Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 - Reconstruction: Political and Economic Summary & Analysis

Eric Foner
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Reconstruction: Political and Economic Summary and Analysis

Chapter 8 examines the ways in which Republican power shaped the transformation of the South during Reconstruction. Southern Republicans inherited an impoverished region devastated by war, and were also confronted by opponents who thought they lacked legitimacy. Southern Republicans sought to expand their acceptance by relaxing laws that barred former Confederates from regaining full citizenship. They realized that black votes were responsible for putting them in office, but that acceptance by white southerners was required to gain legitimacy.

While many local offices were held by blacks, it was not common for blacks to be elected to higher offices at first. White Southern Republicans relegated them to minor roles and positions once they were elected. Blacks soon grew dissatisfied with this arrangement and sought to take a larger role in government, Foner explains. Most blacks elected to...

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This section contains 460 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 Study Guide
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