Next, I noticed that I originally had two main points: first, how northern and southern whites reunited; and second, how African American freedoms were won and then diminished. I had nothing on the West (not even the transcontinental railroad) and Mormons, Indians, and Chinese immigrants had to wait until the Gilded Age. All of this had to change.
Now, the lecture focuses upon three main problems:
1) how would a new American nation and nationalism be built by former Confederates and Union women and men?
2) what would freedom look like for former slaves?
3) how would the West now be developed now that the slavery question has been settled?
And now I have three main points:
1. The southern states were quickly readmitted into the federal government, and northern and southern whites effectively built a shared sense of nationalism by the end of the century.
2. Former slaves received many rights, but a new form of racial oppression emerged that was built upon segregation and violence.
3. The West was further populated and offered new points of economic, cultural, and social contention for the nation.
My students will post on which primary documents from Major Problems they liked, found confusing, and hated … so look out for an enforced conversation to be happening here all week!
How are you teaching Reconstruction? What am I missing? Are there any documents not in Major Problems that you think need to be included? Are there any that you think should not be there?