Reconstruction Era Research Paper

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The founding fathers of the United States built America on the ideals of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and this applied to each and every person living in the country- not only to a specific racial group. Slavery was abolished with the defeat of the Southern Confederacy in the Civil War, leading to the Era of Reconstruction, in which the primary focus was to reunite the nation and promote of rights of former slaves. Africans Americans were not as free as Whites during this period. Although African Americans were free individuals during the reconstruction period, they did not have complete freedom as their rights were extremely limited due to mistreatment from punishment, segregation, and racism by white supremacists. The rights…show more content…
Southerners opted for separation of races, and this was enforced through the Black Codes. Separate water fountains, street cars, schools, and churches were all implemented by the national government. Senator Hiram talked about segregated schools, and stated, “... And this rule prevailed there, that colored people should go into a smoking car…”( Hiram, 1871) . Train cars were only for the superior race, the Whites. He also made connections to the segregation in schools when he said, “Let lawmakers cease to make the difference, let schools trustees and school boards cease to make the difference...”( Hiram, 1871). He utilized repetition to emphasize the need for unity. Lawmakers put in laws about segregation in the community. Hiram wanted to be seen as equal to the other races. Additionally, in “The proceedings of the Women’s Rights Convention” in May 1866, Frances Watkins Harper talked about women’s rights. At the convention, she told a story in which a “...colored woman took her seat in an Eleventh Street car in Philadelphia, and the conductor stopped the car, and told the rest of the passengers to get out, and left the car with her in it alone…” ( Harper, 1866). This was an action which was purposely intended to be hurtful. The conductor’s act demonstrated the cruelty of segregation and how the Whites did not even see the African Americans as people, even…show more content…
African Americans were not free during the Era of Reconstruction. Having freedom means to have the free will of pursuing life, liberty, and happiness. African Americans were racially profiled and targeted by all direction. Congress had emancipated slavery, but had not enforced their rights. They were free but not seen through with the vision of equality during this
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