2.28 – Rise and Fall of Reconstruction

In the first section of class, I will lecture on how and why the abolition of slavery in the United States occurred. In the second section, we will discuss Reconstruction.

Readings

Watch Slavery By Another Name
The “Black Codes” of the Reconstruction Era
Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved (you don’t need to read the ‘guiding student discussion’ section)
The Freedmen’s Bureau
History.com, Reconstruction
Glenda Gilmore, “Somewhere” in the Nadir of African American History, 1890-1920

Optional:

If you are particularly interested in the history of American slavery, you can read interviews with former slaves, and listen to them here.

Discussion questions

What were some of the major accomplishments of Radical Reconstruction in terms of establishing rights for former slaves as well as their economic, educational, and political progress?

In the late 1860s and early 1870s, what steps did the Federal government take to help support former slaves?

Why did Radical Reconstruction collapse?

In the late 19th and early 20th century, what were some of the main strategies used by southern whites to restore “slavery by another name”?

What were the conditions of life like for former slaves from the end of Reconstruction to the early 20th century?

How did African Americans and their few remaining white Northern allies attempt to achieve meaningful freedom during the late 19th century and early 20th century?

Conduct additional research if necessary to answer these questions.

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