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Book Review

1028 words - 5 pages

Shenton, James P. The Reconstruction: A Documentary History of the South after the War: 1865 1877. New York: Capricorn, 1963. Print.
Book Review
I read the book The Reconstruction: A Documentary History of the South after the War: 1865-1877 by James P. Shenton. James P. Shenton arrived at the University of Columbia at the age of 21 as a college freshman on the G.I. Bill. He finished his B.A. in three years and continued to finish his M.A. in 1950. In 1954 he finished his Ph. D all his accomplishments are in the subject of history. Professor Shenton arrived at Columbia University and never transferred anywhere else and eventually became a Professor on their campus. The context of this book is the years 1865 through 1877 which are the years after the civil war. This book made it a bit difficult to understand the order of the reconstruction of the south after the war but it did contain interesting and accurate information.
In the book The Reconstruction there were three main ideas that the North wanted to address during the reconstruction after the disaster caused by the Civil War. The first act brought to motion was the restoration of the Union in which Abraham Lincoln created the Ten-Percent Plan. The Ten-Percent Plan meant that each Southern state would be each allowed back to the Union only after 10 percent of the voting population pledged their future loyalty to the United States, also all Confederates excluding high-ranking government and military officials would be forgiven although Radical Republicans wanted it to be 50 percent of the voting population to pledge loyalty to the United States. President Lincoln and Andrew Jackson as well as congress agreed that the Southern states had to get rid of all slavery in their new state constitutions in order to be allowed back into the Union. If the Southern States did not agree to abolish slavery then they would not be allowed back into the Union,
The second high point of reconstructing the South was completely transforming the Southern society. The Radical Republicans believed that by completely transforming the society of the South they would eliminate the possibilities of the South attempting to secede again. The U.S. government tried to reconstruct the South by punishing those who ran plantations using slaves, emancipating former slaves as well as other ways. The U.S. government made sure to give land to former slaves and white citizens who were not well-off, the land had been seized from plantation leaders. The United States government also focused on improving education and sanitation resources for those who did not have any.
Last but not least the U.S. government focused greatly to made sure to ensure the rights of former slaves. To make sure that the newly freed slaves would be protected, many new amendments and laws were passed to protect their rights by both constitutional and federal laws. The Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments were added to the constitution in order to...

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