Reconstruction, one of the most controversial eras in the history of the United States, focused on rebuilding and reuniting the United States after the Civil War; a war that decided the fate of slavery. One key part in doing so was to free the slaves and make their lives better. After rejecting the Reconstruction plan of President Andrew Johnson, the Republican Congress enacted laws and Constitutional Amendments that empowered the federal government to enforce the principle of equal rights. They also gave black Southerners the right to vote and hold office. However, groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and state laws in the South confronted Reconstruction. Although Congress attempted to improve the lives of African Americans by passing new legislation …show more content…
Although it was meant to stop the oppression in this South, it endured and Southern States began to pass so-called Jim Crow laws. These laws “legally enforced racial segregation by forcing blacks to separate and substandard schools, denying them access to restaurants, and requiring them to use separate entrances to public buildings, among many other measures”(Riggs). This was the same case for The Civil Rights Act of 1875 due to the different branches of government disagreeing with each other. The Civil Rights Act of 1875 explicitly granted and protected the rights of African Americans and gave the federal government to intervene in state affairs (OpenStax). However, the Supreme Court did not agree as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Civil Rights Act of 1875 as unconstitutional for the reason that the Constitution only can protect acts of private discrimination, and not state discrimination (Riggs). If the different branches of government do not agree with different laws that were being made, it would be a serious problem as the government is not doing its job. Finally, although the Freedman’s Bureau did a lot to help support the African Americans, it positioned itself and its effects to be temporary. A major weakness was that it had the …show more content…
This campaign of terror against the former slaves and other supporting them was able to enforce white supremacy. The members of the Klan were cloaked in robes and hoods to disguise their identity. Their disguise made them able to approach the former slaves without noticing and they threatened, beat, and killed numerous African Americans (“Ku Klux Klan”). They also singled out those who supported the African Americans. They threatened school teachers, ministers, and anyone else who might be in a position to encourage former slaves (“Ku Klux Klan”). With the lack of support, the African Americans were forced back into their old ecosystem of lack of care and support as well as similar extreme conditions. There were many other effects from the attacks from the Ku Klux Klan that also made their lives even worse. When the violence peaked around the election of 1870, they terrorized black Republicans to keep them from polls, and continued for several months after the election to punish those who had voted. From the fear that the clan imposed, they also no longer ran for office as they were threatened to be killed by them (“Ku Klux Klan”). By intimidating the African Americans into refraining from voting, the South was able to fully uphold the Democratic Party and
This upset Southern whites tremendously. In order to solve the problem, the Ku Klux Klan, which was formed in 1866 made a significant come back by jumping up their violence and intimidating acts. Their goal was “to intimidate blacks so that they would fear for their lives and stop supporting the Republican Party” (222). In order to accomplish this, the Klansmen set out wearing their full white cloaks to whip, shoot, and rape the freedmen who were able to vote. They made camp at the poll stations and gave warning to the African Americans who were planning to go to them in order to vote.
During the reconstruction era the Civil Rights Act of 1875 protected all Americans, regardless of their race, equal treatment in public accommodations, public transportation, and to prohibit exclusion from jury service, however it was not enforced and the supreme court declared it unconstitutional in 1883. The Court ruled that the 14th Amendment prohibited states, but not citizens, from discriminating. This civil rights reversal was devastating for African
The goals of reconstruction were to rebuild America, and to have white and black men live alongside each other peacefully. Only days after the north won the Civil War, president Lincoln was shot and killed. The new president, Andrew Johnson, because he was a democrat, pitied the South and refused to punish them. While in presidency, his biggest opponents were the radical republicans, who wanted to punish the South, and wanted equal rights for freedmen. In the 1860's the 14th amendment which rules that states can't deny rights or privileges to any U.S. citizens, including black men.
Black communities in the south changed the status quo through the construction of black churches and schoolhouses that would be the center of communal activities. The black community repressed their enslaved past and self-empowered their communities in the post-emancipated world. White vigilantes saw these actions as a threat, thus created violence by “…burned down black churches and schoolhouses and drove off repugnant teachers and minsters.” These black community centers were a threat of the Ku Klux Klan even though it was in the beginning stages of growing in power. The assembly of the black communal centers became a crucial tactic of the Klan members that took advantage to implement violent methods of torture to a large group of African Americans.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois once said, “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line.” He refers “color” as race and how race is a social category used to assign human worth and social status using whites as the superior race and the minorities as the inferior. That’s what America is facing during Reconstruction. When the Reconstruction Era transitioned into the New South Era, the lives of Freedmen changed socially, economically, and politically for the worse. Although southern whites were still unpleasant to African Americans during Reconstruction, it got more severe socially in the New South Era.
