Civil War Reconstruction

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After the civil war ended in 1865, the nation was left divided in two. The South was unstable- it’s economy was bad and they were still seething from their defeat in the Civil War. They were unable to focus on anything but their own problems. It was the North’s responsibility to take charge of the Reconstruction- a period that would restore America’s economy and attempt to instill civil rights for everyone, regardless of skin color. The South was racist and a lot more vocal about their prejudices, but the North did not do as much as they should have. Their media printed racist letters, the citizens turned indifferent to the events going on in the South, and the president was too busy with the less important issues going on, neglecting the Reconstruction. …show more content…
It depicts Grant digging through a barrel, trying to find new corruption and scandals to address. He ignored the most important issue in the United States at that time, instead focusing on small scandals and instances of corruption that were far less urgent, such as the Indian Ring and the Whiskey Ring. The Indian Ring was a scandal caused by Grant’s Secretary of War, William W. Belknap, who had been accepting bribes from companies who had licenses to trade on the reservations of Native American tribes. The Whiskey Ring was a scandal that occurred when those in the business of selling whiskey bribed government officials to allow them to keep the tax revenue gained from the sale of their product. These issues were far less important, but Grant focused on them instead of the Reconstruction. Grant’s defocus of the Reconstruction spurred Northern citizens to do the same- “...in the 1870s, Northern voters grew indifferent to events in the South...many Northern voters shifted their attention to such national concerns as the Panic of 1873 and the corruption in Grant’s administration.” The panic of 1873, a financial crisis caused by the closing of a major banking firm, was another distraction from the Reconstruction. It worried Northerners, who began to focus on their financial problems rather than the …show more content…
Had they not been so distracted and indifferent towards the most important cause of all, rights for their citizens, the Reconstruction would have lived on. The South used violence and fear tactics in order to get their way, and the North essentially let them. They were the driving force behind the Reconstruction, and they failed to see it through. The laws passed during the Reconstruction were not effective enough to counter the violent forces in the Southern states, and the leadership was too weak to influence people’s opinions much. They continued to have a racist attitude, despite their actions during the Civil War. While the South was violent and the KKK was a big part of the problem in the United States, the North could have done a lot

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