Who do you think killed Reconstruction? The South or the North? This is a very controversial topic since both the North and the South’s actions impacted the progression of Reconstruction. The Reconstruction Act took place after the Civil War. It was the rebuilding of the United States after what was left of the Civil War. Reconstruction was a time in America consisting of many leaders, goals and accomplishments. Though, like most things in life, it came to an end, the result was both a success and a failure. The South killed Reconstruction. They weren’t interested in equal rights and they showed much violence towards the North and African-Americans.
“... the slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery.” W.E.B. Dubois explains this in his essay North or South: Who Killed Reconstruction? Reconstruction occurred in the eleven states that seceded from the Union. Reconstruction began in 1865 to help bring the eleven states that left the Union this ended in 1877. How exactly did the North or the South make Reconstruction end? Reconstruction occurred in the 12 years after the civil war and was to help bring back the eleven states that seceded from the Union. Both Southern resistance and Northern neglect contributed to the death of Reconstruction. However, Southern resistance was the greater problem.
The Civil War marked a defining moment in United States history. Long simmering sectional tensions reached critical when eleven slaveholding states seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. Political disagreement gave way to war as the Confederates insisted they had the right to leave the Union, while the loyal states refused to allow them to go. Four years of fighting claimed almost 1.5 million casualties, resulting in a Union victory. Even though the North won the war, they did a horrible job in trying to win the peace, or in other words, the Reconstruction era. Rather than eliminating slavery in the South, the Southerners had a new form of slavery, which was run by a new set of codes called "Black Codes”. With the help of President Johnson, the South continued their plantations, in essence becoming exactly what they were before the war. Overall, the South won Reconstruction because in the end they got slavery (without the name), they got an easy pass back into the Union, and things reverted back to the way they had been prior the war.
Despite all the efforts to help the freedmen in the United States, even after Reconstruction, freedmen ended up being inferior to white men in the South. This period was definitely a time of revolution in the United States. Racism and hostility directed at freedmen from Southern whites lived on in the United States for decades onward. Laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 marginally helped and discriminated continued to exist. The racism that brewed in the South made this period certainly revolutionary which in part transformed the course of our history and kept slavery’s legacy alive.
Amendments were passed that banned confederate officials from state or federal office unless approved by two-thirds of Congress. After ten southern state governments were declared illegal, the south was divided into five districts, all ran by the US military. The South despised this reconstruction and did everything in their power, and then some, to restore white power in the south. First, they formed the Ku Klux Klan as a social group for confederate veterans. It quickly took a turn for the worst and became an anti-black anti-Radical group whose goal was to regain white power. Most of what the group did was secret, so it was called the “invisible empire of the South.” The men in the klan dressed in white robes and cone shaped hats to represent fallen confederate. They used violence to get what they wanted. A popular sign that the klan used to show their next target was burning a cross on someone’s front yard. The klan burnt homes, lynched blacks accused of crimes, and did whatever they could to achieve their goal which was “a white man’s government by white men for the benefit of white men.” Even after the election of 1876 in which Rutherford B. Hayes ended reconstruction, the South was still trying to gain more power. They discouraged blacks from voting by forcing them to take literacy tests, which they would not pass, or putting a tax on voting, called a poll tax, which they could not pay. Also popular, was the grandfather clause, stating that if one’s grandfather could vote, then so could they and vice versa. The southern people of that time would never be okay with not having all the power they could possibly
The South was utterly devastated by the end of the Civil War. Hundreds of thousands of fathers, brothers, and sons were dead by 1865. The southern economy was absent due to the outlawing of slave labor; and there was little to no political structure to keep people in order and lead the communities. The South was completely unable to function as a normal society should be able to. In an attempt to make the south able to function, The North adopted a policy of reconstruction. It established a military occupation of the South and attempted to improve the economy and political system to make it a contributing and functioning region of the United States. As a result, between 1860 and 1877, the United States, most notably the South, went through a process of mixed revolution and continuation of old ideals. During the period, constitutional amendments led to a radical revolution in the rights afforded to blacks; however, racist organizations in the South perpetuated the discrimination of blacks in society and politics. Additionally, government aid was not very successful and did little to counteract social inequality.
By helping former slaves reconstruction gets better because they are tied together. When Northern Neglect got tired of helping blacks they stopped helping reconstruction grow too. The people in the North grew tired of the “Negro question.” (DocC). Public opinions in the North were changing about how they felt about reconstruction and former slaves (Doc C). One former slave was a legislature who was threatened by the KKK and the North did nothing about it (Doc B). The Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes from the North took soldiers out of the south almost granting the government a all white government. People believed that former slaves were slaves so long that they didn’t know the method of a normal person (Doc D). They said “Blacks need a period of probation and instruction.” Ignoring the African-Americans of their rights made the rebuilding of the nation fail. Rutherford Hayes ended the failing effort the North
The end of the civil war was supposed to usher a new era of racial equality, it didn’t. As the positive reform started taking shape, the southern elite, hungry for power and desperate as a result of losing every slave they owned, met with the capitalist elite in the north and struck a deal or two. The deals exchanged black civil rights for the the natural resources in the southern states. So the reform halted abruptly as new laws were repealed.
