The Successes And Failures Of The Reconstruction Era

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The years after the Civil War, the extent of the freedom of former slaves and their descendants were extremely limited. The Reconstruction era came after the Civil War, and it had admirable goals of change through out the country. The triumphs during this era were: more women entered the work force, blacks got into politics, and blacks were able to vote. Unfortunately, the admirable goals and triumphs of the Reconstruction era failed. It failed because the era restricted the lives of blacks by inflicting black codes and convicting leasing. In addition, it failed because whites refused to accept the change of freed blacks and they failed to treat them as equals. Freed slaves and their descendants were forced to live a limited life full of rules …show more content…

The whites established black codes as laws to maintain control and put limitations on their lives, for instance the Black Code of Mississippi. The Black Code of Mississippi primarily focused on the employment of blacks, for example, Section 2 stated, “That the said court shall be fully satisfied that the person or persons to whom said minor shall be apprenticed shall be a suitable person to have the charge and care of said minor and fully to protect the interest of said minor,” meaning black children worked for families that were able to provided security, food, and clothing. Families were able to have black children have apprenticeships with them until the males were twenty-one years old and until the females were eighteen years old. In addition, the children were not able to quit on their free will because Section 4 stated, “That if any apprentice shall leave the employment of his or her master or mistress without his or her consent, said master or mistress may pursue and recapture said apprentice and bring him or her before any justice of the peace of the county,” thus forcing the children to work until they were adults, otherwise they would have been punished by law. Adults had similar restriction on their employments. Similar black codes were established all through out the …show more content…

Convict leasing was a system of selling prisoner labor to private industries. In the Reconstruction era, the whites lost their free labor, however, they gained convict leasing. The documentary, Slavery by Another Name, provided an understanding of the conditions blacks had to face after being convicted of a crime; conditions that were described as worse then slavery. As previously discussed, black codes were unfair laws that made it easy to arrest blacks and consequently provided whites with cheap labor. The prisoners would be rented by private industries for the length of their sentence; this was a way to justify a form of slavery. The conditions of convict leasing were worse then slavery because a slave was an investment, for example a slave owner would not injure a slave so they could not work. A slave owner wanted their slaves to work because they had invested a great amount of money on them. On the other hand, convict leasing was extremely cheap and if someone was beaten so bad they could not work, they would simply be replaced by another convict. The convict would be sent to a cold mine, which the conditions were to stand in water, drink from that same water, see no day light, be mentally abused, and be physically abused. Convict leasing was a brutal system that allow whites to keep blacks as their

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