How Reconstruction Transformed the Constitution: A Feature Conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning Historian Eric Foner [Backstory] The “Reconstruction Amendments” to the US Constitution — the 13th, 14th and 15th, which outlawed slavery and redefined citizenship in the wake of the Civil War — are at the core of contemporary 21st century disputes about voting rights and citizenship.

Also, the former Confederacy has continued to fight the Civil War for a century and a half in public opinion and government. And they’re winning. Rewriting the history of Reconstruction is integral to that.

Notably, there’s a myth that the North cruelly and corruptly punished the South after the Civil War; said cruel punishment being denying the white South’s right to own slaves, and restoring to the slaves the property they’d been denied. Boo hoo, slaveocrats.

Another damaging myth: That slavery was confined to the South. As Abraham Lincoln himself noted, slavery was a US institution. It was fundamental to the American economy. The North was happy to feel superior about not practicing slavery, while remaining racist and enjoying profits and products from slavery.

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