“... the slave went free; stood a brief moment in the sun; then moved back again toward slavery,” W.E.B Dubois stated. (Background Essay) After the Civil War, a period, known as Reconstruction, took place and was a time of returning the Confederate States back to the U.S. During this, freed slaves, known as Freedmen, were becoming viewed more as citizens, received education, the right to vote, and even had government duties. (Background Essay) For a while, the slaves seemed to be proceeding on the path of a prosperous future. However, Reconstruction only survived from 1865 to 1877. Who’s hand did the fault of the deceased renewal of society rest in? Although the North and South both played roles in the ending of Reconstruction, I believe that the North receives the most blame.
Prior to the Civil War, attempts made by Congress to compromise and relieve tensions such as the Compromise of 1850 helped address the issue of slavery in newly acquired lands by America during the Spanish-American War. Sadly though, this compromise was accompanied by the Fugitive Slave Law, which forced escaped slaves to return back to their owners in the South. This definitely caused a rift in the sectional tensions between the South and North, especially because the Fugitive Slave Law was never really enforced. Government was trying its best to address slavery, but it surely didn’t fix anything. Abolitionists living in the North made strong efforts to end slavery. During the Civil War, Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation helped free slaves in the states who were rebelling against the Union. Which, ultimately helped shift the objective of the Civil War to freeing slaves. The hatred of slaves grew even greater following Lincoln’s decision, but this didn’t matter in the end. In the South, the significance of cotton gin and tobacco forced southerners to rely on the peculiar institution of slavery. Slavery was so embedded into southern society that it almost seemed impossible for Americans to change it. Looking forward into 1877, with the help of the Emancipation Proclamation and the introduction of the 13th through 15th Amendments finally helped African Americans gain the rights they truly deserved. Although many may have objected to these acts of Congress, the majority of Americans began to truly accept blacks into society. Lastly, the Civil Rights Act was one of the last acts of Congress that truly helped define the rights of African Americans, for it laid out the foundation of accepting the fact that America would forever be a segregated and free nation by promoting good treatment of blacks. All of these examples provide strong evidence as to the difficult times African Americans
... and slavery left millions of newly freed African Americans in the South without an education, a home, or a job. Before reconstruction was put in place, African Americans in the South were left roaming helplessly and hopelessly. During the reconstruction period, the African Americans’ situation did not get much better. Although helped by the government, African Americans were faced with a new problem. African Americans in the South were now being terrorized and violently discriminated by nativist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. Such groups formed in backlash to Reconstruction and canceled out all the positive factors of Reconstruction. At last, after the Compromise of 1877, the military was taken out of the South and all of the Reconstruction’s efforts were basically for nothing. African Americans in the South were back to the conditions they started with.
Congress did try to help resolve issues by passing new amendments and giving African Americans more political, social, and economic freedom. However, these new freedoms were negated by groups such as the KKK and laws like the “Black Codes”. Despite being given legal rights, many African Americans in the south saw no improvement from slavery. Jobs were hard and hard to find, they were still treated terribly, and many beatings and killings still occurred. Even though the new amendments established would not benefit much during the Reconstruction era, many African Americans began to participate in politics and use their freedom later. I believe that the Reconstruction era had more failures than success and that the determined efforts of many white southern supremacists had undone any political or social gains. Although, this era would represent a hope for change that would never be forgotten, for many African
By the end of the American Civil War in 1865, Blacks had gained their freedom from southern plantation owners and farmers. The south was angered by
As the Civil War (1861-1865) was coming to an end, President Lincoln started planning for economic, social, and political rehabilitation of South. This struggle to rebuild the South is referred to as Reconstruction which lasted from 1865 to 1876, and the main goals of Reconstruction were readmission of South in the Union, equal rights for Blacks, and “denial of of the political rights for whites who were the leaders of secession period.” A vital part of this era was the struggles and movements of free and enslaved Blacks to claim their freedom and rights. It is a very controversial era in American history, and is widely viewed as a period of inefficient government and corruption. Reconstruction was arguably a failure because these goals were
After the Civil War, the United States of America was a mess. They were no longer the “united states”. Andrew Johnson came up with the policy of Reconstruction, a plan to reconstruct the country. Reconstruction set up conditions for confederate states to rejoin the Union but failed to include rights for blacks. Eventually Congress gained control of Reconstruction and placed Radical Republicans in the house. Radical Republicans gave more rights to blacks. Despite blacks being given these rights, state governments still tried to prevent them from being put into action. The north was more lenient towards blacks but both the north and the south were still very racist towards blacks.