The Reconstruction was a time of revival and rebuilding following the Civil War. During this time two ideas thrived, the idea of white supremacy which was followed by violence and more destruction, and the emancipation idea, which sought freedom and equality for all men, black and white. The disagreements, feuds, and violence that followed these two contradictory visions ultimately led to the failure of the Reconstruction. How has the events of the Reconstruction left a lasting legacy in America? The idea “free but not equal” as well as the discrimination and idea of white supremacy still continues in America today, yet the freedoms and rights the blacks gained for themselves also has provided a legacy itself.
This picture represents the idea of “free but not equal” and the discrimination that blacks faced following the war. Although in today’s society there are no separate water fountains or bathrooms, people still face discrimination and violence that was started during the Reconstruction era. These laws were a failure of the Reconstruction because although blacks were now free, they were not granted the freedoms that whites had.
This image shows successes in the Reconstruction, the many advancements to blacks rights. During the Reconstruction blacks were freed, gained citizenship, and gained the right to vote. During the Reconstruction a relief agency was also put into place for newly freed slaves and the Enforcement Act was put in place to help protect blacks and punish those who did not abide by the law.
The picture above is two veterans shaking hands and Manassas (Bull Run) battlefield years after the war, in 1881. This demonstrates the lasting legacy and impact the war had on American people. The war and its soldiers led to inspiration for numerous movies, books, and artists. Still today there are statues of war generals all over the country. The was left a strong cultural legacy and the memory lived on through reunions into the twenty century and for over a generation, Civil War veterans had a leading role in politics and the government of the United States.