As dust settled over blood stained grounds and hundreds tarnished the humble beginnings of America, the once United States of America grimly watched on to see what would become of the american people, values, and dreams. Some turned to the North for answers while others turned to the South for a target to blame. One looming question overpowered all others: How was the U.S going to recover from the bloodiest war of their history thus far?
Union Soldier (Left) and Confederate soldier (Right) at a stand-off
Between 1861 and 1865, war had raged through the United States of America when the reality had set in that the number of slave states and free states were about to lose balance. The once perfect union that the founding fathers had tried to instill within the foundation of America was torn into pieces. Among the 34 U.S states, seven southern states had completely seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy. With the death count sailing over the numbers of World War 1 and 2, the people of America was left in the rubble to face the after effects of the bloodiest war of U.S history.
Battle of Antietam - Bloodiest day in American History - Prompted issue of Emancipation Proclamation
The period that followed the Civil War - Reconstruction - had consisted of multiple sets of building blocks that summarized the recovery of the U.S. The first building block to be placed on the rubble of America took the form in a period of restoration in which the people of America tried to make sense of what had happened. As the bulk of reconstruction took place, it didn't take long for organizations such as the Ku-Klux-Klan and the enforcement of the black codes to come in to reverse this process of recovery. But the rise of the KKK paved the way for the most memorable phase of the restoration: Emancipation. Through the restoration of the internal and external structure of America, setbacks from the KKK and Black Codes, and the unveiling of new opportunities for African Americans through emancipation, the U.S was on its way to become the superpower it is today.
This period of Reconstruction was also comparable to the late 1770's when the Revolutionary War was fought. The south had depended on the North form much of their resources - transportation, manufacturing factories, new inventions - to guarantee profits in their economic endeavors: cotton production. But once their interests and ideals differed in regards to the ownership of slaves, the south had taken on this mindset to deviate from true Americanism and secede. Likewise, the colonies also depended on the British for most of their resources, economic ventures, etc. In the end, the colonies, like the south, had to save themselves from British hold in order to establish their own union to create the values of true Americanism. In conclusion, the Reconstruction was a period of reconciliation, revamping, and restoration in regards to relationships between the American people and the U.S government. It was also a period of time to validate what the founding fathers initially had in mind when the wanted the U.S government to be a representative government in which the people and the government are one and not two separate entities.