HIST 121 BDE: AMERICAN HISTORY TO 1877 DISCUSSION 8

The Civil War was fought because of slavery and the breakup of the Union. The Southern slave owners would argue that they were fighting to keep states’ rights, meaning they were dependent on a slave economy, and believed they had the right to keep their livelihood, as they knew it. Northerners and President Lincoln entered the war initially to keep the Union intact. However, war aims would evolve and, with that, northern soldiers would fight to emancipate slaves. By 1862, the war turned into a hard war and only the destruction of the enemy’s forces and unconditional surrender would end it. Agreeing to the unconditional surrender, though, did not mean reconstructing the Union would be simple. 

Keeping these factors in mind, compare and contrast wartime Reconstruction, presidential Reconstruction, and congressional (radical) Reconstruction. What were the key differences among the three phases? Were there any similarities in the phases? 

PRIMARY SOURCES 

  • 14.4 John Beauchamp Jones Observes The Deterioration on the Confederate Home Front (1863–1864)
  • 15.2 Mississippi Black Code (1865)
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