- June 16, 2020
WHY RECONSTRUCTION MATTERS
Eric Foner wrote an article in the New York Times’ Sunday Reviewtitled “Why Reconstruction Matters” (Foner, 2015).It was created on the 28th of March, 2015. His intentionwas to mention to the Americans that the Reconstruction period wasvital in the life of the great nation and they should give itssesquicentennial moment some attention. It was a move to deem theperiod relevant with the given examples (Foner, 2015).
Ericpresents various positive developments witnessed during this periodin America to substantiate his claim (Foner, 2015). First, in 1863,President Abraham Lincoln announced a plan of establishing Southerngovernments loyal to the Union. During the end of his time in office,he had called for reduced suffrage of blacks in the South, countingon them having served as soldiers protecting the nation as well asbeing intelligent (Foner, 2015). The Civil Rights Act of 1866 wasenacted by Congress during this period. It affirmed that regardlessof race, everybody born in America was its citizen (Foner, 2015).Moreover, the Act established that all people should enjoy civilrights just like the whites. The 14th Amendment cemented it. Curtissays, “The 14th Amendment changes a Constitution for“White men” to one for “Mankind””. This quote is importantbecause it gives a view of a concrete manifestation of theReconstruction period, which is equality standing against racialdiscrimination.
The Congress passed laws of Reconstruction in 1867 (Foner, 2015). Ithelped establish new Southern governments and empowered blacks toseek elective posts. Thus, this period was instrumental inestablishing a government of equality (Foner, 2015). Again, theperiod saw a consolidation of African-American families who werepreviously divided along the lines of sales in slavery. Theseaccounts are reliable because the American Constitution bears witnesshaving retained details of all the Amendments. The author presentsthem in an understandable language and a clear flow of historicalaccounts up until the fall of the Reconstruction government. Thesedetails are discussed right from the seventh paragraph of the articleto the fifteenth (Foner, 2015).
Thesecondary source did not tackle various aspects. For instance, manyAmericans are learned and prefer having empirical evidence. Ericought to have mentioned some black leaders who were elected duringthat period. Again, he did not affirm the true position of PresidentLincoln especially after championing for equality during only thelate years of his presidency. It would have been important to give apicture of America if the Reconstruction had continued withoutsabotage. Would America be greater now? Would the world be a betterplace now? The source has convinced me, and I now know that theReconstruction was a prosperous moment for America. It gave clues ofreality, a reason America and the black communities rose againstdiscrimination in the 20th century. It is a remarkablepiece.
Foner, E. (2015). WhyReconstruction Matters. Nytimes.com.Retrieved 24 November 2016, fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/opinion/sunday/why-reconstruction-matters.html?_r=0