The past American Politics is a grim reminder of how the socio-political fabric can be ruined by the emergence of civil war. Eric Foner, a distinguished scholar brings this scenario to the fore by specifically focusing on the looming conflicts necessitated by the nation’s collective memory. He stresses the perceptions that come with every edition of several publications by different authors. It is worthy to note that Eric Foner is also the Professor of History at several American institutions, but notably, the University of Colombia. He is again the winner of numerous awards and the author of several publications among them the ‘Birth of a Nation’ and most recently, ‘the American Reconstruction’
The above subject is to specifically deal with the views of scholars like Eric Foner. The main theme is to try and identify how they treat reconstruction at approximate increasing intervals of twenty five years.
The ‘Birth of a Nation’
This is one of the Foner’s aggressive literary works. The birth of a Nation is an episode published in 1915 and is said to have elicited a lot of critism from various quarters. It is a story which was initially filmed with the main purpose of exposing the past racial intolerance in the periods of reconstructing the American nation. It is with profound memories of how the contribution of scholars in writing history can either make or break the already formed bond within the multi-racial societies. This sad story was witnessed with in Indiana State after a white man with racism memories killed a fellow black citizen immediately after watching this film!
Because of various reactions by the American people after coming across such situations, different scholars have come up with various modifications of their prolific publications in an attempt to balance the public moods with the grim reality (OYEZ 1). In my view, the concerned scholars try not to penetrate to the extreme end of their episodes. They would rather navigate around the bush with the brutal truth. This is to avoid unnecessary public out-cry or heat that comes along with their actions.
The Reconstruction Argument
The reconstruction view has been developed by the scholars in order to underscore the ultimate objective of developing and nurturing unity. Public cohesiveness and impartiality are words that are paramount in building a more united and racial biased-free society (Tourgee 231). A country like the USA cannot be allowed to degenerate into obscurity. It is endowed with variety of resources together with people from multi-ethnic and racial backgrounds. The aforesaid characteristics make the American society look a bit unique! It would be better if the focus is on the reconstruction rather than getting much obsessed with personal identities. Such are the realities that confront these scholars in bringing an all rounded society with a common ideological agenda.
Why reconstruct a community already ravaged by societal ills? This is a question one may ask. The real issues surrounding reconstruction agenda are well captured in the story of the ‘Birth of a Nation’. This publication that was availed in 1915 vividly shows how racism took centre-stage during that period. It highlights the filmed story that was released in the 20th century, to which Eric specialized in. the story captures the conflicts between the predominantly Northern whites and the South Carolina which is mostly occupied by the black people (Woods 1). Both the groups attacked each other on the strength of their racial backgrounds. Interestingly the film ends with both sides of the divide embracing some form of tolerance towards one another!
To this end the film, although might have achieved its ambition, the controversy surrounding the racial monster still remained. These are some of the unresolved cases of underlying problems bedeviling today’s society. The obstacle therefore calls for a collective thought of how to handle such emotive issue with a clear conscience of minimizing any further public panic.
Views of Different Scholars on Reconstruction as Time Advances
Reconstruction evolution has been experienced with the latest publishing of such episodes. A more people friendly publications than the previous ones have been adopted. Let’s look at the ideology versus accuracy where writer Griffith tried to replace the much criticized film with the words of ‘Intolerance’. Again immediately after the First World War, a produced the ‘birth of a race’ was later reproduced with and renamed rebirth of a nation (Gerber 1). This was in response to the critics who viewed the film as having some racial biasness. The film showed two people fighting, a German-American and an American where the American survived the onslaught. This scene made it look like there’s favoritism in the part of Americans.
Likewise such scenario is witnessed in the way the Birth of a Nation took some dominance in terms of sale. This trend later tumbled down after being surpassed by another episode, ‘gone with the wind.’ In my personal assessment, I find it quite normal with everyday’s survival tactics. If things move on well, you try a new product with a view to keep the tempo. This will eventually make you stay afloat with the current situation. The invention and innovation trend must be in tandem for any viable achievements to be realized. That of course is what the scholars were trying to accomplish. Within an interval of twenty five years and above, there were new developments (improvements) in this field of literary works and filming with the sole intention of embracing an all inclusive views, but at the same time driving the point home.
Legacies and Histography mainly touches on the filming and literary works of various scholars, their impacts on the public domain and finally the measures taken to address this scenario.