When you make a cake you have to break a few eggs. America has had its share of eggs that was broken to live in the society we have America’s Post –Civil War Growing Pains. From 1865-1900 America had a few problems the first was the fact that the southern states had been turned upside down with freeing the slaves, the death of a President, improving technology, and urbanization of the northern states. The Emancipation Proclamation brought an end to slavery in the south. President Lincoln was both congratulated and criticized for issuing this order. Many were pleased that the nation had finally taken steps to abolish slavery.
Others were critical because Lincoln only freed the Confederacy’s slaves—slaves in such states as Maryland and Delaware were not included in the Emancipation Proclamation. Criticism aside, the proclamation was widely celebrated in the North (Copyright © 2009 by NewsBank, inc. All Rights Reserved. Powered by NewsBank, inc. ). Although the President may not have wanted to initially free the slaves, he had to do something to cripple the south. The proclamation was an economic atomic bomb for the south because most of the southern states relied on slaves for free or cheap labor. What message was the President sending to the south?
The south lived and breathed cotton and tobacco. Now that the slaves were free, where would they go? Who would educate the slaves? Would the government help? Would southern people embrace the fact that their help was now their equal? President Lincoln was confronted with all of these questions and more. The slaves were used as pawns in a chess game that a few powerful men could play with. Obviously the days of slavery would not have carried on forever but during the early days of the United States freedom came with a price. The President had a few plans that would allow southerners and states back into the union.
The Ten-Percent Plan, issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, offered amnesty to any southerner who proclaimed loyalty to the union and support of the emancipation of slaves. Once ten percent of a state’s voters in the election of 1860 signed the oath, it could create a new state government and re-enter the union. The Wade-Davis Bill was a bill that would have allowed a southern state back into the union only after 50 percent of the population had taken the loyalty oath. The Iron-Clad Oath was an oath that had to be taken by southerners to testify that they had never voluntarily aided or abetted the rebellion.
On March 3 1863, the Freedman’s Bureau was created. for one year thereafter, a bureau of refugees, freedmen, and abandoned lands, to which shall be committed, as hereinafter provided, the supervision and management of all abandoned lands, and the control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedmen from rebel states, or from any district of country within the territory embraced in the operations of the army, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by the head of the bureau and approved by the President (Freedmen ; Southern Society Project, 2012).
On April 15, 1865, President Lincoln was assasinated. The Vice President, Andrew Johnson inherited Lincoln’s situation. The government was in disarray. What if the President had not die? Would the landscape of America changed? Maybe the reconstruction would have been a little different. President Licoln might have implemented more rights for Freed Men. He might have limited the monopolies that were created because of the war. Licoln’s assasination is obviously one of the biggest turning points in American History.
While the south was going through its transformation, the north also experienced a change with the birth of the industrial age. People went for the fields to the factory. Where cotton was king in the south; steel, petroleum, and finished goods ruled the north. On the technology front, the biggest advancements were in steam power. New fuels such as coal and petroleum were incorporated into new steam engines. This revolutionized many industries including textiles and manufacturing. Also, a new communication medium was invented called the telegraph.
This made communicating across the ocean much faster (https://www. msu. edu/user/brownlow/indrev. htm The railroad was able to connect people and be able to provide raw materials to places they could never reach. Factories and cities started to spring up, There was a large influx of people coming from the south looking for work. If you worked at a factory there were apartments for rent. Grocery stores were needed to buy food. If you had a general store then you would need other amenities.
With the invention of the light bulb companies could work round the clock. In conclusion the time period between 1865 to 1900 known, as the Reconstruction period was a very important time for America as a whole. It freed slaves, killed a President, increased its strength and stretched its arms of innovation from the west coast to the east coast with the help of rail and steam. America became a producer and a consumer at the same time. There were many events that helped forge our great country; some good and some bad.