TeacherServe Essays

Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved

Author: Brundage, W. Fitzhugh (NHC Fellow, 1995–96)

White Americans did not expect blacks to participate in Reconstruction-era debates. Blacks thought otherwise. Black citizenship depended on the status of the Confederate states. After the Civil War, were the Confederate states conquered lands, frontier territories, or states in good standing? The recalcitrance of white Southerners opened Republicans to extending full citizenship to the formerly enslaved. Railroads helped open the South’s economy to national forces.

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Subjects: History; Education Studies; Reconstruction Era; African American History; American History; Political History; Citizenship; Freedmen