Reconstruction Dbq Essay

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Government policies during the period of Reconstruction following the Civil War were a mixed success. While they brought about significant changes in terms of legal rights and protections for former slaves, they also fell short of fully addressing the economic and social inequalities that persisted in the South. Historians disagree widely over the efficiency of the government's efforts throughout the Reconstruction era. While some contend that the enacted policies were mainly effective in resolving the problems faced by recently freed slaves and reconstructing the South, others contend they failed in several ways. The ratification of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the Constitution was a major achievement of the governmental policy …show more content…

Document 2 says “Black codes enforced in Southern states during Reconstruction prevented freed slaves from exercising many rights.” By enacting discriminatory laws like Black Codes and poll taxes that made it impossible for African Americans to vote or own property, the Southern states still dominated by white landowners effectively undercut the execution of these amendments. The government's rebuilding measures did not offer the required help for the newly liberated slaves and their offspring's economic elevation. The Freedmen's Bureau was powerless to shield former slaves from the violence and intimidation of organizations that support white supremacy. Document 5 also says “the Ku Klux Klan’s riding nightly over the country, going from county to county, and in the towns spreading terror wherever they go by robbing, whipping, ravishing [raping], and killing our people without provocation, compelling colored people to break the ice and bathe in the chilly waters of the Kentucky River… Our people are driven from their homes in great numbers… We would state that we have been law-abiding citizens, pay our taxes, and, in many parts of the state, our people have been driven from the polls - refused the right to vote,” African Americans in the South were tormented by the Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups, and the federal government could not stop this

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