Introduction cause of the failure of the


The success or the failure of the implementation of a national policy is normally subject to contention. However, the fundamental consent is that if the prime objectives of its implementation are not met, then it is ultimately considered a failure. The reconstruction era refers to the period following the civil war whereby the numerous different affiliations in the government intended to find a solution to the socio-economic and political problems imposed by the civil war, which was characterized by intense disarray and disorder in the government.

The whites from the south opposed all aspects of equality, while blacks were after complete liberty and their own land in the United States, which resulted to riots. The reconstruction era is arguably one of the most divisive periods in the history of the United States and took place during 1865-1877[1].

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Many people are of the opinion that the failure of the reconstruction after the civil war can be significantly attributed to black politics, which was commonly referred as Negro government. Foner notes that paradoxically, racism diminished due to the Northern Democratic Appeal. This paper discusses why the reconstruction after the civil war is considered a failure.

The most probable cause of the failure of the reconstruction following the civil war is black legislatures. The court’s intervention also played a significant role in ensuring that the reconstruction of the south failed in the realization of its goals and objectives. Foner is of the opinion that the court was initially reluctant in attempting to solve the controversies associated with the reconstruction.

In addition, the compromise of 1877 can be perceived to be a solution to the disputed presidential election of 1877 played an important role in ending the reconstruction era after the civil war. The banks also had a role in accelerating the failure of the reconstruction of the south after the civil war. This arguably evident by the fact that the Freedman’s Savings bank held large sums of the black’s money, lacking even the money to give to its depositors.

The Freedman’s Savings Bank operations came to a halt. The reduction of the prices of the crops was also a significant contributor to the failure of the reconstruction of the south, because most of the farmers could make a decent living out of their earnings. The depression had adverse effects on commerce and the economic situation, which significantly impaired social mobility for the blacks[2].

The reconstruction of the south under the administration of President Lincoln and Johnson are major indicators of the difficulties that were inherent in the quest to reshape the South following the civil war.

There was lack of vision in the north concern the state of south after the civil war, there were intense disputes that existed among the Congress and Presidency with respect to the lines of authority and the fact the southern whites were not willing to offer blacks a significant power position are major indicators of the failure of the reconstruction of the South.

The initial plan of approach the reconstruction of the south appeared to be plausible; however, during the cause of its development, it become ultimately evident that the problems that the southerners were facing were not being solved due to the extreme laws and the ongoing malice not in favor of the previous confederates. The peak of this was when the Comprehensive Amnesty Act was passed by the congress, and was used in the restoration of the full rights of the supporters of the confederates[3].

Over the course of the reconstruction era, states in the south started to elect the Democrats back to power, which served to displace the “carpetbagger governments and inflicting a spirit of fear within the blacks not to vote. By the onset of 1876, the republicans only had three states in the South. At this time, warfare was still an imminent characteristic of the south, which was fostered by the deficit imposed by the mediocre government and depraved by 10-year duration of racial warfare.

It is unfortunate that the internal racial policy was elevated from one position to another. Irrespective of the fact that it condoned severe punishments for any forms of discrimination from the white leaders in the south, it only served to increase the degrading forms of racial discrimination directed at the blacks. The late 19 century saw the prevalence of the Jim Crows laws within the states in south, which only served to promote segregation through the restriction of the blacks from gaining admittance to the various civic facilities[4].


The basic inference from the above is that the reconstruction of the south was a failure because its objectives were not achieved. This is because there was no commitment from the executive government, no adequate funding for long-term policies to prevent racial violence. In addition, there was fear from the white population concerning the outcomes of equity and the failure of the court intervention to maintain the amendments in the United States Constitution.


Foner, Eric. History, Give Me Liberty!: An American. New York: W. W. Norton & Company Limited, 2010.

Hope, John. Reconstruction After the Civil War. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995.

Peacock, Judith. Reconstruction: Rebuilding After the Civil War. New York: Capstone Press, 2002.

Eric, Foner. History, Give Me Liberty!: An American (New York: W. W. Norton & Company Limited, 2010), 56-60
Eric, Foner. History, Give Me Liberty!: An American (New York: W. W. Norton & Company Limited, 2010), 56-60
John, Hope. Reconstruction After the Civil War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995). 100
Judith, Peacock. Reconstruction: Rebuilding After the Civil War. (New York: Capstone Press, 2002), 74