Historical Context Of The Civil War Essay
The Civil War may have settled some significant national problems, but it also created many more. Slavery was abolished, the country was reunited, and the supremacy of the federal government was confirmed. However, the cost of the Union victory - lost lives, destroyed property, and sectional bitterness - was staggering and it created huge new problems and tasks.
Perhaps the most challenging task facing our tired nation was the future status of the four million newly freed slaves. After the death of President Lincoln and the failure of President Johnson, Congress, in 1867, tool charge of the effort to “reconstruct” our divided nation. A large part of “Congressional Reconstruction” was an effort to establish and to protect the citizenship rights of freedmen. The former Confederacy was divided into five military districts, each governed by a Union general. The southern states, in order to rid themselves of these “military dictatorships”, were required to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment, guaranteeing equal rights for all citizens B including former slaves.
At the same time, large numbers of former Confederate soldiers and supporters were disenfranchised, or denied the right to vote. By 1870, all of the former Confederate states had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment and were readmitted to the Union. In each state, the voting rights of freedmen were protected while voting was denied to many white Southerners. Therefore, with many whites not voting…