Reconstruction Dbq Essay

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After the Civil War, America went through a period of Reconstruction. This was when former Confederate states were readmitted to the Union. Lincoln had a plan that would allow them to come back, but they wouldn’t be able to do it easily. He would make 10% of the population swear an oath of loyalty and establish a government to be recognized. However, he was assassinated in Ford’s Theater and Andrew Johnson became the president; Johnson provided an easy path for Southerners. Congress did their best to ensure equal rights to freedmen, but failed because of groups who were against Reconstruction, white southern Democrats gaining control within the government and the lack of having a plan in place for recently freedmen.
One of the first things that happened was that groups organized to intimidate people into going against Reconstruction. One such group was the Ku Klux Klan who went around anonymously to commit acts of atrocity to those who supported Reconstruction and equal rights for African Americas. Document 2 proves that they were totally against it; it says their purpose was to “establish a nucleus around which “the adherents of the late rebellion might safely rally”.” This just shows that they were not going to accept the reformation of the South and they wanted to find as many supporters as they could. As it is known, they threatened people at polls into voting for the groups that supported their views and that caused the elections to be swayed. Document 4 is another proof of the fact that some people refused to accept Reconstruction. “Let there be White Leagues formed in every town….time to meet brute-force with brute-force….it is time for us to organize.” These groups terrorized the people and made them afraid to show their...

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... not provide anything for them. This would prove to be the sucker punch to their futures and any equal rights they needed.
With the combination of the above mentioned, the freedmen had many basic rights stripped away from them. They couldn’t vote, were killed and preyed upon mercilessly and many other terrible matters. White Southern Democrats took advantage of their over whelming power in Congress and didn’t pass rights to protect the freedmen; groups such as the KKK and White Leagues intimidated and killed freedmen and those who supported them; and Congress didn’t have a plan for the slaves when they freed them. With all of these events together, the freedmen had far from equal rights. They were ‘separate but equal’. With the mixture of these incidents, the consequence was that Congress ultimately failed in their efforts to provide equal rights for freedmen.
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