Reconstruction Dbq

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Reconstruction Essay During the 1860’s the civil war began over the disagreement between United States citizens on the topic of slavery. Once the Union had won the war and declared slavery was abolished, the country had entered its reconstruction era. The purpose of this era was to integrate the southern states and the newly freed slaves into America and protect their new rights. Reconstruction was ultimately a failure due to making life for newly freed slaves more dangerous than it was before. Another reason why it was a failure was because of segregation separating whites and blacks and not treating former enslaved people as equal. Finally, reconstruction was a failure because the freed slaves had little political power. Reconstruction …show more content…

In Doc 6 you can see a member of the White League and the KKK shaking hands above a fearful black family. The words above say “The Union as it Was” and “This is a White Man’s Government.” This shows that both the White League and KKK were working together to terrorize black people and strived to keep white men in power. These groups openly used violence to keep African Americans from being equal to other US citizens despite their new rights. The intimidation from these white supremacists made race equality seem completely impossible. People like Susie Taylor King, an African American woman born into slavery, would agree with this statement. In Doc 9 she states that it seemed like the Civil War was in vain, and that her people’s condition seemed hopeless. That even though they had fought for freedom and equality in their country, they were still being discriminated against and tortured. She described that African Americans were burned, tortured, and denied a fair trial. They were still being denied the rights they had gained directly from the 14th and 15th amendment. This demonstrates that reconstruction had not changed the situation for African Americans, their life of being treated as inferior only worsened. The people of America were not welcome to anyone who had a different ethnicity and deemed this …show more content…

With the right to vote the former slaves could vote for better changes in their life. Yet, in Doc 7 it states that black people who wanted to earn a living couldn’t be political/vote or agitate white people. This reveals that the African Americans who wanted to succeed in life could not fight for change despite being given these rights after the civil war. Therefore, it was safer not to participate in government because of the white intimidation they faced like the terrorist attacks from white supremacy groups. They had no voice in government similarly to how they didn’t during slavery. In Doc 8 it also describes the way the situation for the African Americans didn’t change after the Civil War. The diagram shows that after the Civil War plantations were turned into sharecropper units. It illustrates how former slaves continued living in these areas even after the war, the only difference is that there is a black church and school in the area. Therefore, the government was keeping the African Americans around the same area they lived in before the war. They had no new economic opportunities and were kept in the same situation they fought to get out of. The former slaves couldn’t work towards change in government because it would risk the little that they

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