Constitutional and social development between 1860 and 1877

From the time of Lincoln’s inauguration in 1860 to the final withdrawal of union troops from the South in 1877, the nation of America had been one of great revolutions. There was constant development in this time both socially and constitutionally. For instance, some constitutional developments that irrupted conflict were the secession of the confederate states, the Emancipation Proclamation, the three civil rights bills, and the reconstruction. Some social developments that caused conflict were the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Black Codes, and the Ku Klux Klan.

It was a result of these developments that the Revolutions of the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Redeemers would take place. The great change these revolutions brought about were vital in the development of this country.

One of the constitutional developments that caused a revolution during this time frame, had to do with the South Carolina Declaration of Causes of Secession, which is stated in Document A. The southerners felt that it was their constitutional right to own slaves and did not see a time when they should be required to give up that right.

However, upon the election of Lincoln as President, the southerners felt threatened, and felt their slave holding rights were being threatened, and in an effort to protect these rights they chose to secede from the union. This action angered the President and many Republicans because they believed that it was unconstitutional for a state to secede. Senator John Sherman on the other hand believed that they gave the states too much power and rights in government that this is the reason the government being overthrown.

One of the social developments that caused a revolution was the Freedmen’s Bureau. The Freedmen’s Bureau was supposed to give Homesteads to the freed slaves, but they failed to keep their promise, as stated in Document E. In document I the picture shows that even thought the freedmen were given freedom after the Civil, other groups such as the White League and the KKK still tried to suppress their rights as human citizens. For instance, the KKK would burn black-owned buildings and murder freedman to them from exercising their voting rights.

Another development that caused a revolution was the Reconstruction Act. Looking at Document F you can see that Senator Lot Morrill thinks that the Civil Rights Act of 1866 is revolutionary. But he was furious because there was already a revolution taking place and nobody knew or cared. The speech brought up many questions about what had to be fixed and what kind of revolution would occur. These are the many developments that brought on a revolution that helped or hurt the country. This is one of the revolutions that helped shape this country.

After Lincoln was Inaugurated In 1860 seven states ceded and later four more. The south believed they were within their constitutional right to cede. In South Carolina’s Declaration of Causes for Session the state says, “Powers not delegated to the united States by the constltutlon… are reserved to the states (Doc A). ” This leaves Lincoln at a quandary over the age old constitutional issue of Nullification and session debated back In the day of the Virginia Kentucky resolutions and Hartford

Convention. He resolves that it is not within the states power to cede and brings the nation to war. The eventual victory for the North would bring about one of the greatest changes in history; way of life. With Slavery no more and a Southern society in ruins more changes had to be made in the Reconstruction revolution. After Lincoln’s and Johnson’s plans for reconstruction failed, the Republicans who now controlled congress took the reigns. Socially there was the large issue of all these freedmen with nowhere to go, who are now demanding equality.

In petition written Just after the war in 1865 from African Americans to the Tennessee Convention the blacks say, “If we are called to military duty… should we be denied the right to vote (Doc C). ” That same year a letter to the Freedmen’s Bureau (a group dedicated to helping protect blacks and their rights), from a group of blacks was asking for homesteads so they may have the same rights as white land owners (Doc E). With need to help these newly freed blacks and protect them from those endorsing things like the Black Codes, states had to develop a constitution with special specifications to lack’s rights.

The constitutional changes that occurred not only to the state governments but to the national governments as well were the thirteenth amendment that ended slavery, the fourteenth that made blacks citizens, and the fifteenth that gave blacks right to vote as illustrated in The First Vote (Doc G). The latter developments changed the south and America forever. The entire southern way of life was flipped upside economically and socially. Sharecropping and the crop-lien system emerged to solve labor shortages, blacks status increased, and education expanded; these are some of ain results of the Reconstruction Revolution.

The Final revolution of this time unfortunately was that of the Redeemers. Since the beginning the conservatives had been fighting reconstruction in the South. The South had always had people (the democrats) opposed to black suffrage. Gideon Wells said, “The Federal government has no right… to dictate the matter of suffrage (Doc D). ” To resolve these conservatives would require literacy tests to vote, and reinstate property requirements. These methods were ways around the vague constitutional developments of the 1 5th amendment.

Violence was also used as a means to control the black population in the South. The Klu Klux Klan and White League would use terrorist acts on blacks and lynch many innocent blacks to discourage them from voting as illustrated in (Doc l). Blacks were also segregated from whites, which after the Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson was deemed legal as long as they had equal opportunities; however, the blacks did not have equal opportunities but it still allowed the whites to avoid the 14th amendment. Finally, in the Compromise of 1877 Rutherford B.

Hayes was elected resident and withdrew the troops from the south. The north believed that with the the blacks could take care of themselves and they also had their eyes focused on the West. However, with the soldiers gone the blacks became once again subject to the will of whites. This is where history is debated on whether reconstruction was a success because the Redeemer revolution reverted the south back to a segregated area of tension once again. The fapde that was America changed significantly from 1860 to 1877. The constitution had been written a century prior leaving out many key issues.

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