In your judgement, which was more important-reconstruction politics in the ONrth or daily ife, race relations, and politics in the south?
I think that one can develop a variety of justifications for each answer. With this in mind, I am going to take the least traveled path and argue that race relations became an institutionally important aspect to Reconstruction. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments represent some of the most important Amendments to the Constitution and form the backbone of what Reconstruction was meant to be. The fact that each Amendment sought to redress a racially driven wrong helps to enhance the belief that race relations was an important element in Reconstruction. Certainly, the fact that other elements were present cannot be denied. Yet, leaders at the time saw it as extremely important to legally and institutionally embed the experience of African- Americans, former slaves, as part of the American lexicon in its Constitutional discussion. To be able to do this would do much in terms of race relations in the United States. While eliminating one aspect of legalized discrimination, it was followed by more examples of covert and overt racism and prejudice in American society. This more subtle discussion of race in America was only made possible by the passage of the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution.