Talk:Reconstruction Era

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Radical Reconstruction[edit]

Rjensen I have reverted your edit because all historians do not designate this period "Radical Reconstruction." Please see google's N-grams to see use of both terms between 1800 - 2008.

Please use the body of text to describe the various designations, by contemporaries and the academic community, that have been used to designate this time period. Thank you. Mitchumch (talk) 07:57, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

"Congressional Reconstruction" has been out of favor for 100 years. Your data shows that "Radical" is the usual term. see text at footnote 96: "Fellman (2003), pp. 301–310; Foner (1988) entitles his chapter 6, "The Making of Radical Reconstruction." Trefousse (1968) and Hyman (1967) put "Radical Republicans" in the title. Benedict (1974) argues the Radical Republicans were conservative on many other issues." these are leading scholars. "Radical" is not in any way "pov" -- it's the term used by the faction at the time and by scholars today. "Radical" is the standard and most common scholarly term. Rjensen (talk) 09:20, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
Rjensen I did not see entries for Fellman (2003), Trefousse (1968), and Benedict (1974) in the "Bibliography" section.
Secondly, on 08:28, 11 October 2007 your edit changed the section title from "Congressional Reconstruction" to "Congress imposes Radical Reconstruction." That edit deleted a widely used and neutral term to describe this episode of Reconstruction. That edit is also WP:POV. Specifically, "All encyclopedic content on Wikipedia must be written from a neutral point of view (NPOV), which means representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without bias, all of the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic."
Thirdly, it is also a basic element on Wikipedia to list alternatively used terms for a given topic. This period of Reconstruction has other terms that are used by the academic community to designate it. I've encountered radical reconstruction, congressional reconstruction, military reconstruction, and republican reconstruction as used terms.
Lastly, the term "Congressional Reconstruction" has not been "out of favor for 100 years." The case-sensitive term "Congressional Reconstruction" is clearly increasing in use relative to any other term employed. Please right click both terms in the "case-insensitive" link to display all the case spellings for both terms. The term "Radical Reconstruction" and "radical reconstruction" have been declining as the preferred term to designate this period during Reconstruction, since 1973 and 1968 respectively. There does not appear to be a way to link to this graph.
Mitchumch (talk) 15:47, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
The solution is 1) mention "Congressional Recon" as an alternative and 2) restore cites to books that emphasize Radical role. Here are additional cites that have in turn been frequently cited by scholars (per google scholar): 1) "Preserving the Constitution: The Conservative Basis of Radical Reconstruction" article in The Journal of American History; 2) "Northeastern Business and Radical Reconstruction: A Re-Examination" in The Mississippi Valley Historical Review; 3) "Radical Reconstruction and the Property Rights of Southern Women" in The Journal of Southern History 4) book: Women's radical reconstruction: The freedmen's aid movement (University of Pennsylvania Press,); 5) book: Racism, revolution, reaction, 1861-1877: the rise and fall of radical reconstruction (Pathfinder Press); 6) book: Blacks, carpetbaggers, and scalawags: The constitutional conventions of radical reconstruction (LSU Press). Rjensen (talk) 17:06, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

Two Senses of Reconstruction?[edit]

Reconstruction begins after the war is over so there is no legitimacy in claiming that it began before April 1865. Lincoln certainly considered how to rebuild the nation and took steps toward that goal but that is not part of the Reconstruction period. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Baechter (talkcontribs) 18:35, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

In the Confederate areas The war ended place by place at different times--when the Union Army moved in, Confederate authority vanished and so did slavery. Rjensen (talk) 03:36, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
I think the main issue is that the current date section is unreferenced. Seraphim System (talk) 11:08, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
OK -- I added two cites. Rjensen (talk) 22:51, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

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GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Reconstruction Era/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Seraphim System (talk · contribs) 06:02, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

GA review
(see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose, spelling, and grammar):
    b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references):
    b (citations to reliable sources):
    c (OR):
    d (copyvio and plagiarism):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects):
    b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales):
    b (appropriate use with suitable captions):

Overall:
Pass/Fail:

Symbol support vote.svg · Symbol oppose vote.svg · Symbol wait.svg · Symbol neutral vote.svg


This is a major article and a long review so I expect it will be open for a while, if any other editors want to comment or offer input, that would be very welcome. The lede needs to be revised significantly, and the ideas in it connected to one another. The first two paragraphs are a bit overwhelming and the paragraphs seem disconnected from one another. Consider breaking this up to keep it as simple as possible. Try to make it clear when these events are happening. One issue I see is that the "Dating the Reconstruction Era" section is completely unsourced. It, and our lede, says Reconstruction began in 1865 in some parts of the country. Our lede says Reconstruction in the South began in 1863. However, the section says Reconstruction in the North also began in 1863. Clearing this up would help us get started.

