Compare And Contrast The Goals Of Reconstruction

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After the Civil War, there were “three and a half million men and women” (Brinkley, 352) freed from slavery. These individuals now faced Reconstruction, the reestablishment of the south after their secession from the Union. There were many different ideas on the proper way to proceed with reconstruction. To African Americans, the goals of reconstruction was freedom, to some that meant political equality others economic success, or social equivalence. Freedmen wanted to have political equality, so their voices could finally be heard. During the reconstruction period, freedmen were faced with many political policies. These policies were put in place to limit the rights of African Americans. Freedmen and Congress fought these policies by establishing …show more content…

Congress responded to this by creating the first Civil Rights Act. The act made African Americans full-fledged citizens and allowed the government to uphold these rights in the southern states forcibly. These events led to the 15th amendment which granted voting rights to African American men. Freedmen then began to participate and hold offices in Reconstruction policies. During the Grant Admiration in 1869-1877 however, reconstruction was abandoned, and southern whites took over the congress majority. Discrimination began to grow especial in the south and groups like the Ku Klux Klan began to form and push African American out of any position of power or authority. Congress acted against these groups by creating the Enforcement Act of 1870 and 1871. This act “prohibited states from discriminating against voters on the basis of race and gave the national government the authority to prosecute crimes by individuals under federal law…authorize the president to use federal troops to protect civil rights” (Brinkley, 369). This act helped stop the suppression African American’s voices; however, the north begins to withdraw with their support for African American in the south. The …show more content…

In the beginning, African Americans wanted independence. However, Jonson’s Reconstruction Plan gave no voice to these freedmen or protect their rights in any way. Congress tried to correct this wrong by creating the 14th and 15th amendment. These amendments gave the freedmen a voice, and it was enforced and even created some the first African American political leader. This did not last long because of the abandonment of reconstruction. In 1872 majority of whites regained control of the states. “Whites used outright intimidation and violence to undermine the reconstruction regimes.” (Brinkley, 368). Secret societies like KKK also “used terrorism to frighten or physical bar black from voting” (Brinkley, 368). This continued until Congress intervened with the Enforcement Acts of 1870 and 1871. This did not solve the problem because in the compromise of 1877 the troops were once again pulled out of the south and impeding social equality. Despite these setbacks, African Americans made it to the middle class and earned respect. Then the Jim Crow laws were put into effect segregation. Though these laws were meant to equalize blacks and whites socially, they created an even more significant divide. Reconstruction did not provide African Americans with social

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