Thomas Nast on Reconstruction | BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History
What impact did the Reconstruction Amendments have on the application of our Founding principles? In this video, Mary and Gary explore two Reconstruction-era cartoons by Thomas Nast. “Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner" (1869) and “The Union As It Was" (1874) give insight into the nature of liberty and equality in the United States shortly after the Civil War. Do you agree with Nast’s commentary about the intentions and consequences of Reconstruction?
Cartoon Analysis: Thomas Nast on Reconstruction, 1869–1874
Use this primary source imagery to analyze major events in history.
The End of Slavery and the Reconstruction Amendments
The interests of Northern and Southern states grew increasingly divergent. Eleven states eventually seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. After the Civil War, Congress required that the southern states would approve the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments as a condition of their re-entry into the union. The Thirteenth Amendment banned slavery throughout the United States. The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to formerly enslaved people and banned states from passing laws that denied the privileges and immunities of citizens, due process, or equal protection of the law. The Fifteenth Amendment extended the right to vote to black men. The Fourteenth Amendment in particular was a dramatic departure from the Founders’ Constitution, and set the stage for dramatic increases in the size, scope, and power of the national government decades later.
BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History Video Playlist
BRIdge from the Past: Art Across U.S. History is a new YouTube series for students that explores an important historic image every episode to gain insights into the culture, politics, and society of a particular time in U.S. history. Host Mary Patterson will explain how each primary source is its own “window to the past,” revealing new areas for contemplation and discussion.