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The goals of Radical Reconstruction were not feasible in their proposed, immediate timeframe. While the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and the North were...

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The goals of Radical Reconstruction were not feasible in their proposed, immediate time- frame. While the efforts of Abraham Lincoln and the North were admirable, removing the population from the politic and social beliefs in which they are thoroughly entrenched requires a great deal of time, effort, and acclimatization if you will. The Reconstruction situation is roughly comparable to the majority of the nation's current thoughts on gun rights. People are firmly embedded in their rights to own guns because that has been the norm for hundreds of years and is directly stated in the Constitution. Drastic government action in this case, such as outlawing certain types of firearms is completely counterproductive. The fact that a law is written on paper does not mean the general population agrees or will comply. In the same manner, the South was embedded in the idea that slavery was okay and maintained that the Constitution agreed by labeling each slave as 3/5 of a person. The signing of the Emancipation Proclamation could not remove this idea overnight; it is difficult for one to transition thoughts from “this slave is an object that is the staple of my wellbeing” to “this is a free person, and I lost of the money I invested and must find another way to support my well-being.” Although President Lincoln's approach to this dilemma was the immediate emancipation of the slaves, and the idea was to extend all God-given rights to them with the signing of a pen, the endeavor morphed into a gradualist approach with the advent of the Black Codes. Bowles explains that the Black Codes were a sort of regression from the total emancipation of the slaves. Although these restrictions varied from state to state, many of them sought to remove certain rights from those newly freed (2011). Share-cropping also contributed to the gradualist emancipation by, in essence, retaining many of the freed persons in an economic form of slavery. Any attempts to press the issue of the Emancipation harder, perhaps with military enforcement of the laws, would have proven more costly and dangerous than the Emancipation occurred. Bowles, M. D. (2011). American History 1865-Present; End of Isolation. Bridgepoint Education, Inc., San Diego, CA. The last half of the nineteenth century proved to be laden with social and economic developments. During this period, the United States transitioned “from a rural republic to a urban state” (Hawksworth, 2001). One of the most revolutionary developments of of this time-frame was the advent of the railroad system. The urbanization and industrialization of the nation led to an influx of immigrants searching for work and opportunity. Bowles (2011) asserts that iron mining and manufacturing greatly increased during the expansion of the United States and led to the increase in railroads. The manual production aspect of these massive rail projects was
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spearheaded by Irish and Chinese immigrants. Although these jobs provided opportunity for some, there began a diversion between the classes, with some becoming incredibly wealthy and others falling below the poverty line and enduring the harsh aspects of industrial work. Andrew Carnegie was one of the few who were blessed with the former. He stated (1889) "If thou dost not sow, thou shalt not reap, and thus ended primitive Communism by separating the drones from the bees.” This principle led to the modern day economy, in which those who work harder will get farther ahead in life (Bowles, 2011). Other social groups, such as the native Americans were negatively impacted by the expansion. Chief Joseph (1877) describes the hardship of the native Americans when he states, “They stole a great many horses from us and we could not get them back because we were Indians. The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some white men branded our young cattle so they could claim them.” The impact of these social and economic developments was no doubt profound, but the type of impact varied greatly between social groups. The government played a significant role in the westward expansion of the nation with its approval of transcontinental railroads. Once approval was granted, the transcontinental railroad allowed for all facets of the nation's population to safely seek new opportunities in the West. The government also played a key role in developing standards for performing government work with the 1883 Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act. With this legislation, the government turned its ranks into a meritocracy with competitive examinations for selection to performing government jobs. Bowles, M. D. (2011). American History 1865-Present; End of Isolation. Bridgepoint Education, Inc., San Diego, CA. Carnegie, A. (June 1889). Wealth. Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/documents/1876-1900/andrew- carnegie-wealth-june-1889.php Chief Joseph. (1877-1879). Chief Joseph speaks: Selected statements and speeches by the Nez Percé chief . Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/resources/archives/six/jospeak.htm Hawksworth, R., (2001), The American industrial revolution , Video, United States: Media Rich LLC. Retrieved from http://digital.films.com/OnDemandEmbed.aspx? Token=47596&aid=18596&Plt=FOD&loid=0&w=640&h=480&ref= Reply Forward
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Radical reconstruction was impossible or feasible in the immediate future. The efforts of
the North and Abraham Lincoln had to be lauded. They removed the political and social
beliefs which was...

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