Economic Inequality During The Reconstruction Era

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During the late 1800s, because the South had been decimated by the end of the Civil War, .the Reconstruction Period was initiated to aid the South’s recovery. Although the Civil War did abolish slavery and unify the North and the South, the war not resolve racial prejudice, the South’s damage, and the African Americans’ economic instability. The Reconstruction Period was initiated in order to prevent economic instability and the structural ruin, because since slavery was abolished, and the South was completely dependent on slaves, therefore slaves could not work for the South to maintain the economy, and slaves also could not fix up the damages done to the structures done to the South during the war. By starting the Freedmen’s Bureau and passing…show more content…
The Freedmen’s Bureau was founded by Congress in 1865 to help former slaves and poor whites in the South by providing shelter, food, medical support, as well as giving legal assistance, and creating schools for them (Jordan 386). The Freedmen’s Bureau was also supported by carpetbaggers, Northerners who had readily packed up and left for the South, and scalawags, Southerners who supported former slaves and poor whites, both of whom supported the cause of freedom and equality. Thus, through the Freedmen’s Bureau, both black Americans and white Americans were receiving the same necessities, promoting equality amongst these two…show more content…
Although many attempts were made to prioritize freedom and equality for all, these values were undermined by racist Southerners who wouldn’t accept equality. In the end, Reconstruction had failed and former slaves endured another hardship akin to slavery. However, Reconstruction still could have prospered. There are multiple events that, if they had occurred, Reconstruction would not have failed. For example, had the government continued to fund the Freedmen’s Bureau, then the South would have legislated their discriminatory laws much later, if not at all. If the Freedmen’s Bureau had continued, African Americans and poor whites would have continued to receive support from the government as well as from other volunteers, such as carpetbaggers and scalawags. Over time, Southerners would begin to realize that former slaves were becoming equals to them, and slowly begin to accept it, especially since blacks would have the resources and people to enforce this idea. This would lead to America being the just and equal society citizens had wanted since the
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