Reconstruction: America After The Civil War

Richard Donnell with Lane College requested we pass this on. We do so hesitantly because possibly, knowing Mr. Donnell as we do, there is some racial content in the presentation.

PBS and WKNO-TV presented the story of Reconstruction on Tuesday, April 9 and on Tuesday, April 16 at 8:00 p.m. It will be repeated at the times shown below.

From 1867 through 1877, former slaves obtained more civil rights and elected more office holders, through legislation, than at any time in history through the efforts of the “Radical” Republicans. Newly enfranchised blacks gained a voice in government for the first time in American history, winning election to southern state legislatures and even to the U.S. Congress.

This all ended with the Compromise of 1876 (also known as the Great Sellout) when a deal was made between “Establishment” Republicans and southern Democrats to ensure the election of Rutherford B. Hayes, an establishment Republican, as President of the United States. After his election, things went downhill for blacks. Jim Crow, peonage, and all-out assaults on black people then began.

Please watch this presentation and encourage your students, children, and friends to watch also. The Reconstruction Era is not taught in middle and high schools as it should be.

Richard Donnell

Let us note that the statement by Mr. Donnell is not completely true nor is it completely false, but it is the first part that makes us hesitant in presenting any media presentation with his stamp of approval.

The Reconstruction period of the newly rejoined United States was marred with inconsistencies from the North as well as the South and those inconsistencies moved westward as well as millions of black freedmen traveled the states. Of course organizations, like the Klan, didn’t help matters. Neither, in some instances, did the Federal Government for that matter.

The real numbers, according to the Tuskegee Institute, there was and estimated 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968 in the United States, including 3,446 black Americans and 1,297 whites Americans. In California and the Old West lynchings were quite common, especially of Latinos, although they represented less than 10% of the national total. Native Americans and Asian Americans were also lynched. Other ethnicities, including  Finnish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans were also lynched occasionally. 

Through all the studies that we have partaken we have come to the conclusion that the work of those during Reconstruction could not change human nature or historical prejudices, only time and God’s help could do that.

Thaddeus Stevens best expressed the position of the “Radical” Republicans at the time when he rightfully rejected the leadership of the south, at that time, that the government of the United States was a “white man’s government”. “This is man’s Government; the Government of all men alike,” he countered. He therefore advocated full political equality, though not social equality, calling that a matter of taste.

Just be aware that there are some one sided positions that were taken from radically different groups placing a stamp on the history of reconstruction and that the developers of this film are no different.

We would suggest buying a copy of “A Patriot’s History of the United States” by Schweikart and Allen for a more even keeled perspective.

America After The Civil War

Reconstruction: America After The Civil War a four-hour documentary series produced by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explores the transformative years following the American Civil War when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.

 This documentary tells the full story of this misrepresented and misunderstood chapter of American history. 

Tuesday, 04/09 at 8:00 PM (Part 1)
Wednesday, 04/10 at 12:00 AM (Part 1)
Thursday, 04/11 at 2:00 AM (Part 1)
Tuesday, 04/16 at 8:00 PM (Part 2)
Wednesday, 04/17 at 12:00 AM (Part 2)
Thursday, 04/18 at 2:00 AM (Part 2)


Wednesday, 4/10 at 8:00 PM (Part 1)
Friday, 4/12 at 11:00 PM (Part 1)
Saturday, 4/13 at 7:00 AM (Part 1)
Wednesday, 4/17 at 8:00 PM (Part 2)
Friday, 4/19 at 11:00 PM (Part 2)
Saturday, 4/20 at 7:00 AM (Part 2)


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