Instructions How to Write

Reconstruction (1865-1877)

What is your interpretation on the question of whether Reconstruction was more a success than a failure or more a failure than a success? What evidence leads you to this interpretation? You will choose between these three interpretative positions:
A. Both Presidential Reconstruction (1863-1867) and Congressional Reconstruction (1867-1877) were complete failures.
B. Both Presidential Reconstruction (1863-1867) and Congressional Reconstruction (1867-1877) were incomplete successes.
C. At least one of the two phases of Reconstruction was mostly a failure and at least one was mostly a success. Write an essay analyzing your conclusions as to which of the three interpretations of Reconstruction you agree with and why. The why must consist of a coherent, logical and detailed discussion of the 5 to 7 items of evidence and why they demonstrate your point as well as the falsity of the two alternative interpretations that you reject. Cite your sources next to the last sentence in which you discuss each with the source identified in parentheses following the sentence. The following are primary sources to include in the essay:
The Thirteenth Amendment, Black Codes, 14th Amendment. Explain why these are most important to understanding and interpreting Reconstruction.In the final paragraph you will identify and show how at least one historian has taken your point of view in the past among the three interpretations. Explain how that particular historian’s point of view was influenced by the culture or politics or influences of the time in which that person wrote.

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