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Assess the Reconstruction period in the US as a social, political and economic revolution.

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kidsf | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM via web

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Assess the Reconstruction period in the US as a social, political and economic revolution.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 21, 2012 at 12:24 PM (Answer #1)

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I would say that Reconstruction fell short of being revolutionary on all of these levels.  Socially, Reconstruction brought no serious change in the status of African Americans.  Of course, they were no longer slaves, but they continued to be subjugated by white Southerners for decades after Reconstruction ended.  Politically, one can argue that there was something of a revolution as the South became solidly Democratic for about 100 years after Reconstruction ended.  However, this sort of partisan realignment is not much of a revolution.  Economically, the South did not change as much as some would have hoped.  The "New South" was more industrialized than the Old South. However, the South's economy was still much more agrarian than that of the North and much less efficient.  The deep South remains the poorest region of the country today.

In these ways, it is clear that Reconstruction did not bring about any revolutionary changes in any of these categories.

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