Essay about The Emancipation Proclamation And The Civil War

1929 Words 8 Pages
Following the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War, many assumed that black Americans in the south were granted their freedoms and the rights believed to belong to all men. Southerners were especially vocal about the expanded rights of black Americans as they attempted to prevent further involvement in southern politics by the northern Republican government, but many white northerners were also critical of northern involvement. William Dunning, author of Reconstruction, Political and Economic, 1865-1877 (1907), lived during the time of Jim Crow laws and discrimination against black Americans. Dunning argued that the Republican government used black suffrage as a tool to expand Republican political power and established the “Dunning School” of Reconstruction interpretation. More than 100 years after Reconstruction, historians still argue about the best way to interpret the events that occurred during the period. Eric Foner, author of The Story of American Freedom (1998), argues that Dunning’s interpretation was incorrect; Foner believes that without continued northern involvement, southern states would have continued to discriminate against black Americans and continued, if not slavery exactly, a system of apprenticeship, voting disenfranchisement, and economic oppression that would have prevented black Americans from recognizing the rights they deserved. A comparison of Dunning and Foner’s works against primary sources from the Reconstruction period supports Foner’s…

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