The historical memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction

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The efforts made to achieve ideal equity in leadership are greatly influenced by historical memory of the Civil War and Reconstruction. The majority of 20th-century academic and popular authors portrayed the Reconstruction as the end of the great Civil Wars. (Peceny and Stanley 150). In the sense that the Republican Congress supported the emergence of black supremacy, it ushered in a new era of government characterized by orgy corruption, scalawags, carpetbaggers, and ignorant freed people ruling the country. (McPherson 200). After the needless suffering, the South has banded together to create a euphemism against racial supremacy. Reconstructions have been portrayed by Americans and other people as the tenacious defense the South deployed to preserve their way of life.The end of biracial representation and segregation stays in the memory of Civil War and Reconstruction (Green 38). It marks the efforts to bring sanity and create multiracial democracy. In the paper will be explored the significance of the Reconstruction and Civil War in the American cultural history.

The first instance of Civil War was the white resistance against the blacks. Before the break of Civil War, the “Blessings of Liberty” was protected by the Constitution. It was until the reign of Dred Scott that the then Chief Justice Robert decided to announce that no black person would be given citizenship in the United States. He proceeded to enlist 200,000 black people in the armed forces discriminately that put the country on a postwar agenda (Kaczorowski 864). The war created a new principle of citizenship whereby the ideal members enjoyed the protection of the laws. Because of the destructive war and reconstruction move that brought what we now call “civil rights.”

After the victory of the war, the focal point of politics turned to the reuniting the slaves in the postwar Reconstruction. The society’s view on freedom shifted to political participation giving chances to slaves to exercise full freedom in choosing their representatives to attain autonomous empowerment (Green 38). As earlier mentioned, after the end of the Civil War even the free black joined in the streets and parades to demand suffrage by preparing “freedom ballots” (Mead 171). A considerable support came from the Northern Republicans through laws chiefly to bar the Confederates from controlling the southern politics. The following are the instances of battles that constituted the Civil Wars and significance.

The first Civil Wars battle took place in the northern soil in September 1862 with two General Roberts Lee and George McClellan taking head on at Sharpsburg close to Antietam, Maryland. Despite the fact that George McClellan failed to implement his numerical supremacy to fight back Lee’s army, he was able to monitor the movement of Confederate towards the north (Peceny and Stanley 155). Even though the tactics of McClellan failed, he provided the required shield to President Lincoln to announce his political Emancipation Proclamation. The effects of the battled remain in the memory of Americans as the deadliest war with 22,000 casualties in a single day.

With the previous victory against McClellan, General Robert Lee confidently moved into the Maryland with real faith that he had the superior strategic and political gains enough to defend the Confederate interests. Unfortunately, a dictator broke when a copy master plan landed in the hands General George McClellan. McClellan took a cautious, defensive mind and tactful information to outdo the opponent (Mead 172). He had to forgo his natural numerical superiority. McClellan learned the terrain selected by Lee. It was behind, River Potomac but still, McClellan failed to defeat them due to lack unified command control diffusing them to the south.

The Antietam helped in restructures the seven different ways to bring the freedom to the South’s. First, the battle assisted in repelling the first Confederate away from the south. A momentum pushed the army of General Lee to Northern Virginia disrupting their summer campaigns until the second Bull Run. After losing a quarter of the troop, they were forced to trudge back to gather strength. Secondly, the union allowed President Lincoln to announce the Emancipation Proclamation (Green 150). Thirdly, the battle led to the independence of France and Britain. As the soldiers cocked the guns in the forest, the entire world heard the reverberations of the sound of freedom. The Confederate victory brought liberation to the Great Britain and France from shortages of cotton supplies and participation in ending the war.

Fourthly, the battle boosted the morale of the Union. The South was pleased for giving a challenging battle for the North. The Confederacy felt disheartened, discouraged with the war secretary low moods after the one-week fight. Culturally, the images of the casualties of the war brought horror to Americans. Alexander Gardner was the first to arrive at Antietam scene to take snaps two days after the war ended. The representation of the carnages gave the 3-D display of the atrocities of war in reality (Green 38). In addition, the battle will mark the contribution towards Abraham Lincoln retaining his seat in the second elections. The Republicans scooped most of the Senate and majority representation in the house. Lastly, the battle at Antietam led to the end of the General George McClellan dominance. Earlier on, Lincoln had given authority to the commander of Potomac to destroy the rebel. The risk-averse though having almost twice the number of personnel but he procrastinated the war that led to anxiety (Mead 172). It would be marked that McClellan supported the Democratic presidential candidate against President Lincoln.

