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Civil War Reconstruction

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Essay title: Civil War Reconstruction

Southern plantation owners rebuild their devastated lands and attempt to negotiate new labor arrangements with their former slaves. When black men are given the right to vote, they elect hundreds of black legislators to state and national offices, even though the elections are preceded by threats and violence while some northerners travel South to enforce post-Civil War order and protect former slaves. White Southerners view the new arrivals as "carpetbaggers" -- opportunists and exploiters bent on grabbing economic and political benefits. The war is over and a central element of the Southern economy -- slavery -- has been abolished. As former slaves demand wages and former masters strive to maintain profits, an inherently unfair system of sharing labor and land develops. Faced with the growing threat of African American political, economic and social power, white Southerners put aside their differences to unite. With rough politics and terror they seek to restore their supremacy.

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