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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The wealthy were in need of cheap labor, and with the amount of blacks being sentenced, most jails still functioning were overflowing with them. Leasing was designed for black convicts, and laws passed allowed towns and independent men to lease them for a price. They black convicts were put to work building railroads, levees or doing work for private owners. The convicts did work that free labor could not. Conditions were horrible and they were forced to work knee deep in muck, in malaria-ridden swamps, and to dynamite tunnels.
Especially in the south, were many plantation owners lost their workforce. They would now either be forced to pay their laborers or sell their farms, neither of which they were partial to. Out of this came sharecropping, where landowners gave laborers a house, and land, in exchange for a share of their crops. However this system had many issues, the laborers were almost always African Americans with no savings to buy tools, which they would need to buy from the landowners, putting them in debt, and making it difficult for them to become independent. Another result of the end of the war was the Depression of 1873, which raised the unemployment rate to 15% and created greater tensions among the working class in the United States.
After civil was the former slaves were free. While some free men chose to go in search of jobs in the industrial states up north. Most free people in rural areas stayed and looked for work to feed themselves and their families. The sharecropping was one way to acquire work as a free former slave. Landowner started to give their land on credit to the former free man at the beginning of the year.
Although slavery was declared over after the passing of the thirteenth amendment, African Americans were not being treated with the respect or equality they deserved. Socially, politically and economically, African American people were not being given equal opportunities as white people. They had certain laws directed at them, which held them back from being equal to their white peers. They also had certain requirements, making it difficult for many African Americans to participate in the opportunity to vote for government leaders. Although they were freed from slavery, there was still a long way to go for equality through America’s reconstruction plan.
Reconstruction was a period of time dedicated to rebuilding the nation after the Civil War. The war ended with the South being defeated and their economy being devastated. Many Southerners struggled after the war with rebuilding their land and lives. The President and Congress had to decide the terms for which the former Confederate states would be permitted to join the Union. President Lincoln’s plan for reuniting the country was found in the Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction.
The Reconstruction period lasted from 1865 to 1877. The thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendment were created during the twelve years of rebuilding the country. All of the amendments were made to protect former slaves and their rights but on paper they did not have any rights. The reconstruction period had its successes and failures.
24 November 2015 The Real Death of Reconstruction There is no easy way to decide who can be held accountable for the end of the Reconstruction Era. Attempts to rebuild the South ceased to exist in 1877, just over ten years after the Confederacy surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant in Appomattox Court House, Virginia. It seemed as though everything was on the right track in 1876, the one hundred year anniversary of The United States. That was, however, until the South waged conflict against black and white citizens of The United States.
Racism’s Impact on Reconstruction While the issue of slavery evidently contributed to the divide that resulted in the American Civil War, it is debated whether prevailing ideals of racism caused the failure of the era following the war known as Reconstruction. With the abolishment of slavery, many of the southern states had to reassemble the social, economic, and political systems instilled in their societies. The Reconstruction Era was originally led by a radical republican government that pushed to raise taxes, establish coalition governments, and deprive former confederates of superiority they might have once held. However, during this time common views were obtained that the South could recover independently and that African Americans
A few days after the civil War ended, President Lincoln was assassinated and never had the chance to implement his Reconstruction plan. The Reconstruction Era occurred in the period of 1865 to 1877 under the reign of President Andrew Johnson who was the predecessor of President Lincoln. Congress was not scheduled to convene until December 1865, which gave Johnson eight months to pursue his own Reconstruction policies. Under his Reconstruction policies, the former Confederate states were required to join back into the Union and heal the wounds of the nation.
The American civil war led to the reunion of the South and the North. But, its consequences led the Republicans to take the lead of reconstructing what the war had destroyed especially in the South because it contained larger numbers of newly freed slaves. Just after the civil war, America entered into what was called as the reconstruction era. Reconstruction refers to when “the federal government established the terms on which rebellious Southern states would be integrated back into the Union” (Watts 246). As a further matter, it also meant “the process of helping the 4 million freed slaves after the civil war [to] make the transition to freedom” (DeFord and Schwarz 96).
Sharecropping was a major impact on the African Americans. Different types of sharecropping have been practiced worldwide, but in the rural south, it was typically practiced by former slaves because it was the only opportunity they had. Sharecropping allowed families to rent small land from a landowner who was typically white. They would then give a portion of their crops to the landowner at the end of the year, but would eventually end in debt because they didn’t have enough money for their needs. Africans then had to keep working for the landowner to pay off their debt.
The first African American leaders in the South Came from the ranks of antebellum free blacks who were joint by norther blacks to support Reconstruction. Blanche K Bruce an ex slave established a school for freedmen and in 1874 he became Mississippi’s second black U.S. senator. African American speakers who were financed by the Republican Party, spread out into the plantation districts and recruited former slaves to take part in politics. In South Carolina, African Americans constituted a majority in the lower house of legislature in 1868. Over the reconstruction twenty African Americans served in state administrations as Governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, or lesser offices.
Evaluating Cruelty: Sharecropping and Slavery “After the Civil War, former slaves sought jobs, and planters sought laborers. The absence of cash or an independent credit system led to the creation of sharecropping” (Pollard para. 1). Sharecropping is the action of allowing workers, called sharecroppers, to work on someone else’s farm. This let former slaves find jobs; however, farmers found loopholes to exploit the former slaves. Because of this, the workers were rarely paid the amount they needed for their needs.
The switch from indentured servitude to slave labor occurred because the headright system promised to pay an immigrants trip to the new world in exchange for their labor for a set period afterwards receiving freedom dues, land and supplies. However, “the colonial establishment placed restrictions on available lands, creating unrest among newly freed indentured servants” as a result, “servants moved on, forcing a need for costly replacements; slaves” Africans were stripped away from their families and boarded onto ships, in unsanitary conditions they crossed the Atlantic Ocean and those with diseases were thrown overboard. When they arrived in the United States they were sold at auctions and then went to serve their masters from whom they