After the Civil War the South’s economy and people were left in devastation, especially considering that “some 650,000 men died in the war, including 260,000 Confederates -- over one-fifths of the South’s adult white male population” ("America 's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War"). The surviving white men expected to go back to their land after the war, and many finding that their land had been confiscated. As stated in the article by M. O 'Malley & F. L. Carr., "The Sea Islands: An Experiment in Land Redistribution," after Sherman’s famous March to the Sea, he “declared that the Sea Islands on the coast of South Carolina and Georgia would be reserved for Freedman.” White plantation owners were infuriated by this act, claiming that it endowed a sense of entitlement to the freedman, fostering more demands from slaves such as the right to education and schools (O’Malley). However, the attempt of land redistribution “never met fully with congress” and was removed during …show more content…
Nativist sentiment pushed many to violate the rights of blacks. The defeat of the confederates in the South was not only devastating to the landscape and people, but also to the morals of the people. Carpetbaggers and scalawags served as “living reminders of military defeat” ("America 's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War"). This inspired “racial prejudice as well as more measured criticisms of Reconstruction policies,” as well as the Southern states “depriv[ing] blacks of their rights to vote” in violent ways ("America 's Reconstruction: People and Politics After the Civil War"). The ideals of Social Darwinism also gave white men another possible justification for their treatment, providing a reason for them to believe that blacks were poor and desolate because they didn’t work hard enough. These sentiments often lead to violence against blacks, even in the most quaintest of towns throughout the South. Nativist sentiment helped to further this
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In 1858, James Henry Hammond proclaimed that “in all social systems there must be a class to do the medial duties, to perform the drudgery of life.” Indeed, Hammond estimated that slavery in the South was contributing roughly $185,000,000 to the total exports of the United States. The utilization of slavery was clearly beneficial to the economy, providing a justification for those in the South to continue imposing on African American slaves what was later criticized by Frederick Douglass as being a “…gross injustice and cruelty.” During the Reconstruction period, the downfall of the economy gave political way for “black codes” to force African Americans back to plantations, where plantation owners would find ways around their few rights and
The end of the Civil War brought along social uneasiness within the Union. Prior to the end of the Civil War, President Lincoln declared the emancipation of slavery throughout the nation, excluding the border states, with their new found freedom came the need of new rights that the federal government must enforce. The federal government granted them citizenship, civil rights, and suffrage (Document G). The illustration found in the “Harper’s Weekly” showed how African American men were given the right to vote freely without the oppression of white supremacy, although this was the Union’s intended goal, this was not the reality of the South. There was an immense change to the lifestyle of the south.
After the Civil War, the United States was faced with numerous challenges. The Union had won and had to resolve several issues including handling the country’s debt, how to punish Confederate traitors and slavery. Slavery was one of the leading causes of the war and once it was a abolished the government had to work out a plan to help former slaves and freedmen. The solution was conducted by Radical Republicans; it was called The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 which allowed former slaves and freedmen to purchase land in the South for a low price. Although the Southern Homestead Act (1866) was meant to help blacks in Florida, it failed to do so due to discrimination on the basis of race, lack of government support and the land that was bought was of poor quality.
The primary goal for the reconstruction following the war was to bring the southern states back into the union in a semi-compromising way that would settle the issues that had once fueled the Civil War. The once hopeful and good intentions soon proved to fall short of expectations. With the push for equality among African Americans and the passing of the amendments, came retaliation from southerns and other individuals who still held racist views. Things such as the black codes were passed in the southern states with the intentions of limiting freedoms for African Americans, and forcing them to take jobs of lower quality and pay. Along with this persecution, further segregation became common in retaliation to acts of the north.
For example, a few African Americans were elected to Congress and others took seats in state and local governments. However, the unscrupulous nature of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacy groups, in lieu with the Black Codes, began to threaten African Americans and steal back their equal rights . Also, in the Slaughterhouse Cases, the Supreme Court aided in brutally limit those equal rights of African Americans. Due to the malfunction of Reconstruction to grant ethnic egalitarianism, African Americans would be liberated but demoralized, middle-class citizens well into the 20th
Just because people choose to overlook the negative aspects of reconstruction does not mean they did not occur. Freedmen were indeed given land to live on post-Civil War, which followed the premise of reconstruction. However, when the land was stripped from them, the steps on the path of reconstruction ceased. Even though President Andrew Johnson followed a path of reconstruction, he was reconstructing the nation to his own personal liking, not for the betterment of the nation and all its people. Due to the fact that mistreating African Americans was still a normality post-Civil War and during Reconstruction, the KKK, a group founded on racism, came to be.
