Southerners did everything in their power to keep freedmen from people able to do what a normal citizen would do. They came up with Black Codes, which are laws that prohibited african americans from being “free.” One of the black codes sections states “No negro shall be permitted to rent or keep a house within the limits of the town under any circumstances.”
After Reconstruction, African Americans faced many social, political, and economic issues. The years following the Reconstruction continued to create tension between African Americans and whites. In the south African Americans were still not given the same rights as whites. With this tension, came social, political, and economic issues. During this time, African Americans faced social adversity.
After slavery, African Americans in the south were in a time of change. Though they were free from slavery, whippings, and auctions, I believe life became difficult for them even after slavery ended. Racism began to grow increasingly, as many could not accept the fact that there was no more slavery. It became stricter when the government in the South enforced laws called Black Codes. Those laws were set to grant only certain rights to people of color.
Life for African Americans some what changed for the better, temporarily. Slavery was Abolished in the south, but that didn 't really mean that the blacks were equal or really free. Constitutional additions specifically the 13th amendment which stated, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” the 14th amendment which stated, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”, and the 15th amendment which stated, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (United States Constitution). But blacks encountered crippling complications. During the reconstruction Blacks encountered severe white incrimination and several instances of out right violence “a Freedman living on the plantation of James W. Wade in Fort Bend Co. was arrested, chained and whipped by the wades and others” (Records of the Assistant Commissioner for the State of Texas).
The African American males were eligible to vote now, but ended up not enjoying their citizenship and rights to vote. All African Americans were granted “The First Vote,”(Document F). They were now citizens and were allowed to vote due to the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendment. This should have been a great moment in history for the blacks, but instead whites made them feel like being a citizen was bad and they hurt and tormented them. The Reconstruction Era negatively affected the South more so than the North politically.
Jim Crow Laws Trapped in society, and treated like nothing- the government has fallen into corruption, and is no longer able to help loved ones. Citizen rights are stripped away, leaving inequality and unfair treatment. This was the Jim Crow Era. Blacks were stripped of the rights that they had gained when freed from slavery. They became soil to the white man territory.
As the African Americans “freedom” is setting into everyone’s mind, the freedmen start to develop their own path. Foner states that the newly freed slaves wanted whites to understand that they no longer had authority over them and make their status as free Americans known by economic power, religion, self-defense, and political action that were some of the systems among their desire to leave black communities but were heavily altered by a lack of protection but continued and looked for other ways to pursue. With African Americans seeking different approaches, Foner argued that the efforts put in were brought together by a desire to gain independence from white control. Even before the war, Foner believes that the blacks had gathered other institutions even before the war has started and the emancipation enhanced the blacks resources. Though these resources were made available to the African Americans, Foner also discusses that because of the cultural intuitions did not free blacks from privations that which then led to Reconstruction to fail.
During the Reconstruction period, the North and the South had very different ideas on how to handle all of the new problems in America regarding the freed slaves. Though the North and the South had contradictory ideas that ranged from the basic needs of the freed slaves to establishing new state governments, the Reconstruction period strived to unify the North and the South. In the Reconstruction period, freedom was a new idea for many African Americans and they aimed to establish all of their new rights, even if they were unsure of their lives after the Civil War. The North and South, both having different ideas, had two different ways to meet the basic needs for food, service, and industry.
Because of the abolishing of slavery, it created for a lot of discrimination and racism against people of color. In some southern and northern states did not agree with slaves begin freed especially Johnson. Because he did not agree it created for “moderates and radicals” to come together to pass black only laws. These black only laws returned some “freed slaves back to servitude”.
Reconstruction transformed African Americans lives and improved their lives while it was happening. The thirteenth amendment made it so that all African Americans were freed, but they didn’t always benefit from that. However, most southern states passed “Black Codes” that restricted the rights of African Americans. Though African Americans were granted rights, under the fourteenth amendment their rights were often violated. During Reconstruction, African Americans were better off than they had been before and better off than they would be in the years following Reconstruction.
The reconstruction period was a failure because African Americans, mainly males, were not treated with equality although the constitution said that the they were free and had the right to vote, be educated and had the right to liberty, life and the pursuit to happiness. Organizations, like the KKK, were created to harm freed slaves and their families. Laws were created such as the Black Codes restricting former slaves from their rights. African Americans endured a lot of violence over the years. “In Grayson, Texas, a white man and two friends murdered three former slaves because the wanted to ‘ thin the niggers out and drive them to their hole’”.
Reconstruction was an attempt reconcile the country and bring it back together, however it was not the success Abraham had hoped it to be when initiated before being assassinated. The failure had many effects on African American communities in both the north on the south both negative and positive. Socially black slaves were freed but not really accepted into society. Black codes were utilized which placed pressure on African Americans about things like when to meet with friends and where they should live. Discrimination against black flourished as the Ku Klux Klan a group of people who wore robes and mask went around pretending to be the ghost of Confederate soldiers.
Although slavery was declared over after the passing of the thirteenth amendment, African Americans were not being treated with the respect or equality they deserved. Socially, politically and economically, African American people were not being given equal opportunities as white people. They had certain laws directed at them, which held them back from being equal to their white peers. They also had certain requirements, making it difficult for many African Americans to participate in the opportunity to vote for government leaders. Although they were freed from slavery, there was still a long way to go for equality through America’s reconstruction plan.
Reconstruction era, which was followed by post-civil war, was meant to unite the states back together, reconstruct properties, and most importantly, abolish slavery in the South. Although the factors such as amendments legally freed former slaves, yet WRITE THESIS After the end of civil war in 1865, Reconstruction era, which was controlled by President Abraham Lincoln, appeared to quickly coalesce the Northern and Southern states. reconstruction amendments, which were approved between 1865 and 1870, played a huge role on giving legal rights to blacks and former slaves. 13th amendment constitutionally abolished slavery in 1865 and followed up by that, 14th and 15th amendment admitted equal citizenship, protection, and rights of suffrage despite the one’s race or skin color. Former slaves were no longer belongings of their owners.