The Reconstruction-1 - Reconstruction(18651877 I The civil...

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Reconstruction (1865-1877)I. Post Civil War Situation  The civil war is the pivotal point in American history, which is why this book begins right after the civil war ends. The civil war was about the question of whether or nots states can leave the union. The constitution says nothing about whether or not states can leave the union. The states that became the confederate states (the South) said that states can leave the union so that they could protect slavery. The north said that states couldn’t leave the union, and they went to war with the south to preserve the union. For the south, the war was to save slavery. The civil war lasted 4 years and left over 620,000 dead in America. It’s essentially the greatest tragedy in American history. It was the ultimate failure in American democracy. A.SouthIn the South, the situation is pretty bleak. THe South’s army surrendered, it’s government collapsed, and its leaders are captured and jailed.Everyone in the South knows that the war is over and the the South has been utterly defeated. Most of the civil war was fought in Virginia, between Richmond and Washington. Almost the entire war took place in the South. THe southern towns, industry, etc. was all destroyed.The southern economy was in shambles. The basis of this economy was agriculture, harvesting cash crops and using enslaved Africans to do so. This is utterly destroyed during the war. Slaves were running away and men were off at war, so no one was harvesting. Even if they had been able to harvest, there was a blockade, so there was no one for them to sell it to. The south’s economy made southern slaveholders super wealthy and made the south one of the superpowers.The death-toll was about 620,000 and there are more dead americans in the civil war than in all the other wars combined. About half of those died of disease. The South sent about 70-85% of eligible males off to fight this war. They all thought the war was going to be over in about a week. They all go get their pictures taken with guns
and swords. However, most of them died. About 40% of the men who signed up to fight died. 260,000 men died in the South. 1 in 3 of them died.If you weren’t killed in the civil war, chances are you came home missing some limb or body part. This harvest of death went on for four years. The cost of the war: You could’ve taken all of the money spent on the civil war and purchased all 4 million slaves in the south and built them all nice little houses with the money spent by both sides. This cost is economically devastating, especially for the south. Every state in the south created its own currency. This confederate money became worthless after the war. Families lost their entire life savings, and all of the banks in the south went under.

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