Reconstruction Dbq Essay

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The Constitution of the United States and the amendments that follow established the founding principles of our country. After the north won the civil war, Reconstruction began in the south and several new laws and amendments were passed to support racial equality. In 1865, the 13th Amendment was passed, which resulted in slavery being abolished. These newly freed men were made many promises. Among them were the promises of political, social, and economic justice. It seemed as though these promises would be kept as violating them was deemed illegal and unconstitutional. For example, the 14th Amendment granted social justice for all men, which was not allowed to be abridged by a state. Also, the 15th Amendment was passed, which gave African…show more content…
Special Field Order #15 promised that each newly freed family “shall have a plot of land no more than forty (40) acres of tillable ground, and when it borders on some water channel, with not more than 800 feet of waterfront”(Document #2). This order, that gave land to African Americans, was put in place to help them begin their new lives a freedmen. In spite of this, An Analysis of The Politics Of Land Confiscation and Restriction stated that “Northern business did not want Republicans setting a radical example for redistributing property from the wealthy to the poor… Fearing that the break up of beg southern states would disrupt cotton production, hurt their profits and undercut the national economy, these northern industrialists financiers, and trader were unyielding in their opposition to any kind of Reconstruction land reform” (Document #4). Simply put, rich whites with political power did not want African Americans to have land. This was because if African Americans had land, they would grow food to provide for their families and no one would be left to grow the cotton necessary for business success. The strong opposition from all over the country would make it hard for African Americans to gain land. Furthermore, Plantation Life, 1860-1880 shows two images that display the differences in a plot of land before and after slavery was abolished. During the slavery era, only 4 housing quarters were provided for the slaves. After slavery was abolished, on the other hand, individual houses, a church, and a school were added (Document #10). During reconstruction sharecropping was invented to help African Americans adjust to the life of a free citizen. In this system, plantation owners gave seeds, tools, and housing to African Americans in return for a share of their harvest. However, this system did not work because oftentimes the landowner would under value the crop. As a

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