From the documentary, it is clear that the main argument by the film maker about reconstruction was the conditions given to the south states who were rebels to reunite with the northern states. The conditions after the civil war as presented by the then president Abraham Lincoln of the northern states were that during the time for a reunion, about ten percent of the voting population from the southern states were to take the oath of loyalty to the union. In addition, the filmmaker in the thesis exposed the pain of alienation of the slaves as the whites stood strong to see that blacks did not influence social as well as the political agendas of the united states.
Apart from citizenship rights, political and end of slavery, the African America after the conclusion of the Civil War, expected that the United States Government would also fight for racial discrimination that they were exposed to in the United States. In addition, the freed people also expected the government to accord them as well as acknowledge as far as economic uplift was concerned. Whites had a more economic advantage compared tom blacks hence their rebellion at certain points after the civil wars. This, therefore, meant that the blacks demanded more of the social as well as economic transformation.
The biggest failures of the federal reconstruction policy were on the side of the federal government. This is because before the assassination of president Abraham Lincoln, he had proposed that ten percent of the southern statute voters were to take an oath of loyalty to the union as a way of fulfilling the reconstruction but this was shattered by the incoming president Andrew Johnson. He is recorded as a former trade owner and upon his entry to presidential office initiay0ted his ideas leading to refusal of the Republicans who dominated the Congress to seat the Southern. In addition, the radical Republicans also demanded drastic changes which did not come as per their which hence leading to little progress.
The Coushatta Massacre defines the attack and the killings that happened on August 25, 1874. As portrayed by the filmmaker, it all began when the white residents of Louisiana launched an attack and murdered an African American man, Thomas Floyd. in retaliation the African Americans went into fight with the white residents leaving at least ten Republicans dead. As interpreted, it shows the racial discrimination struggle did not start few years ago but it was something very crucial that lead to death of many individuals who were fighting for acknowledgement.
As portrayed by the filmmaker, the time period1865-1877 as a great decisive moment for both the northern states and the southern states. The southern states were majorly dominated by blacks who were hanging onto Lincoln suggestion which were overturned upon the entry of president Johnson’s entry to power. Collaboration between the U.S. Army and the Freedmen’s Bureau help protect the rights of the freed men as well as negotiation of labor contacts. They also set up schools as well as churches for the southern as a point of reconstruction following the civil war.
From observation of the film, seemingly the filmmaker was using historical recordings such as books, paintings as well as certain films that were made by other artists in the past centauries to present the reconstruction after the American civil war, in addition, interviews also were also crucial in making the film. From these resources, the filmmaker was able to come up with a masterpiece to show
In my opinion, about the film, it is a masterpiece as the historical events are brought out clearly to the views. Even the viewers can form a clear picture of happenings of the days of reconstruction. The scenes are very captivating to a point that it draws full attention of the viewers. Thus, if were the filmmaker I would have prolonged certain scenes such as the assassination of Lincoln to bring out more reasons for the cause of his assassination.
McPherson, J. M. (2014). The Struggle for Equality: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction: Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War and Reconstruction. Princeton University Press.