Reconstruction Era Dbq

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During the Reconstruction Era from 1865 to 1877, Southern white people were segregated to a large extent between wealthy plantation owners and poor white farmers. Both E. B. Seabrook and a New York Times’ writer compare poor white farmers’ horrid lifestyles to freed slaves because there was an extreme similarity between the two. Although the slaves were emancipated as a result of the Civil War, they underwent economic hardships similar to poor white farmers in the South. In fact, the New York Times author makes the argument that the poor whites lived in a worse condition than freed blacks. - “The use of slave labor… tended to create a monopoly in the hands of the capitalists, and increased, in an almost insuperable degree, the difficulty of a poor man’s rising, but making nearly impossible the enlarging of his sphere of operations” (Seabrook). - “While the planter’s children were educated by tutors at home or in Northern institutions, the poor white’s children ran wild in ignorance. And there was no hope for better conditions in this regard. The poor whites without political power, had no prospect of ever getting any public rights or privileges” ("Poor Whites in the South”). - In 1865, “Black Codes” reinforced a system similar to slavery after it was abolished (Maclean) - limited freed blacks from voting and education funds were not provided for them (Foner) - limited their political rights and …show more content…

- Black families would rent farm land, and pay back a portion of harvested crops to the landowner at the end of each year (“Sharecropping") - Increased the South’s reliance on cotton (“Sharecropping") - The price of cotton dropped by nearly 50% from 1872-1877 (Mertz) - Increased poverty for freed blacks because the price of renting equipment was more than they were able to repay (“Sharecropping") - Debt/poverty forced freed blacks to sign labor contracts regarding exploitive sharecropping that deprived them of hope for improvement in life

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