The Reconstruction Era

1) The phases of the Reconstruction Era and its legacy to U.S. history. From 1865 to 1877.

Reconstruction was an attempt in America from 1865 to 1877 to resolve the effects of the civil war. The reconstruction tried to resolve all the existing dilemmas including the legal status of the newly freed slaves. (Fitzgerald, 2007)

Reconstruction was done in three phases. The first was the presidential phase (1863- 1866). It was controlled by Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. This was aimed at speeding the process of re-uniting the country. The moderate reconstruction was opposed by the radical republicans who gained power in 1866 (Walter, 1905). They therefore began the radical reconstruction in 1866-1873. They emphasized voting rights and civil rights of the freed men. A coalition of two groups of republicans, Carpetbaggers and Scalawags controlled most of the sections of the Southern states. White supremacist southerners calling themselves redeemers continued with the third phase known as redemption from 1873 to 1877. This marked the end of the reconstruction (Fitzgerald, 2007)

Most historians, however, divide the period of reconstruction into two phases: presidential and congressional reconstruction. Te effects of the struggle by then expanded to be felt within several decades, until it culminated to the civil rights movement of 1950’s and 1960’s.

The objectives of President Lincoln in the war were to maintain the unity, as well as eradicate slavery. However, he was later assassinated after which the reconstruction took a more radical path.

2) The post-Civil War conquest of the West, including the “displacement” of the Native American tribes. Took place in the mid 19th century.

This was a step that the American took to displace the Indians living in their native land. The mission was commonly referred to as manifest destiny. The reason why it was referred by this name was because the Americans justified the displacement as a means to make the Native Americans enlightened. The struggle between the American government and the Native Americans continued to take shape throughout in the 19th century. The two groups went into a war with each other. At one time, British troops assisted the natives to fight against the American army in the battle of Wabash of 1791 and they defeated them. There were several attempts made by the American government to try and segregate the Native Americans. However, the Native Americans continued to resist the opposition all the time.

During the 20th century after president Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act on June 2, 1924, the Indians were guaranteed complete citizenship and this was consequently included in the American constitution.

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The signing of the native Act in 1924 ensured that the Native Americans were guaranteed security against the discrimination in America’s land. It was an important period for the Native Americans who had been denied freedom for a long time (Kroeber, 1939).

3) The socio-economic impact of the rise of industry in the U.S. during the post-Civil War years, including the rise of labor unions. (1865–1918) The period of 1865-1918 was a significant period in the American history. This was the period in which the growth of industries was witnessed in America. The period covers reconstruction, the gilded age and the progressive era. The upsurge of industries in America culminated in America becoming the world’s dominant economic, agricultural and industrial powers. The era of industrialization in the U.S.A brought also class stratification as some of the capitalists accumulated a lot of wealth and power (Scranton, 1997).
4)The socio-cultural and economic impact of the mass immigration to the U.S. in the late 1800s and early 1900s. From around 1860’s to the early 1900’s.

The period saw massive immigration to U.S.A especially by the Europeans. This was also the period of industrialization in the U.S.A. There was an upsurge of industrial centers in the U.S.A. and the population rose drastically especially in urban areas (Scranton, 1997).

The growing of industries in urban centers necessitated the rural dwellers to migrate to towns and cities in search of labor. This caused a lot of problems because the coming up of machines replaced the human labor. This caused depression among individuals. Around the year 1878, there was massive unemployment. Working conditions deteriorated with time leading to economic hardships among many people. Women and children were also employed in industries and were paid meager resources (Licht, 1995).

5)The socio-cultural impact of the Progressive Movement and its legacy to American history. From 1890’s to 1920’s.

The progressive era lasted from 1890’s to 1920’s. It was an era of reform. There was a lot of response to the industrial revolution. The coming up of industrialization in the U.S.A created more problems among the people. A large population of the people was suffering while a small number of people held the largest section of the nation’s wealth. Workers faced a lot of problems such as dangerous working conditions, poor payment and uncertain future. At the start of the 20th century, the United States sought to deal with the prevailing problems.

Progressive reformers sought to remedy the problems that were caused by urbanization and industrialization. To the progressives, corruption and economic privilege threatened democracy. They also dealt with issues such as poor working conditions, long hours of working, low rates of payment, and lack of job security. They therefore strived to deal with these vices. They also sought to bridge the gap between different social classes. The reformers advocated for changes to be effected in the capitalist system instead of changing it to the socialist system. They also addressed issues such as alcohol abuse and prostitution which they saw as highly contributing to domestic violence. They also advocated for better management to be effected in the cities and countries. They wanted fairness in all things. .

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The effects of the progressive reformers touched almost all Americans and even went a mile further to transform the role of government in American society. Other issues, such as women’s rights, as well as racial issues, were not addressed. However, it laid groundwork for future reforms in those areas and others (LaFeber, 1993).

6)Imperialism and America’s rise to power, including the causes and consequences of the Spanish-American War of 1898. The war started on April 25, 1898 and ended on August 12, 1898.

After a long struggle, Americans announced a state of emergency on April 25, 1898. A state of war was announced between Spain and the U.S.A. Americans supported the war and many of their young people got involved in the war. Spain army was defeated by the American army commanded by Theodore Roosevelt near Santiago. The treaty of Paris of December 10, 1898 ended the war (Barr, 1971).

The concept of American empire was popularized during the presidency of James K. Polk. He was the one who led the United States into the American-Mexican war of 1846. The defeat of the Spanish forces in the Spanish-American war marked the end of their rule in America. It also marked the rise of the United States as a global military power. The Spanish-American war affected Americans in a number of ways. It helped the U.S.’s acquisition of foreign territories. It also speeded the construction of the Panama Canal among other minor positive consequences. However, the war was a brief conflict that Americans waged against the Spanish in 1898. The war grew out of the Cuban struggle for independence. The actual hostilities lasted for four months from April 25 to August 12, 1898. Other causes were the American imperialism and the sinking of the American warship main. In the war, the U.S.A suffered minimally, while Spain suffered fatally to their naval resources (Barr, 1971). This war however, was a great help to the Americans, as it helped end the long periods of Spain’s colonial empire and the end of its rule in America. The United States had also deep anger because of the refusal of the Spanish to grant independence to the Cubans. It was an extremely significant turning point in the history of America. It ultimately marked the end of the Spanish rule in America. The most remarkable outcome was that America was recognized as a global military power. Consequently, the U.S.A would be recognized as a superpower in the late 1890’s. There was a massive awareness of the potential that the U.S.A had. The war also resulted in the U.S.A acquiring territories in the Western pacific and Latin America. It became influential, as well as a feared nation. There was improvement in the economy, and a strong international political influence. The United States, as a result of the war, prospered tremendously. (Graham, 1971).

7)The presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. From 1901-1909. Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th president of the U.S.A. His presidency was from 1901-1909. He was the leader of the Republican Party. He left a legacy of a remarkable personality and his quest to ensure that democracy was upheld. He held every responsibility he was supposed to do. He also made sure that the morals and the well being of the whole country was upheld.

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