Reconstruction

Reconstruction

Order Description

A Counterfactual Reconstruction Plan

Counterfactual history asks “what if?” It imagines the making of different decisions in the past and how choosing an alternative branch in the path may have changed the course of events. Counterfactual history is not “unfactual” history. Responsibly asking “what if?” requires deep knowledge and understanding of what actually happened.

Choose an Identity Group

While each of them supported certain aspects or phases of Reconstruction, none of the identity groups whose perspectives we have examined was entirely satisfied with the path that Reconstruction took. Your task is to rewrite a plan for Reconstruction from the perspective of one of the following groups: freedmen, southern whites, northern moderates, or northern radicals. You are reflecting on Reconstruction sometime after 1896.

Thesis Statement

State when Reconstruction took a turn for the worse from your adopted perspective. You should clearly state the moment when Reconstruction started to fail. Next, concisely state what should have happened (this serves as your thesis statement).

Historic Reconstruction

Start by describing and explaining when Reconstruction took a turn for the worse from your adopted perspective. What went wrong? How and why did it go wrong?

Your Counterfactual Plan for Reconstruction

How do you believe decisions could have been made differently to achieve outcomes favorable to your adopted perspective? What is your proposal for a better approach? Your plan must determine the political, economic, and/or social characteristics of a reconstructed South more favorable to your interests, and explain the steps necessary to create that version of the South.

Sources

You should use evidence from:

· Reconstruction: the Second Civil War
· 2 primary sources
· Brinkley’s The Unfinished Nation

Be sure to parenthetically cite your sources and include a works cited list, following MLA format.

Sources from this unit:
Brinkley, Alan. The Unfinished Nation: a Concise History of the American People. 7th Ed. New York:
McGraw Hill, 2015.

Lincoln, Abraham. “Second Inaugural Address.” The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. 1996. Web. 29
Feb. 2008.

Lynch, John. “The Work of Reconstruction.” Reconstruction: the Second Civil War. The American
Experience. 19 Dec. 2003. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

Marston, B.W. “With the White People.” Reconstruction: the Second Civil War. The American Experience.
19 Dec. 2003. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

Reconstruction: the Second Civil War. PBS – The American Experience, 2005. DVD.

Stone, Kate. “All Have Suffered.” Reconstruction: the Second Civil War. The American Experience. 19
Dec. 2003. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

“Testimony of Elias Thomson, Spartanburg, South Carolina, July 7, 1871.” Going to the Source Vol. 2:
Since 1865. Eds. Victoria Bissell Brown and Timothy J. Shannon. Boston: Bedford / St. Martins,
2004. 14-16. Print.

Twitchell, Marshall. “Building up the Country.” Reconstruction: the Second Civil War. The American
Experience. 19 Dec. 2003. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

Other Parameters

assignment encourages you to use your imagination and to think creatively about the period of Reconstruction, but you must be mindful of history and strive for a historically credible and possible plan.