Reconstruction Era – Term Paper

Why was this time in America called the reconstruction era

The reconstruction era marked the rebuilding of America after attaining freedom from the British Empire. It entailed the creation of a nationalist vision that focused on rebuilding America and ensuring equality for all including African Americans. However, the ear was marked with divergent views with part of the American colonies seeking to retain the old ways that sought to maintain slavery. Equality was a key element that sufficed as a contentious issue within the reconstructive agenda.  The reconstruction narrative is well supported by a number of literal texts with historical facts or themes that augur with the reconstruction agenda. 

Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglas, 1845, is one document that highlights the historical [place of slavery in the reconstruction agenda. It highlights the role religion was used in perpetuating slavery as right.  In this text, Sabbath school was used to indoctrinate the African Americans to believe the cruel punishment was found in the bible.  The historical theme of slavery within the reconstruction agenda is highlighted in David Walker’s Walker’s Appeal, 1829. The text captures an African American’s lamentations regarding the formative years of America. The text foresees the equality of all Americans which was attained after years and notable legislations.  The lamentations show that the journey to the freedom of the African Americans was tasking and full of struggle.  The appeal vocalized the Black man’s appeal to enjoy the benefits of freedom that America had acquired after independence from the British Empire. 

Reconstruction era summary

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs is another document that identifies with the reconstruction era. The document details the experiences of women in slavery in the 19th century America. It denotes the depiction of African American slaves as property of the white masters. The author narrates that her contempt for the white Americans was brought forth by the notions that promoted inequality. The exploitation of the female slaves is also dissected highlighting that equality was not only a racial issue but also a gender issue. 

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Letter to Simon Cameron, Secretary of War, 1861 by Benjamin Butler is another text that investigates the effectiveness of the African Americans during the civil war. Butler notes that the African American men and women equally worked hard when called upon. The African Americans were under his protection after fleeing from various areas. The letter highlights the inquiry by a White American regarding the status of the African Americans within the constitution.  It shows the different forces in the reconstruction agenda. The agenda for equality was not only pursued by the African Americans but also by liberal White Americans. 

Public Law of North Carolina, 1899, Chapter 218 discusses the electoral laws that were stipulated by the North Carolina authorities. The laws are discriminative in that they demand that black Americans seeking registration must be literate. Voting was also a preserve of those that had cleared poll tax.  It also specified that only the male gender was allowed to participate in the electoral process.  Additionally, no black male person born past 1867 was allowed to vote. All these allow in the historical context were against the spirit of reconstruction which was deemed on pursuing equality and inclusivity in a state full of immigrants drawn from various corners of the world. The laws, however, signal the journey pursued by America in attaining democracy and equality for all.