Historiography Of Reconstruction

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In a way, the Reconstruction of the United States is a prime example of why historiography exists for a number of reasons. The event happened so close in recent memory so as to occur in a time in which many records could be kept and in which history was already a well-established area of study. Furthermore, it is also so old as to allow for multiple interpretations throughout time and so impactful and controversial as to become a source for heated debates. Though history is the study of the past, it is important to remember that it is still a very much alive topic in that each era and its current issues greatly contribute to how past events are seen. The mutability of history and its dependence on current issues is seen through the starkly …show more content…
Led by W. E. B. Du Bois, they celebrated radical Reconstruction’s victories by showing how the South was more democratized through the upsetting of the planter class’s status with the first public schools. They also stated that blacks were not as incompetent as Dunning’s supporter would like people to believe. The newly freedmen toiled hard to take in their freedoms. Du Bois commended northern efforts at succeeding at teaching tens of thousands of eager former slaves to read when he writes that the “tale of the dawn of Freedom is an account of that government of men called the Freedmen’s Bureau,—one of the most singular and interesting of the attempts made by a great nation to grapple with vast problems of race and social condition” (Du Bois). However, he was dismayed when southerners tried to strip the freedmen of their newly founded rights, which continued on even during Du Bois’s time during the 1930’s. In fact, it was World War II that finally made Americans realize how unjust they were for fighting the Nazis while themselves mistreating their own minority groups. Moral ponderings superseded white nationalism, leading many people to take another look at Reconstruction. As the Dunning school soon disappeared due to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s, Du Bois and his revisionists gained popularity as African Americans strove for civil equalities previously repressed by the exact views that Du Bois

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