Black Reconstruction in America

Category: History
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The United States still maintains its position of the world as the strongest and the most influential country for many years. Observing American history closely, it is clear that the country had undergone through ups and downs as well as harsh battles with other countries and within the nation. American experienced Civil War and later a Reconstruction period as it tried to heal.

To examine the reconstruction period, it is good to understand what caused the war, what occurred during the war, and the changes that came about. The Civil War, as well as the Reconstruction period, represent heroic instants in contemporary history. In 1860, American South persisted as one of the last remnants of slavery (DuBois, 7).

Du Bois Reconstruction in United States is more of an epic that retells the history of the United StatesSummary of the book Black Reconstruction was written in 1935, and it rewrote the official history of the Reconstruction era and the Civil War. The book has its focus on the role that Black Americans played during the reconstruction. The work of Du Bois was the first full-length study that examined the role Black Americans assumed in the crucial period after Civil War came to an end. The salves, who were in most cases black, had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct the United States.

The book has three short chapters that profile the white worker, the planter, and the black worker. In the fourth chapter of the book, Du Bois argues that the decision that was gradually taken by the slaves on the South plantations to abandon working during the war was a good example of a prospective general strike of millions of slaves the elite from the south had not reckoned with. According to Bois, the slavery institution had to soften.

After the first few months, it came to the sense of most people that slavery was done with and it did not matter who won and that after the disaster the condition of slavery could never be the same. The post-emancipation south didn’t degenerate into political or economic chaos. In the subsequent chapters, Du Bois notes the determination of the elite planter class to keep control and at the same time recover property, particularly land, lost during the War.

Paramilitary groups from the poor-white class were common. The groups used terror to suppress black unions and suffrage because they were frightened by the immense power that the millions of black votes would shape the future of America. In the book, Du Bois documents the establishment of public health units to promote sanitation and public health, and to prevent the spread of epidemics during the period after the war, Reconstruction period. In this book, Du Bois is against the claim that the job done by Radical Republicans was poor during the first epoch of Reconstruction and at the constitutional conventions. Du Bois asserts that after the Democrats had regained power in 1876, they didn’t change the Reconstruction constitutions for almost a quarter century.

Rather, the Democrats passed laws so that they could impose racial segregation as well as Jim Crow and they upheld some support of public health, welfare laws, and public education, along with constitutional principles that benefited everyone. The main arguments of Du Bois and conclusions from conversations The book is a fascinating history although some people take it for granted. The revisionist history of the reconstruction began around the 1960s in the midst of Black Power movements and Civil Rights, meaning Du Bois original observations with regards to Reconstruction are commonly accepted today.

Du Bois analyzes slavery in Americas, the Reconstruction period, and Civil War. Also, he does a state-by-state analysis of Confederacy so that he can determine how Reconstruction was conducted in different states. Finally, he looks at the effects of Reconstruction’s failure. He brings clarity on the dialectic of class and race in a capitalist economy. He argues that the development of the spiteful racism that at the time underpinned American politics was the struggle of unprecedented wealth. Radical Republicans were fighting for radical reforms in America’s Congress, and Du Bois has commented on this issue and asserts that he did not realize and that Das Kapital was not published to prove to people that economic power motivates politics.

Therefore, it is clear that Du Bois argues that economic power motivates politics and the two are difficult to separate. He continues and argues that when the dictatorship of labor is overthrown in the south, the Republicans had surrendered the hopefulness of democracy in the United States for all men. Du Bois argues that racism was used in most cases to justify economic exploitation. He says that the espousal of the principle of Negro subordination by the south was mainly because those responsible had economic motives and the political urge which was inter-connected as a way of supporting slave industry. It is therefore clear that the author asserts that slave industry thrived because of the economic motives and the political urge that dominated this era. According to Du Bois, the South could say with no doubt that the black person, even when they are brought into contemporary civilization, could not become civilized. It is from this case that Du Bois argues that he and other blacks were inferior to the white men and that the world of the white had a right to rule everyone for their selfish interests.

These arguments create a materialistic framework for coming to terms that racism extended to Du Bois understanding of the condition of the white workers and white poor as well. According to Du Bois, the white labor as well as the white poor are as well linked to the face of the Black workers, and their labor leaders’ incapability- and their inability- to recognize this led to mutual degradation of both white and Black labor. For Du Bois, the dilemma of white working class all over the world today is traceable to the slavery of the black person in the United States, on which modern industry and commerce were founded and it, in fact, persisted to threaten free labor. The color caste was founded and maintained by capitalism and was approved and adopted by white labor.

