The Failure of Post-Civil Reconstruction Analytical Essay by scribbler

Looks at the confluence of forces during the period of Reconstruction that made it impossible for the South to return to its levels of prosperity prior to the Civil War.
# 151785 | 1,020 words | 4 sources | MLA | 2012 | US

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This paper explains that the Great Migration west to the gold fields, the movement of the newly freed slave labor away from the South and the delayed arrival of industrialization to the South contributed to the failure of its post Civil War reconstruction. Although obviously the South has maintained its viability to the American culture and political system, the author stresses that the the Civil War and the following period irrevocably altered its position in the country due to its loss of political legitimacy and economic destitution. The paper concludes that Reconstruction efforts stagnated because they attempted to reestablish the Old South in a new way rather than acknowledging how the USA itself had changed.

Table of Contents:
The Great Migration West
Post War Immigration

From the Paper:

"The newly freed slaves that had worked on the fields and plantations of the South had been a driving force in the regions--and the country's--economy. For the cost of keeping these workers alive and healthy enough to work, seemingly endless supplies of cotton, tobacco, and other crops could be pulled form the earth. The Emancipation Proclamation and the ultimate Constitutional ban on slavery ended this labor system, and required the south to find a more legitimate way of making their farms productive. Though eventually the South grudgingly developed a system of sharecropping by former slaves--which in some instances was cheaper than slavery, and was also the system that produced the "black codes" or Jim Crow laws--many in the South made a long attempt to attract the "right type" of immigrant to the South to set up farms and make the region economically viable again.
"This "right type" was essentially someone as close as possible to the Southerners themselves--definitely white, English-speaking, and hopefully Protestant--leaving a very limited pool of immigrants from the British Isles, not inclusive of Ireland if at all possible. Xenophobia was spreading across the nation as a whole at the time as well."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Foner, Eric. Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution. New York: HarperCollins, 2002.
  • Franklin, John Hope. Reconstruction After the Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.
  • History Central. Accessed 28 February 2010.
  • Silverman, J. and Silverman, S. Immigration in the American South. New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 2006.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

The Failure of Post-Civil Reconstruction (2012, September 25) Retrieved September 19, 2021, from

MLA Format

"The Failure of Post-Civil Reconstruction" 25 September 2012. Web. 19 September. 2021. <>