Michael Perman, a renowned historian and professor of Humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago has written many famous books on American history, "The Coming of the American Civil War" and award winning "Road to Redemption" has gained immense popularity and scholarly attention. Perman has written yet another book on the aftermath of the Civil War, "Emancipation and Reconstruction, 1862-1879" focuses on the issues and literature produces on the events following the Civil War.
The development of the Reconstruction period can be traced back to the history of Independence. In 1776 Britain's American colonies broke from its mother country and formed a new nation called the United States of America following the Treaty of Paris. Keeping such a vast country was not easy; the nation of over 40 states had diverse people and different cultures emerged as the nation grew. In the initial years of America, the country faced many diverse challenges, of establishing new colonies, resistance from native Indians, Mexico Spanish wars and inter-state conflicts. .
The most traumatic event in nation's history after its independence was the Civil War (1861-65). The survival of United States as one nation was at risk during the war and on the outcome of the war depended upon the ability of the nation to bring into reality the ideals of liberty, equality, human dignity and justice. The country was divided into two blocks, the Confederates and the Unionists and the country was led into a ferocious war, which saw the lost of many lives. The war left far reaching consequences, and although the Unionists won the war and the country remained intact, it left a mark that didn't wash for the years to come.
After the devastating war there were two major problems facing the re-united country, the reconstruction of the south which was torn apart by the war and the emancipation of the slaves. The slaves now free citizens with equal rights had to be emancipated; the government had the responsibility to not only to ensure that African Americans enjoyed the equal rights but also to devise measures to educate or train such a huge work force.