Reconstruction used to be described as a terrible episode in American history. Corruption dominated the governments at both the State and general level. The Constitution, already partially shredded by Lincoln's invasion of the South, faced changes through both legal and extra-legal methods. Hamilton's vision of a neo-mercantilist America finally found a permanent footing and forever altered the economies of the North, South, and West. America was remade in almost every way socially, economically, politically, and legally.
This was be design. The Republican Party openly called for a new America, not a restoration of the old Union. The South became the conquered provinces of the general government subject to military rule. Even when the troops were finally withdrawn in 1877, Reconstruction did not end. The New South, Gilded Age, American imperialism, and the Civil Rights era are all part of the ongoing reconstruction process. Eric Foner called Reconstruction an "unfinished revolution." That "revolution" is nearly complete thanks to the neoconservatives who now control the Republican Party.
This course discusses all of this in detail, from the beginning of Reconstruction in 1862 to the later stages in the post-Civil Rights era. It is the antidote to Eric Foner's communist appraisal of the period.
Brion McClanahan holds a Ph.D in American History from the University of South Carolina. He is the author or co-author of six books, including the #1 Amazon best selling 9 Presidents Who Screwed Up America and How Alexander Hamilton Screwed Up America.