Reconstruction and the Razorbacks

Mar 4, 2018

One hundred and fifty years ago this month, Arkansas ratified its fourth constitution, beginning an era of Reconstruction following the Civil War. Although Arkansas appears to have developed an historical amnesia about Reconstruction, jumping as swiftly as it has from sesquicentennial commemorations of the Civil War to the centennial of World War I, Reconstruction was arguably more important than both of those events. One of the key achievements of Reconstruction was the establishment of a state university. The University of Arkansas first opened its doors in 1872. If the South had won the Civil War, the Razorbacks may never have existed. A black state university was finally founded in Pine Bluff in 1875. In 1874, Arkansas abandoned Reconstruction and adopted its fifth constitution, which remains in effect today.