Seraphim System (talk) 06:02, 17 June 2017 (UTC)

I don't think the article can be passed this round. Writing a lede section for an article of this length and breadth is challenging. I have recommended peer review and GOCE (to address the question of the lede in particular.) There are also problems with references. At least one section is entirely unreferenced, and several paragraphs have no references. I would recommend peer review before re-nominating. I could not find any edits to the article by the nominator, so this is a reminder that nominators who are not significance contributors to an article should discuss the nomination with the regular editors on talk. I was unable to find any discussion about the nomination on talk. (See Wikipedia:Good_article_nominations/Instructions#Step_1:_Prepare_the_article)

1a: While much of the prose is well-written, there are still a few problems that need to be cleaned up. Here is an incomplete list:

  • " By fall 1865, the new President Andrew Johnson declared the war goals of national unity and the ending of slavery achieved and reconstruction completed. "
  • "Republicans in Congress, refusing to accept Johnson's lenient terms, rejected new members of Congress, some of whom had been high-ranking Confederate officials a few months before."
  • "The 1866 Congressional elections turned on the issue of Reconstruction, producing a sweeping Republction hican victory in the North, and providing the Radical Republicans with sufficient control of Congress to override Johnson's vetoes and commence their own "Radical Reconstruction" in 1867"
  • Consider merging Purpose/Overview sections - the lede should probably be the "overview for the article" most articles do not need a dedicated summary section in addition to the lede
  • Some of the information in Restoring the South to the Union could be merged into the Background section. Same with the material devastation section.

1b: discussed issues with lede above, would recommend peer review, copy-editing and discussion with regular editors at the talk page before re-nominating. Consider adding the Ten Percent Plan to the lede.

2b: There is at least one citation needed tag, and here is a non-exhaustive list of unreferenced statements currently in the article:

  • "The army conducted new elections in which the freed slaves could vote, while whites who had held leading positions under the Confederacy were temporarily denied the vote and were not permitted to run for office."
  • Entire Dating the Reconstruction Era section
  • "A deep national economic depression following the Panic of 1873 led to major Democratic gains in the North, the collapse of many railroad schemes in the South, and a growing sense of frustration in the North."
  • "President Grant used federal power to effectively shut down the KKK in the early 1870s, though the other, smaller, groups continued to operate. From 1873 to 1877, conservative whites (calling themselves "Redeemers") regained power in the Southern states. They joined the Bourbon wing of the national Democratic Party."
  • "Passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments is the constitutional legacy of Reconstruction. These Reconstruction Amendments established the rights that led to Supreme Court rulings in the mid-20th century that struck down school segregation. A "Second Reconstruction", sparked by the Civil Rights Movement, led to civil rights laws in 1964 and 1965 that ended segregation and re-opened the polls to blacks."

3b: Is it focused, without unecessary detail? I think this can be improved on. These are only suggestions:

  • The material devastation section has a high level of quantitative detail. I think some of this could be trimmed without having a detrimental effect on the article. The section heading could be more neutral, and consider whether this could be merged with other sections.
  • "The end of the Civil War was accompanied by a large migration of new freed people to the cities.[19] In the cities, African Americans were relegated to the lowest paying jobs such as unskilled and service labor. Men worked as rail workers, rolling and lumber mills workers, and hotel workers. The large population of slave artisans during the antebellum period had not been translated into a large number of freemen artisans during Reconstruction.[20] Black women were largely confined to domestic work employed as cooks, maids, and child nurses. Others worked in hotels. A large number became laundresses. The dislocations had a severe negative impact on the black population, with a large amount of sickness and death" - not clearly related to material devastation of the South.
  • consider reducing the number of subheadings - for example "loyalty" Perhaps reorganize to include a section on the Wade Davis bill instead.


Seraphim System (talk) 09:17, June 2017 (UTC)

Citation format[edit]

I notice you have a mix of citation styles. While standard citation is not a requirement to pass GA, I would still suggest it as an overall improvement to the article. Would this be a problem? Seraphim System (talk) 06:13, 17 June 2017 (UTC)