The Reconstruction Era

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1865, the end of the civil war. A war that cost the lives of more men than that of all other wars combined, leaving much of the nation with the mess to clean up, in both a literal and figurative sense. All the while, relations between the North and South have crumbled to bits. America lost the unity it stood for in the past. America needed to find a way to be whole again or else the entire country risked falling apart completely. In 1865 to 1877 efforts were made in order to achieve this, a time of reassembly known as the Reconstruction Era came to be, where new amendments were formed and all new challenges for the “United” Stated were being tested. Much of the problems facing former confederate supporters was accepting their loss and allowing…show more content…
Once African Americans were sent off with their freedom, former slaves were left on their own with little more then what they were allowed to take. Due to the racist attitudes that were rampant in the South, it was nearly impossible to find anything but low paying, unskilled jobs for anyone who wasn’t white. Because blacks needed work and plantation owners had vacant land an arrangement was placed in order to meet a questionably mutual benefit, sharecropping. Sharecropping was an agreement between former slave and former slave owners; that in exchange for a share of land and shelter, at a very high rate of interest, the landowner would receive a portion of the harvest made by his land. Although this was a system that functioned for a short time when it was most needed, the high interest rates thrown to the former slaves that suffered from them made the debt nearly impossible to repay, yet again leaving the African Americans under control of the white race. The contracts and rules that were included in these agreements put these newly freed slaves in almost exactly the same situations they had just been liberated from. Typical terms included in these contracts included things like: no conversation between “workers” is to take place during the day, one cannot leave during the day without permission, no raising cattle without permission, and they must be “cheerful” while working (Clark-Pujara

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