wanted the currency to be based solidly on gold reserves. The Greenback Solution Because of the Panic of 1873, the Treasury issued more greenbacks. To stop this, the Republicans pushed the Specie Resumption Act of 1875. This declared, as of January 1 1879, that all greenback dollars would be redeemed by the government with a new certificate, at the price of gold. This act was antagonized by debtors, who formed the National Greenback Party. Though the NGP didn't make much headway, they did keep the Green Back Question going, making it one of the most sticking controversies of the century. The Southern Economy After the Civil War, the South was left in tatters: the Plantationer's former glorty and wealth, the traditional labor force, the land. Many whites were left without homes and possesions, and the freedmen were left with uncertain futures, with little aid. Because the ex-Confederates had spent so much money in failed war efforts, they were almost penniless. One of the biggest issuesof the reconstruction was trying to revive the Southern economy. The Southern Economic Revival The south's economic collapse was partially because of their independence on King Cotton and cash crops. The Northern solution to this, therefore, was to industrialize and diversify. Carpetbaggers came in from the North, hoping to succeed in farming or setting up shop. However, due to tough economic times and Southerners being unwelcoming, industrialization was very slow and only popped up in isolated places. Traditional Southern lenders didn't return after the war. Instead, a new breed of lending was born. Stores became the lenders, because most of the South were farmers, who didn't have a steady cash flow, and had to buy necessities with credit and repay after a harvest. With no competition, lenders could make their interest rates extremely high. This created a vicious cycle. A New Slavery Ex-slaves, due to lack of education and discrimination, were always employed doing more menial work, particularly farming. Again. But because the white southerners had land but no money to pay for labor, and the ex-slaves were desperate for work, a modified serfdom was created. It is called sharecropping. Freedslaves would work the Southerner's land for a percent of the product. But because the Freedmen needed materials to work the land, and their profits were so small, they were constantly in debt, and now were financially obligated to their landlord. It was, essentially, the very same thing the Civil War fought to end. Picture Sources bildungblog.blogspot.com
encyclopediaofalabama.org Sustaining Support Issues: One of the most important purposes for reconstrucion was to bring together the nation. However, both the North and the South still held resentment for eachother. Northern Resentment Many northerners were deeply insulted when southern states seceded and created the Union. The Northern abolitionists held particular animosity towards the South because of their use of slavery. Also, the north perceived the obvious resentment the South had for them, which did not help in the least. Southern Resentment The White South held the North in contempt for destroying their traditional way of life and homes, as well as being 'oppressive'. Also, almost every confederate lost someone close to them during the Civil War, or as some southerners called it, "War of Northern Aggression". Many white southerners romanticized the antebellum period and held tight to their old ways Picking Up the Pieces Part of Lincoln's plan to restitch the nation back together included offering amnesty to the South and being lenient, despite the radical republican's opinons and Northern resentment. However, the white south didn't want his amnesty or leniency. They were just as, if not more, resentful of the Union as the North was of them. Because of their resentment, all attempts of reformation were met with resistance, and held the possibility of pushing them away even more. Rebuilding the Government Issues: the United States government had to decide how to format a new government for Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein. Fall of Saddam Hussein Similar to Reconstruction, following the ousting of Saddam Hussein the American government was placed in the position in which they needed to recreate a government for the Iraqi people. In order to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein, in 2003 the Coalition Provisional Authority was formed by the United States and its allies. Coaltion Provisional Army Southern Retaliation Because there was so much chaos in the South, white Southerners would often take matters into their own hands, trying to restore order and white supremacy. They would do so in groups such as the KKK, by cheating in political ballots and terrible, violent acts against african americans and north sympathisers The Coalition Provisional Authority was in charge of rebuilding the Iraqi government and asserted judicial, legislative, and federal power over the Iraqi government. The ultimate goal Of the CPA was to create a democratic Iraq once the nation was capable of self-government. Iraqi Governing Council Like the southern reconstruction, the looming question was the capability of the Iraqis to lead. The CPA appointed the Iraqi Governing Council. The majority of the members were Iraqis that had fled due to the harsh rule of Saddam Hussein. This council did not have the power that the CPA held, however they did have influence some issues. The Iraqi Governing Council drafted the Transitional Administrative Law, a temporary constitution lasting from 2004-2005. Iraqi Interim Government In 2004 the US gave sovereignty to the Iraqi Interim Government. The Coalition Provisional Authority Army was demolished. However, the United States continued to have great control over Iraq. As was the North during Reconstruction, the United States was unwilling to quickly