African Americans During Reconstruction

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Jenny Phan Mr. Clark U.S. History, Period 5 25 May 2018 Title Imagine being a black, Republican voter during Reconstruction, always fearing the arrival of the infamous Ku Klux Klan members that will kill and torture you because of your race. This was what many, especially those who supported Republicans and freedmen, feared at that time, where it was a very real possibility in the South. After the Civil War ended in 1865, Reconstruction, a period after the Civil War when the federal government ruled the southern states in order to rebuild them and establish rights for freedmen in the South, began. During that time, the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery, along with the Fourteenth Amendment, which gave black Americans citizenship and …show more content…

Early in 1867, the Military Reconstruction Act was passed by Congress; it divided the South into five military districts, each governed by a general who backed by federal troops, to protect African-Americans and their new rights. Towards the end of Reconstruction, the Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, making it illegal for states to deny anyone the right to vote because of the person’s color, race, or previous condition of servitude. By the time Reconstruction ended in 1877, all-white governments rose to power again, and they began reversing the gains that African Americans had made. Education and the right to vote in the South became luxuries that only white southerners could afford and Jim Crow laws quickly re-established segregation. Although the South did violently contribute to the end of Reconstruction, ultimately it was the North that killed it because they eventually became less invested in the South and started focusing on their own political affairs along with …show more content…

Although the North did not think African-Americans deserved to be enslaved, they thought that “the blacks, as a people… [were] unfitted for the proper exercise of political duties” (Document D, 1873). This shows that northerners did not believe that freedmen were fit to run a government because for them, African-Americans would need time to be educated on how the system works due to the fact that blacks were only recently freed from slavery; thus they did not support freedmen in their quest to earn positions in the federal along with state governments. Document D also shows us an image that was published in Harper’s Weekly, which exemplifies what a Northern illustrator imagined Southern State Legislatures to be like. Two black men are drawn arguing barbarically and slightly resembling gorillas. The classy, white men in the image looks tired as he just wanted to work in peace. This insinuates that northerners played a huge role in killing Reconstruction because not all of them supported black

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