The Failure of the South's Rebuilding. The Consequences of Civil War Essay Example
Who is truly to blame for the failure of the South's rebuilding. After the Civil War, the South was in ruins. Throughout Reconstruction, there were many failures and successes that were endured. These failures slowed down reconstruction and eventually led to its failure when it stopped. Both sides were in some way responsible in the end. Due to the North's corruption and the South's resistance, the rebuilding of the South ended horribly.
During Reconstruction, many efforts were made by both the North and the South. Those Southerners who did help and supported the Reconstruction and were being discriminated against and intimidated by other Southerners. We see that the the Ku Klux Klan had murdered John W. Stephens, who is a "brave, honest Republican citizen," due to his political actions (Document A). Due to this, we see the writer of a letter beg a congressmen to take action about the Klansmen. The political cartoon then shows the KKK hanging these congressmen who do try to act (Document A). Overall though, most were afraid to do so. The actions of the KKK combined with the governments fear to act upon them showed Southern resistance and led to the South causing a failed reconstruction.
The time during and after the civil war led to many triumphs for African Americans in our country. The many new rights they received, however, were not accepted by all. In Abram Colby's testimony we here the horrific story of a freedman being assaulted by some Klansmen. Some "first-class men" in their town were the people doing this action (Document B). Through this torture, freedmen are not able to express their rights and vote for leaders without the fear for their own lives. The political cartoon shows an example of a black man trying to cast his ballot but being stopped (Document B). This lack of progressiveness and discrimination by Southerns proves the South's resistance and did not allow the South to rebuild itself.
While the South's resistance led to many problems while rebuilding, they were not the only ones at fault. In the North, voters were growing "indifferent to events in the South" (Document C). They began to care less about Reconstruction in the South and pay attention to concerns of their own. We also see in the political cartoon the corruption in the government. It shows President Grant and says he is a fraud and corrupt (Document C). Overall the document shows and explains the less care that Reconstruction is getting from the North. The less care amongst Northern's combined with the government's corruption both led to a failure in the rebuilding of the South.
Northerns also began to mock the South and the way they are going about Reconstruction. They mock the choices Southerns make on how to rebuild their government. Richardson says that "blacks need a period of probation and instruction" (Document D). He says that instead of immediately putting the freedman in the government they need time to learn. The political cartoon depicts the Southern senate and we see screaming black men as some white men sit idly (Document D). The North's inclination to mock but not take action again led to the end of reconstruction.
In conclusion, both the North's corruption and the South's resistance led to the failure of the South's rebuilding. Although some may say it is only one sides fault, this is not true because both groups made mistakes leading to a failure. The failure of Reconstruction still affects modern society and could have been a completely different story if the country had worked together better.