Reconstruction Dbq

1135 Words5 Pages
There were high hopes for the Reconstruction era, after the civil war, in 1865. Throughout the twelve year Reconstruction era, newly freed African Americans had hopes of a better life with radical Republicans on their side. By the end of Reconstruction in 1877, the hope for African American equality had been lost. The goal of Reconstruction was to rebuild the south, reestablish the union, and remake southern society without slavery; however due to prejudice and a lack of care from the government, true equality for African Americans failed to happen during this era. After the war, newly freed African Americans wanted to do what they could not do as slaves. Men wanted to move to new areas, after being stuck on one plantation all their life with…show more content…
They settled those lands because Special Field Order 15 prompted them to do so, but President Johnson decided that he wanted to give the land back to the original owners. So he sent O. O. Howard, head of the Freedmen’s Bureau, to tell them to get off the land. Howard was met with resistance when he reached the land. The freed people wrote up a petition requesting that they may either keep the land or purchase it. The people showed that they were doing well with the land, and also showed that they were completing their goal of practicing religion. In the petition they wrote, we “do therefore pray to god (the preserver of all and who has through our Late and beloved President (Lincoln) proclamation and the war made Us a free people.” This shows that they were finally becoming their own people, and furthermore that they wanted to continue growing as new people. They further went on in the petition to remind Johnson that the government was the reason that they were living were they were, and that the land was what it was because of them. They wanted to stay so bad that they even said they would pay for the land. Why would they want this particular land so bad one might ask? Because this was the land they grew up on. It was their home even though they were slaves at that point, so it was important to stay. However, despite their attempt at keeping their home, Johnson still gave the land back to the original owners because he was sympathized with the South, and for this reason rural African Americans for the most part had no
Open Document