hand power back to the Iraqis. During Reconstruction, there was great opposition from the North with regards to restoring southern independence. This can especially be seen as the US maintained a military presence in Iraq in response to insurgency. This government set up was replaced by the Iraqi Transitional Government. Sources for Iraq http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14546763 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/29/washington/29army.html?pagewanted=all http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/24/world/middleeast/24terror.html?pagewanted=all http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/27/world/thr-struggle-for-iraq-occupation-us-officials-acknowledge-iraq-attacks-but-cite.html Iraqi Transitional Government Following the Iraqi Interim Government was the Iraqi Transitional Government. It functioned as transitional government. It was also purposed with creating a Constitution of Iraq. It existed from 2005-2006. As with the Reconstruction era, many plans of action floated through. They succeeded in providing temporary results, but were not permanent solutions to the larger problem of recreating a strong nation. Full-Term Government For the first time since the invasion led by the United States, Iraq votes for a full-term government and parliament. From this point on in 2006, the Iraqi people have a greater control over their government. The US troops remain, and the election processes are rocky and controversial. At the end of 2011, the US concluded the pulling out of troops. Success to Date The United States did not begin its reformation of the Iraqi government with a clear end goal in mind. In its attempt to counter terrorism, the threats posed to the United States have only increased. An article from the New York Times supports the argument that the occupation of Iraq has only worsened. Similar to the Reconstruction of the South, as attempts were made to create a government that suits the needs of everyone, animosity towards those seen as aggressors has built up. The process of Iraqi peace was slow moving and highly controversial, much as Reconstruction was. Sustaining Support Issues: How can the United States government continue to be backed by the American people in its endeavors in Iraq? Initial Support Initially, the government found support from the people as they waged war on Iraq. Many people felt that it was necessary to invade and topple Saddam Hussein's regime. With the greater population in support, wartime efforts were not opposed. Continued Struggles As people began to question the validity of the United States attacks on Iraq, support began to fade. What was thought to be a fast and painless victory turned into a much lengthier and seemingly endless event. A comparison here can be drawn to the period of Reconstruction, as time wore on and people's views began to shift out of favor of the radical reformation. http://inewp.com/?tag=iraqi-security-forces NYtimes.com Dwindling Poll Numbers Polls completed by CBS and the New York Times showed support waning greatly, especially among those who had initially been in support of the war. Without the continued support and necessity of involvement, the United States pulled all forces out of Iraq. It was no longer a supported decision to continue occupation, and as seen with the ending of Reconstruction, the desires of the majority of the citizens needed to be met. Success or Failure? The war in Iraq has seen both successes and failures, greatly dependent upon your view point. An article from USA Today emphasizes the loss of life over a war many disagreed with. One that was not entirely successful in fulfilling what it set out to do. The United States did overthrow Saddam Hussein, however, political unrest remains. While the North and South exited Reconstruction with harsh cultural differences, the United States has become more unified in their beliefs regarding the occupation of Iraq. Both events had detrimental effects on the general attitudes of cultural groups toward each other. The United States resents many Islamic people, and withing Iraq exist harsh cultural differences. Americans have lost all belief and support in the occupation of Iraq, as shown in an article in the New York times by James Traub. In the long run, Reconstruction manged to place the United States in the direction between unification. It is yet to be seen, but debatable, whether Iraq is looking forward to a unified and peaceful time. http://travel.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/opinion/sunday/the-end-of-american-intervention.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&_moc.semityn.levart Maintaining Order in Iraq After the war in Iraq was over, the U.S. began to rebuild the nation. The U.S. hired construction workers to rebuild homes and buildings in place of the destroyed ones. However, the Iraqi people did not want reconstruction. Very much like the South after the Civil War, Iraqi people resisted the U.S. reconstruction. In the 6 years that the U.S. was rebuilding Iraq, over 1,300 people were killed from bombings, murders, and terrorist attacks. This scared away most workers with any common sense making it very hard to find anyone to complete the job. A lot construction jobs were done very poorly and even more people were killed as a result. Iraq's Economy After Saddam Hussein was toppled from power, the oil industry grew to an even better standard then before the war. The GDP of crude oil grew to $55.4 billion with an increase of 17 percent by 2007. Iraq's economic situation after the war was much better the the South's after the Civil War. The economy in the South was completely decimated and they had no means for improvement. Iraq was far better off, however, they had $125 billion in foreign debt mostly from war aid and help.
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