Internationally, the happenings of the Civil Wars evoked the Grants reaction hence getting contemporaries overseas. They were played a pivotal role in shaping the nature of wars in the new giving rise to the today American Country. The war stopped the growth of slave society. After the reconstruction era, the Americans collectively joined hands in adopting the dramatic changes to include all the races in the government and eliminate the interests of slavery and human trafficking.

The second major battle that marked the turning point in Civil Wars history was the Battle of Gettysburg. The action begins about after one year since the Battle of Antietam ended. Robert Lee organized the second war against Army of Potomac from Maryland. The battle gained morale from the win of the Army of Northern Virginia against Potomac (Battle of Chancellorsville) between April 30 - May 6, 1863 (Peceny and Stanley 160). The advance agitated the American campaigns during the summer giving an advantage to the Confederates at Garrison. The invasion sought to give a rest to the war-torn town of Virginia and the Confederates to occupy the well endowed Northern farms. Lee’s troop (72,000) would join up with Baltimore, Washington and Philadelphia armies to create a lasting peace in the north.

Culturally, the Americans commemorate the Battle by using U.S. hostages and signages. Centennial war, the Post Office offered five official stamps in the memory of 100th anniversary to past modern battles (McPherson 239). Each patch represented its battle that occurred in the four-year period from Battle of Fort Sumter to Appomattox in 1965 (Green 38).

Consequently, the 1864 election created more tension between the ruling Republican president who lost confidence with the Commander of Potomac after his reluctant moves to attack the Confederates after Virginia’s defeat. The causalities numbered to 23,000 on the Union side while the Confederates suffered a loss of 28,000 soldiers (Peceny and Stanley 160-63). The outcome of the war made North President, Jefferson Davis to decline the resignation of Robert Lee. Although the Confederates were determined to win more battles the previous battles at Vicksburg, Ulysses ended in favor of the Union.

Women played a memorable role in fighting for the gender equality. In the era of Civil, War women had no portion in the decentralized government. In fact, the States had limited powers in 1861 due destabilized elections with rampant battles. Women indirectly contributed to the success of the liberty war by supporting their husbands in the wars by giving information of the whereabouts the opponent. Sometimes women worked in the cotton farms to raise daily living for the children. The Cultural history of American would not be complete without the inclusion of the women role in fighting for freedom and slavery.

In comparison between the traditional America before the civil war and after, it is vivid that the war left remarkable times in the development of America. Initially, there was no elaborating transport system, no banking system even a working tax program. The geographical representation was not reliable. The federal budget would not even facilitate the operations of the 14,000-man army. It is after the modern war that Lincoln administration started mobilizing the resources through the centralized banking system. He built roads, railways and created a national currency. He abolished the decentralized government that lacked unity of command and misused resource. More importantly, he stopped the slavery in farms and developed the commercialized farming with the use of machines. America became a one party nation ruling without discrimination of whites or blacks after Civil Wars and Reconstruction.


In conclusion, the period of Civil Wars and Reconstruction tells a lot about the cultural history of America. The era marked the important dates of a recent change that made the country it is today. As the soldiers from the North and the South fought against each other, is candid that they had forgotten the suffering of the 1960s but reunion looked bitterer to the blacks through disenfranchisement, slavery and economic inequality (Peceny and Stanley 150). The accounts of the Reconstruction period showed the cooling of the hatred of white and black supremacy (Mead 171). Many scholars have recognized American Civil wars as the revolution that brought the today called civil rights (Green 38). Several memorial signage and stamps produced to mark the days. In the cultural study of the war, Americans will realize the atrocities of war from the photographs of piled bodies of 23,000 soldiers who perished during Antietam Battle in Antietam (McPherson 271). Therefore, the era was paramount in the American history.

Works Cited

Green, Michael S. ""The Death of Reconstruction: Race, Labor, and Politics in the Post--Civil War North, 1865-1901."" Business History Review, vol. 76, no. 1, 2002, pp. 149-151, ABI/INFORM Collection,

Green, R. ""Widening Horizons in Post-War Reconstruction."" Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 4, no. 1, 1995, pp. 38-44, ABI/INFORM Collection,

Kaczorowski, Robert J. ""Revolutionary Constitutionalism in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction."" NYUL Rev. 61 (1986): 863-940.

McPherson, James M. The Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Mead, Walter R. ""Recent Books the United States: The War that Forged a Nation: Why the Civil War Still Matters/The Cause of all Nations: An International History of the American Civil War/Marching Home: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War/Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth/The Man Who would Not be Washington: Robert E. Lee's Civil War and His Decision that Changed American History."" Foreign Affairs, vol. 94, no. 3, 2015, pp. 170-172, ABI/INFORM Collection,

Peceny, Mark, & William Stanley. ""Liberal Social Reconstruction and the Resolution of Civil Wars in Central America."" International Organization, vol. 55, no. 1, 2001, pp. 149-182, ABI/INFORM Collection,

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