The Right Way?
I f the politics and constitutionalism of Reconstruction allowed only limited impacts to the Civil War, nevertheless the Union's survival, democracy's reaffirmation, federalism's invigoration, and slavery's death remained fundamental effects. Because these wartime successes occurred, Reconstruction's limits were tied inextricably to prewar constitutional configurations.1
Republican constitutionalism was the source of belief that there were few policy alternatives to curb intrastate excesses. Force was the simplest. But recourse to armed might was always politically and morally unappealing. Republicans wanted the southern states to restore themselves; wanted northern as well as southern states to curb their residents' and officials' unjust behav____________________