The Reconstruction Era and The Fourteenth Amendment

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The Reunion of the US

The terms of the Military Reconstruction Act and the Fourteenth Amendment were significant in the reunion of the US. The northerners with time realized that they would need allies in the south if indeed the reconstruction was to be a success.

The military Reconstruction Act divided the southern states into districts under the command of the federal military. The Act demanded that for any southern state to return to civilian rule, they had to develop a constitution in which black suffrage was guaranteed (Brundage n.p). These terms would not only apply to the southerners but also the entire nation. Therefore, the country became united on national conditions.

Influence on American Citizenship

The Reconstruction's influence on American citizenship is linked to the Fourteen and Fifteen Amendment Acts. The Act ended the president's power to award presidential pardon to Confederate leaders and established basic citizenship guarantee to all Americans. It changed the definition of citizenship and prohibited the deprivation of anyone's rights of property, life, and liberty without the law's due process (Brundage n.p).

After the Reconstruction, the key to wealth shifted from the possession of labor to land and credit systems. The construction of the railroads opened up the South, brought people together and led to the development of an integrated market. The abandonment of the old credit system led to the development of a new economy with local merchants being the source of credit. The new system allowed those with lands to access labor and laborers to secure land. The shareholding system also led to the development of American banks that would later be pillars to the growing economy.

Success of the Reconstruction

The success of the Reconstruction can be divided into economic and constitutional success. The reconstruction was the onset for the development of an all-inclusive constitution that guaranteed fundamental rights to everyone. It also eliminated the South's credit system that was dependent solely on the British traders while introducing the sharecropping system dependent on local merchants and American banks.

Works Cited

Brundage, W. Fitzhugh. “Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved.” Freedom’s Story, TeacherServe©. National Humanities Center. Accessed on 30th

Nov.Retrieved from

November 13, 2023


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