Study Questions & Essay Topics
Always use specific historical examples to support your arguments.
1. In what ways was Reconstruction a success? A failure? Explain.
2. Some historians have suggested that had Lincoln not been assassinated, Radical Republicans in the House might have impeached him instead of Andrew Johnson. Defend this argument.
3. Explain how three of the following shaped northern politics during Reconstruction: a) black codes b) the Depression of 1873 c) Crédit Mobilier d) the “Swing Around the Circle” speeches e) the Resumption Act of 1875
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Compare and contrast Lincoln’s plans for Reconstruction, Presidential Reconstruction, and Radical Reconstruction.
2. What effect did Reconstruction have on blacks? Were they better off after Reconstruction than they were before the Civil War?
3. Was the impeachment of President Johnson justified? Why or why not? What were the consequences of his acquittal in the Senate?
4. What effect did the Compromise of 1877 have on politics in the North and South?