Reconstruction America's Unfinished Revolution Summary

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Eric Foner’s book, “A Short History of Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution” traces the failure and expected fulfillment of the ending of the Civil War. The period starts in 1863 in which Lincoln generates the Emancipation Proclamation of former Confederate Territories now under the Union Army’s control. The end point is the 1877 Compromise of President Hayes ending the United States Army’s occupation of four southern states negotiated with Democrats. This in turn allowed for the control of the South effectively with the ante-bellum governments.
While Foner may be described as revisionist in some circles; his work provides us with a timely declaration of intolerance within the Deep South as well as within the very circles of politics.
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The freed blacks lacked an infrastructure to organize themselves and to ease into society. The previous generations of Blacks lacked even the rudimentary schooling and organizational skills to exploit the sudden vacuum of independent thinking. During the Great Awakening, Black Churches had established in those areas which allowed the unregulated movement of Blacks. “…With the death of slavery urban blacks seized control of their own churches, while the “invisible institutions” of the rural slave churches emerged into the light of day.” Even through the 1960’s; the Black Churches of the South represented an institution solely geared for the improvement of …show more content…
Black preachers were a vested a role in the Reconstruction Era. Where churches were lacking; local black communities built them. They served as the initial school rooms in the area, as well as locations for political and social action. Black ministers were often the only educated blacks in their community; which thrust them into the role of educators and black politicians. This resulted in the expanding and interpreting these new events. These preachers guided the reshaping of both a national and political identity for the newly freed blacks.
The most important challenge of the Reconstruction was that of enforcement of those laws guaranteeing those hard won freedoms. Lands which were abandoned by white plantation owners and confiscated by the Union, was distributed to the freed slaves. They then were reallocated to their former owners. There was an attempt by many southern Democrats who were on the policy widespread disenfranchisement of the Blacks . Some governors ignore the suffrage law and law thousands of former Confederates to register, along for the Democratic endorsement of