For Du Bois, racism was in different ways approved by white labor, and it was, by all means, their undoing. The author uses materialist method as a way of understanding the predominance of the capitalist economy and the formation of class that arises from it, and that is the starting point of the understanding of the creation and persistence of racism and race in the United States.

Du Bois insists that the centrality of the class is the main divide in America and that does not reduce the various ways in which racism confines, distorts, and undermines the lives of the blacks because they are the ones who are mainly devastated by racial oppression. The significance of slavery in America to the whole social development of the United States lay the decisive relation of slaves to democracy. The Northern industrialist looked upon free black labor as a source of profit. They didn’t want for black labor any political power or special protection.

For Du Bois, abolition democracy took the wheels of the Reconstruction process, and it dashed to the left. He argues that the greatest supporters for Black Suffrage were former slaves. The reconstruction Acts transformed life in the South for poor whites and freed blacks who had been disempowered and disenfranchised by slaveocracy. Du Bois emphasizes that Reconstruction created the probable for unity between ordinary whites and blacks in the South. He argues that the freeing of America from the hands of an oligarchy in the South freed both Black and white men. Under the dictatorship of labor, Du Bois argues that the state expanded enormously to include public hospitals, public schools, commitment to care for people, and public aid.

For Du Bois, Radical Reconstruction turned a backward society upside down. According to a white lawyer in South Carolina, Reconstruction era was a period America went through remarkable changes in the relations of the citizens with each other. Some questions remain unanswered about the Black Reconstruction. For instance, the authors don’t tell whether or not a revolution in America is possible today because they are unfamiliar with what the Reconstruction represented. Du Bois focuses on what came to in the wake of Reconstruction overthrow.

There is no clear answer given as to whether the revolutionary struggle that was Reconstruction transformed both the North and south. The radicals went as far as they did as a demonstration of the political intervention of the abolitionists, freed people, and the people who fought for a South of a different kind. Another question that goes answered is whether the aftermath of the War created opportunities for political and social development of the working class, American, and the potential for its emancipation. The relation which Black Reconstruction had to the labor movement today and democratic government demands a clear explanation. According to Du Bois, the ordinary white had a shared bond with the white ruling against Blacks.

What is not yet answered is whether racism is an oppression that exists independently from class rather than being a product of capitalism. Du Bois blames the limitations of the Reconstruction on the incapacity of ordinary whites and Blacks in the south to get past the obstacles placed between them. Some critics argue that what Du Bois offers is an interpretation of Black Reconstruction basing his arguments on the assumption of intrinsic race equality that is shot through with Marxist economics and the hope of proletarian. Du Bois lists some writers and books that he believed did not interpret the Reconstruction period appropriately. He has identified the authors he believes are ill-informed or racist. Some authors feel that there is no need to accept Du Bois views about racial equality to recognize the imposing contribution he had made.

Critics hold that one does not have to be a Marxian to notice that in treating the Blacks experience as part of the labor movement, Du Bois has given that movement an orientation different from the one it commonly had. Du Bois argues that there can be no compromise in fighting for absolute equality and the terms that as the greatest battle the West faces. However, such arguments can be dismissed as those of fantasy or emotion if they spring from long brooding over suffering, defeat, and discrimination. I agree with Du Bois that the greatest supporters for Black Suffrage were the former slaves.

It is true that the reconstruction acts transformed life in the south for the freed poor whites and Blacks who had been disempowered and disenfranchised. Black Reconstruction created the possibility for unity between ordinary whites and Blacks. The contact between the Blacks and ordinary whites was on terms of mutual respect and essential social equality. In the era of Black Reconstruction, poor whites also exercised their rights in the hopes of creating a new society by supporting the Republicans. I agree that the reconstructed states become a tool for poor whites and the Blacks tenants to exercise control over their lives.

In America, the indigenous nations that are federally recognized are more than five hundred, and they comprise almost three million people descendants of the Native people who inhabited the land once. According to Ortiz, Native Americans actively resisted the expansion of the United States Empire (Irwin, 240).

Indigenous people in the past resisted slavery by capturing and killing settlers and burning settlements. Today, the Latinos resist discrimination through protests and demonstrations to ensure that their voices are heard. The indigenous people had to persevere against policies and actions that intended to exterminate them, whether intellectually, mentally, and physically (Irwin, 240).

Today, indigenous people continue to tolerate witness to their experiences the American and demand justice and the realization of sovereignty on their terms

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Black Reconstruction in America. (2019, Jun 14). Retrieved from

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