During The Reconstruction Era Analysis

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Sources Analysis Freedom During the Reconstruction era, the idea of freedom could have many different meanings. Everyday factors that we don't often think about today such as the color of our skin, where we were born, and whether or not we own land determined what limitations were placed on the ability to live our life to the fullest. To dig deeper into what freedom meant for different individuals during this time period, I analyzed three primary sources written by those who experienced this first hand. These included “Excerpts from The Black Codes of Mississippi” (1865), “Jourdan Anderson to his old master” (1865), and “Testimony on the Ku Klux Klan in Congressional Hearing” (1872). The ability to have absolute freedom is a common theme in these three documents. Freedom means more than just having the independence to make your own decisions and pursuing your own happiness. The hopes of Reconstruction were to create…show more content…
Jourdan Anderson had previously received a letter from his old master requesting that he return to living with him. In Anderson’s letter, he tells his older master about his new life in Ohio, how he has a good thing going for him. Anderson also tells his old master that he was proud to have called him that. I believe that is an interesting take on limited freedom. Anderson, being a freed man now and having his own life, still feels that he should respect his old master and be grateful for his previous life. “Many darkies would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master.” However, as the letter goes on it is clear that Anderson is able to recognize what his freedom entails him for now. “We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense.” It is here that Anderson states that his old master failed to pay him for the years he spent at his
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