The years between 1860 and 1877 presented the people and politicians of the United States with a number of social and constitutional complications which had been developing for decades. The Civil War and other events would bring these problems to a breaking point, requiring a solution. These resolutions and the way in which they were found amounted to a revolution affecting the American Constitution and the development of the society.
The utmost Constitutional conflicts of this time period involved states’ rights and the power of the federal government. The line of division was usually between the north and the south. This occurred because of their innate alterations, the north being free and industrial, and the south being agricultural with slavery. States sometimes attempted to nullify disapproving laws, such as South Carolina and the tariffs of the early 1800’s. This insurgence against federal authority peaked with the secession of South Carolina in 1860. South Carolina resisted by saying that the states had founded the Union, thus they could leave it. The federal government replied saying that the Union was founded by the people and the states had no right to secede. South Carolina seceded because it believed the government had hindered on its rights which were “powers not delegated to the United State by the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states” (Doc A). After the actions by South Carolina and the south, the question of states’ rights needed to be fixed. The victory of the Union in the Civil War provided the opening for this. After this victory, nullification was no longer considered a possibility for states while secession was shown to be unconstitutional and ineffective. These results increased the power and authority of the federal government by ending the states’ disputes over its actions.
The end of the Civil War also brought constitutional questions for the newly reestablished Union. The...