Civil War Reconstruction Essay

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Reconstruction Reconstruction, one of the biggest events in US history. However, the question remains, did it flourish or rather, make things worse? The US had greatly relied on Reconstruction to restructure the country. It was an attempt to unify the country while creating an equal and just society after the Civil War. Despite the success of the colossal project in unifying the country after the civil war, freeing enslaved people and establishing several amendments to the constitution, African Americans were still victims of prejudice, oppression, unjust behavior, and immense violence. There was vast progress made in terms of abolishing slavery because of reconstruction. At the end of the Civil War, on January 5th 1865, the 13th Amendment …show more content…

This amendment conveyed that the only time slavery was permissible was when a person had been convicted of a crime. Enslaved African Americans were freed as a result of this amendment, which led to the slow process of integrating them into society. At the close of the Civil War and the start of Reconstruction, lawmakers began their attempts to secure rights for African Americans. On April 9th of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1866 was officially passed. It was initially vetoed by Andrew Johnson. However, that veto was overridden and the legislation had officially become a law. It stated that every person born in the US is to be considered a citizen "without distinction of race or color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude." [Sandoval, Interracial Democracy, notes]. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was an attempt to compensate for rights that were lost due to the black codes. This bill demanded citizenship without discrimination against ancestry or race. Not only that, it also allowed African Americans to sue in court, own properties, make contracts and have equal benefits to laws as white people did. Two years later, Radical Republicans in Congress also ratified the 14th amendment …show more content…

In an 1872 testimony, Abram Colby, an African American legislator from Georgia, stated “On the 29th of October 1869, [the Klansmen] broke my door open, took me out of bed, took me to the woods and whipped me three hours or more and left me for dead. They said to me, “Do you think you will ever vote another damned Radical ticket?" [a klanksmen broke my door- violence and backlash]. A Klansman is a member of the white supremecist organization Klu Klux Klan. They were local groups around the Southern states resorting to violence in order to restore white supremacy. The excerpt above is one of their many violent acts. As stated by Abram Colby, Klanksmen barged into his house, forcefully took him to the woods and beat him without any mercy as a mean to intimidate him [to not vote for the radicals]. And lastly, the unwritten deal that ended reconstruction for good, the Compromise of 1877. During the presidential election of 1876, Hayes’ allies met up with the southern democrats and promised the removal of federal troops in exchange for the presidency. [Sandoval, “The end of Reconstruction” notes]. Without federal troops to monitor the South, intimidation and violence against African Americans could go unchecked. Southern democrats had all the power in southern states and started to pass laws that required the separation of white and black people known as Jim Crow laws.

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