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Week 5- Reconstruction & American Empire, 1865-1902

by: Austin McManus

Week 5- Reconstruction & American Empire, 1865-1902 HIST 370

Marketplace > George Mason University > History > HIST 370 > Week 5 Reconstruction American Empire 1865 1902
Austin McManus
GPA 3.78
War in American Society
Zayna Bizri

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About this Document

This week's notes examines how the United States looked to the future, both as a society by aiming to economically and politically rebuild the country following the destruction of the Civil War in ...
War in American Society
Zayna Bizri
Class Notes
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Austin McManus on Thursday October 1, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 370 at George Mason University taught by Zayna Bizri in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 51 views. For similar materials see War in American Society in History at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 10/01/15
HIST 370 Notes Week 5 Reconstruction amp Birth of an American Empire 18651902 A Reconstruction 18651877 0 Following the four years of death and destruction the issue raised following the peace settlement between North and South and the abolition of slavery was how the US government would go about rebuilding a nation torn by civil war 0 Aspects of the rebuilding of a nation 1 Infrastructure the detriment of war to American infrastructure overwhelmingly in the South brought about the need to repair the roads buildings railroads and canals in order to provide the foundation for economic recovery Economy the Reconstruction federal government aimed to reinvigorate agriculture industry and commerce that would reconcile prewar economic disparity between the North and South and drive overall recovery in the United States Education following the war and the abolition of slavery advocacy for free public education became more and more popular as former slaves fought for their children to gain access to a free education DemobilizationMilitary Reform many Americans following the war desired a return to a prewar military small standing army amp navy however returning to prewar political aims of territorial expansion and settlement and a combination of other factors caused the latter 19th century to be an era of military reform both in the army and navy as the institution moved to both modernize technologically and progress strategically and tactically Assimilation of Freed AfricanAmericans arguably the most significant issue of Reconstruction was that of figuring out how to handle the sudden in ux of millions of freed AfricanAmericans into American society this caused an increase in racial tensions as raciallymotivated hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan formed in the South and the end of abolitionism caused a severe drop in support of AfricanAmerican civil rights in the North Subsequently a period of racial strife violence and discrimination in the form of voting laws grandfather clauses poll taxes and gerrymandering lasted for approximately thirty years and culminated in the Supreme Court case Plessy v Ferguson 1896 that institutionalized racism and segregation for over fifty years B Creating a National Identity 18651898 0 A major aspect of reconciling the consequences of the Civil War by uniting North and South in common interests and motivations for forming a new national identity 0 This identity was centered on a combination of the ideologies behind Manifest Destiny and the Monroe Doctrine that aimed to earn international prestige and respect amongst the multiple powers of the Western world At the heart of forming this national identity were imperialist tendencies based in primarily two concepts 1 Ful llment of Manifest Destiny Almost immediately after the end of the Civil War the US Army continued its endeavors against Native American tribes in the west in order to expand into the remaining western territories dominated by Native Americans 18651890 solidifying the reservation system that effectively ended indigenous resistance to American expansion 2 Economic Expansion Utilization of the recently modernized and reformed navy and army the United States having successfully subdued the perceived threat of Native Americans in the west needed a new foreign policynational security goal expanding the economic interests of the nation This gradually succeeded by first opening up commercial and political relations with formerly isolationist nations such as Japan Kanagawa Treaty 1854 and China Open Door Note 1899 as well as protecting expanding merchant interests into the Carribean Spanish American War 1898 and Oceania War in the Philippines 1898 1902 C SpanishAmerican War 1898 The United States victory over Spain in the Carribean was a sign to the international community that the United States was a nation specifically a military power not to be meddled with By enforcing victimization Remember the Maine at the hands of a European power the United States was able to justify instilling a foreign policy that combined the Monroe Doctrine and an imperialist twist on Manifest Destiny in order to create an American empire overseas that included Cuba Puerto Rico Guam Hawaii and the Philippines The legacy of the United States officially hiding behind purely humanitarian or other apolitical motivations regarding engaging in war across the globe by playing the victim would become an interesting paradoxical facet in how American culture approaches the nation s history of warfare as it intersects with the economic interests of the country in other countries overseas


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