The KKK was a group of white southerners who did not want the policies establishing political and economic equality for blacks to be successful. The KKK engaged in underground campaigns of intimidation and violence directed at Republican leaders, both white and black. One of the most notorious areas of the Klan was South Carolina. In January 1871, five hundred masked men attacked a Union county jail and lynched eight black prisoners. Acts like these would go “unnoticed” by officials and other influential citizens in the area because of the fear of how the Klan would retaliate and also by the lack of care for what the Klan was doing.
The Reconstruction era of 1865 was an attempted unify the states of the United States of America after the Civil War. This proved to be terribly difficult and contentious process. The three main issues the federal government had to deal with included how to deal with states as they re-joined the Union, how Southern whites should be treated, and how to deal with the freed slaves. Furthermore, President Lincoln’s reconstruction plan included that states never truly seceded from the Union as this was not legally possible, and therefore they should not necessarily be punished. The plan had two major provisions: Pardons of Southerners who participated in the war if the took an oath of allegiance to the United States and Readmission of a state if 10% of white voters in that state took
African Americans were denied the right to vote, and violence was used to keep blacks beneath whites in their racial hierarchy. The Disfranchisement in the south was the denial to Poll Taxes, literacy test, and grandfathers’ clauses. The grandfathers prevented a lot of blacks Americas to vote, because grandfather was black. Violence took place in lynching and courting and the KKK and other related groups used violence to suppress black political action to make sure the election of segregationist democrats. “If any Blacks tried to fight the system, their life would be at risk” (Moore
The answer can be found when the founded of the KKK, Gernal Nathen Bedford Forest gathered with a group of Confederate veterans in Pulaski, Tennessee’s, 1865 (Schaefer, R. (1971); Subuk, H. (2014); Rebecca E. (2010). With the hopes of maintain the white supremacy in the South and fight against the Republicanism. Due to the Klan numbers grow as many within the south agreed with the racial ideals of the group. As the Klan grew with number the once small ‘social group’ turned into a full blown ‘paramilitary force’ that was not afraid to violently kill African-American to stop the Civil Rights Movement. As the Klan grew so did the power and influences the Klan possessed included; influencing voters towards the Democratic Party, targeting black people and white Republican through; employing, destroying property, assault and murder (Schaefer, R. (1971); Subuk, H. (2014); Rebecca E. (2010).
After the civil war, the struggle between African American freedom and white dominance were at its strongest. These struggles are what would lay the foundation for the lives of the African Americans for many years after. The plan for reconstruction started after the civil war ended and was the major attempt at trying to create an interracial democracy and fix society, as well as physical rebuilding the country. The ways of the society also were changing very much.
The KKK terrorized newly freed slaves after the Civil War ended. The KKK used public violence against blacks as intimidation, they burned houses and killed people of color, leaving their bodies in trees or on roads. The Ku Klux Klan attacked important
The Union triumph in the Civil War in 1865 may have given exactly 4 million slaves their flexibility, yet the procedure of revamping the South amid the Reconstruction period (1865-1877) presented another arrangement of critical difficulties. Under the organization of President Andrew Johnson in 1865 and 1866, new southern state lawmaking bodies passed prohibitive "dark codes" to control the work and conduct of previous slaves and other African Americans. Insult in the North over these codes disintegrated backing for the methodology known as Presidential Reconstruction and prompted the triumph of the more radical wing of the Republican Party. Amid Radical Reconstruction, which started in 1867, recently liberated blacks picked up a voice in government without precedent for American history, winning decision to southern state lawmaking bodies and even to the U.S. Congress. In under 10 years, in any case, reactionary forces–including the Ku Klux Klan–would reverse the progressions created by Radical
They tore up parties and barbecues They Klan would put letters in the newspaper inviting people to come to the meetings and join the Klan. The KKK is ran by the ‘Grand Cyclops’ The people became scared of the ‘hooded Lictors’ standing outside, because when they were asked who they were they would respond with “A spirit from the other world.
Starting as a largely recreational group, the Klan soon turned to intimidating newly freed African Americans. Riding at night, the Klan terrorized and sometimes murdered those it opposed. Members adopted a hooded white costume—a guise intended to represent the ghosts of the Confederate dead—to avoid identification and to frighten victims during nighttime raids. The Klan fed off the post-Civil War resentments of white southerners—resentment that centered on the
Ethan Giangrande Ms. Rourke English 10A 12 May, 2023 How the Ku Klux Klan terrorized America and changed American culture From the start , the Ku Klux Klan characterized the entire African-American community as a threat to America. The primary threat was the belief that blacks would take away jobs which gave the Klan reasons to force their version of justice upon them. This allowed the Klan to become themselves as vigilantes, who protected the land of America from minorities. The Klan then disguises the recruitment of the very minorities which they hunt, soon to be the next generation of Klansmen.