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In my view, Reconstruction remains equally relevant today mainly because the issues was core to the Reconstruction mainly, the protection of citizens” rights by the federal government and the need to have racial and economic justice for all are still to large extent remain unresolved and therefore very much relevant.
The Reconstruction era was the era of recurring nature of progress and backlash and the brittleness of our democracy. During this era a lot if political changes were taking place to provide and improve the fundamental social and economic rights. The Reconstruction era attempted to find justice and reconciliation while the violence and destruction was wide spread. In a way it was one of the most significant moments in the American history.
It was during this period that for the first time, the concept of equality under law and protections for the basic rights of the slaved were made as the law. The Constitution gave rights by adopting the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments as well as the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1875. This gave rise to expansion of civil and political rights in the United States, as well much increased civic participation and many other social change.
The victory of Northern states over the Southern states in the Civil War changed the fate of the Union and of slaver. However, it also posed numerous other issues to be resolved. The issues the which the governing bodies and political parties faced was to decide that the status of former slaves after the freedom from slavery and also if slavery is not there what would be the appropriate way to use the labour and in what form.
The Republican Congress rejected the Reconstruction plan of President Andrew Johnson, and enacted laws and Constitutional amendments to empower the federal government to implement the principle of equal rights for the blacks, and to provide the right to vote to the blacks in the Southerners states. They also enforced always by virtue of which the blacks can hold offices.
However, the Reconstruction did not succeeded in achieving the real freedom for the black because it failed to create true economic and political equality. It is important to study in detail as to what went right and what went wrong as it can shed light on the complex predicaments, which as Americans we face today.
We are still debating many a times on the issues such as who is an American, who should get voting and other rights, the issues of racial violence, and citizenship. The Reconstruction era has much to teach our students about the idea of democracy as a continuous process rather than a finished product.
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