The South killed Reconstruction most by their resistance against the North. Reconstruction started after the Civil war between 1865-1876. During the Civil War, the North and South battled, (The North won) and the South laid in ruins. The United States was willing to let the South back in under some conditions, and that marked the day Reconstruction started. During the Reconstruction era, the South resisted the North’s help and Reconstruction died.
Through Jim Crow, the whites recreated the racial hierarchy of the antebellum period. Jim Crow effectively made blacks second-class citizens in the eye of the law, with voting laws that disenfranchised against poorly-educated and under-employed blacks by requiring literary tests and poll taxes, and which discriminated against blacks through the “separate but equal” doctrine. This codified racism was a leftover from the Civil War, in which whites believed that blacks were incapable of running society, businesses, or exercising political rights. In one study of a community in Mississippi, one historian argues that newspapers warned readers that “idle darkies” were lazy, lacked morals, and threatened white civilization (Oshinsky 18). These reasons were also used during the antebellum era to justify slavery and this continuing mentality demonstrates a southern lifestyle that was immune to change.
Reconstruction caused prejudice and inequality. To elaborate, the creation of the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Codes were both in the time period of reconstruction, which caused chaos and violence throughout the Union. One of the goals of reconstruction was to repair the economy in the South, because it depended on slavery, which was now illegal, due to the thirteenth amendment. The South’s economic system now depended on Sharecropping, which caused former slaves to be in constant debt and was unjust to the black society. The reconstruction time period, was a time of dispute between the Union.
While Reconstruction after the Civil War seemed to have promise for former slaves, there were still many hardships. President Andrew Johnson’s leniency with the south during this decisive period allowed for there to be debate over what the fate of freed slaves should be. Some believed that continuing to work in the fields they were once slaves in was the best option for blacks because of their past as field workers, while others believed that there were more options for blacks than just farm work as seen in the schools built in the south for the black population by the Freedman’s Bureau. However, the question still remained as to what freedom for blacks truly meant. People’s opinions on what freedom for ex-slaves needed to be depended exclusively on their race and their socioeconomic status.
The Reconstruction (1865-1877) was a period during which the life of the defeated South was to be returned to normal; it was also a time when the Black Americans attained some rights thanks to Lincoln and the Republican part of the Congress and despite Johnson’s intentions. An extremely violent time, it is sometimes called “the darkest period of American history”; still, it brought many important progressive changes to the US. Abraham Lincoln is known for proclaiming the black slaves Emancipation in 1863; he was convinced that it was necessary for the North to win the war. Lincoln believed that the Confederate states needed to be reintegrated back into the US while preserving the abolition of slavery; however, the 16th President wasn’t planning
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’”.
Racism’s Impact on Reconstruction While the issue of slavery evidently contributed to the divide that resulted in the American Civil War, it is debated whether prevailing ideals of racism caused the failure of the era following the war known as Reconstruction. With the abolishment of slavery, many of the southern states had to reassemble the social, economic, and political systems instilled in their societies. The Reconstruction Era was originally led by a radical republican government that pushed to raise taxes, establish coalition governments, and deprive former confederates of superiority they might have once held. However, during this time common views were obtained that the South could recover independently and that African Americans
As a result of this, racist organizations were founded to wreaked havoc on former slaves. Secret societies in the southern united states, such as the Ku Klux Klan and the Knights of the White Camellia used violence against the blacks. Their goal was often to keep blacks out of politics. Our textbook states, “In other states, where blacks were a majority or where the populations of the two races were almost equal, whites used outright intimidation and violence to undermine the Reconstruction regimes” (Brinkley 368). The people involved in such organizations were using violence to take away the fifteenth amendment right from the former slaves.