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The Success and Failures of Reconstruction Essay Sample

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The Success and Failures of Reconstruction Essay Sample

1: In what ways was Reconstruction a success and in what ways a failure?

The reconstruction was successful in abolishing slavery and giving them the rights to protect them for instance the right to vote, speak, own property, make contracts, and have access to courts as parties and witnesses. Also there was the freedmen’s bureau which helped the ones in need from being homeless and completely poor. This bill gave the bureau added responsibilities of supervising special courts to resolve disputes involving freed people and establishing school. The bureau provided emergency food, clothing and medical to war refugees.

Furthermore in 1870 the Fifth Amendment was passed which forbids any state to deny the right to vote on grounds of race, color, or conditions of servitude. Finally, the compromise 1877, President Hayes supporters agreed to withdraw federal troops from the south, help rebuild southern railroads, and not oppose the new democratic state government by doing so southern democrats pledged to respect African Americans rights.

Yes, the reconstruction opened doors for African Americans yet it had some failures specifically the Ku Klux Klan democratic men who terrorized African Americans at night. These men didn’t want change they could not accept African American having equal rights and they demonstrated that by threatening, beating, and executing the blacks. In the 1870’s the Ku Klux Klan’s violence and intimidation prevented 60,000 or more black and white republicans from voting.

Poverty was an issue in the south. White southerners were losing their land and had no economic opportunities and African Americans had little job offerings. Also there was the corruption, government stealing a percentage of the taxes and pocketing it which wasn’t limited to southern republics but many democrats and white business leaders. Moreover the economic issues were another sever problem. Although the government was expanding industrial development it tempted corruption by providing loans, subsidies, and temporary exemptions from taxes to aid railroad corporations, by doing so it left the state government in debt knowing that taxes had roused four times the rate.

Black codes another failure. Black codes were used in the beginning of the reconstruction which is restrictions on how a freed slave should live. The code legalized marriage from slavery and allowed them to hold and sell property, to sue and be sued in state courts but the intent was to keep African Americans as property less agricultural laborers with inferior legal rights. African Americans could not serve on juries, testify against whites, or work as they pleased.

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