During and succeeding the Era of Reconstruction, African American lives were reformed in very substantial ways. Most African Americans thought of Reconstruction as an opportunity to improve the lives of their entire race. They thought it would help them bring equality to their people. However, Reconstruction showed many African Americans how difficult it was to survive independently. Once they left their plantations, they had nowhere to live. African Americans living in the south struggled to find food and shelter. To make matters much worse, Southern Whites were beginning to fight to retain southern white supremacy. “Reconstruction did not provide African Americans with either the legal protections or the material resources to ensure anything …show more content…
Tragically, however, very few of these goals were achieved. It seems as if every time the African Americans manage to move one step closer to reaching true equality among the Southern whites, whether it be in a social, political, or economic fashion, the whites always react by committing violent acts against them. Initially, the Southern whites (in fear of black supremacy in Southern politics) fought to preserve the white supremacy Southern politics had always functioned by. This “ushered most African Americans to the margins of the southern political world” (Brinkley, 369). Secondly, African Americans struggled to survive once they were set free; they had nowhere to live and nothing to eat. Because of such reasons, most former slaves decided to remain living on their plantations as tenants, paying their tenancy by working the crop fields. Sadly, even this failed for the African Americans due to the birth of the crop-lien system. Lastly, the Southern whites counteracted the effects of the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments by establishing the Jim Crow laws, which aided them with upholding, if not increasing, the steady level of segregation in the South. Ultimately, out of the very few accomplishments made by the African American population during and following the Era of Reconstruction, there existed one achievement significant enough to change the course of American history: the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments. As a result of these amendments, “would one day serve as the basis for a “Second Reconstruction” that would renew the drive to bring freedom to all Americans” (Brinkley,
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The seed sown by the wealthy Southern plantation owner of racial disparity had germinated to later become the profoundly discriminatory society. The suppression and unjust behavior of white southern plantation owner towards black slaves had led the civil war, which transition the new era of uncertainty. The work of post-civil war does not end with the abolishment of slavery, but it only starts. The task of rebuilding the south, readmission of the confederate army to union, and providing assistance for the free people of post war, was later known as reconstruction. The work of reconstruction had not only failed to rebuild the nation as the united. But it also failed profoundly of what was the urgent needs of the post war; provide assistance
Since the beginning of slavery in the America, Africans have been deemed inferior to the whites whom exploited the Atlantic slave trade. Africans were exported and shipped in droves to the Americas for the sole purpose of enriching the lives of other races with slave labor. These Africans were sold like livestock and forced into a life of servitude once they became the “property” of others. As the United States expanded westward, the desire to cultivate new land increased the need for more slaves. The treatment of slaves was dependent upon the region because different crops required differing needs for cultivation. Slaves in the Cotton South, concluded traveler Frederick Law Olmsted, worked “much harder and more unremittingly” than those in the tobacco regions.1 Since the birth of America and throughout its expansion, African Americans have been fighting an uphill battle to achieve freedom and some semblance of equality. While African Americans were confronted with their inferior status during the domestic slave trade, when performing their tasks, and even after they were set free, they still made great strides in their quest for equality during the nineteenth century.
The Reconstruction was undoubtedly a failure . The political and social aim of Reconstruction was to form national unity as well as create civil rights and equality for African Americans. Even though Reconstruction laid the foundation for equal rights in the United States, it did not achieve its primary goals. In the time of Reconstruction, many African Americans still felt the effects of oppression and many were still trapped in an undesirable social and economic class. The Reconstruction was an overall fail despite the fact that it was the shaky groundwork for a fight for equality in the years to come.
Following what was arguably the most turbulent time in American history; Reconstruction had far-reaching effects on a number of areas of life in the United States. In the Deep South, one of the clearest impacts could be seen on racial relations, specifically between whites and newly-freed African Americans. Legally, dramatic changes had been made at the federal level, providing African Americans with a host of rights that had never been offered them before. It was no wonder, then, that former slave owners in the South rejected these changes and rights, taking whatever steps necessary to keep African Americans down. The dramatic changes that took place in terms of race relations between African Americans and whites following Reconstruction had a far-reaching impact on society, with the shockwaves of these changes being felt nearly a century into the future.
The conclusion of the Civil War in favor of the north was supposed to mean an end to slavery and equal rights for the former slaves. Although laws and amendments were passed to uphold this assumption, the United States Government fell short. The thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments were proposed and passed within five years of the Civil War’s conclusion. These amendments were to create equality throughout the United States, especially in the south where slavery had been most abundant. Making equality a realization would not be an easy task. This is because many problems were not perceived before and during the war. The reunification of the country would prove to be harder than expected, and entry into a new lifestyle would be difficult for both the freedmen and their former oppressors. The thirteenth amendment clearly prohibits slavery in the United States. All slaves were to be freed immediately when this amendment was declared ratified in December of 1865, but what were they to do? Generations of African-Americans had been enslaved in America, and those who had lived their whole lives in slavery had little knowledge of the outside world. This lack of knowledge would not be helpful in trying to find work once they were released. Plantation owners with a lack of workforce were eager to offer extremely low pay to their former slaves. In addition, the work force of the plantation would often live in the same quarters they did while enslaved. These living condition...
After the abolishment of slavery at the conclusion of the Civil War in April of 1865, the United States saw an influx of new laws and policies that were meant to ensure the easy settlement of the freed slave. From earning the right to have full citizenship to gaining the right to vote, the decades after the Civil War proved to be essential for the African American especially for the men. Although there were many obstacles originated from deep rooted racism and classicism, a new legal race still managed to emerge. Yet, in order to fully understand how the African American race went from slave to a successful and free race, one must look at the political and social climate that was occurring after the Civil War. What laws were at the forefront
Sharecropping and the Jim Crow laws reflected the power and ownership the whites held over the black people. The short falls of respect between the societies forced change. Black American’s in the south were striking at the core of white supremacy. Majority of the fight came from sharecroppers, factory workers, and laborers. They all played an important role in challenging racial oppression. The struggle during the slavery period and Jim Crow era were essential to making America as it is today. Through struggle and fighting Americans have come together against the odds. The freeman liberties gave the black people false hope initially, but with sheer determination, they were able to fight for the rights, which they deserved. The fight did not only help the black Americans it also helped the poor white Americans.
As an unabridged version of his other book, Eric Foner sets out to accomplish four main goals in A Short History of Reconstruction. These points enable the author to provide a smaller, but not neglectful, account of the United States during Reconstruction. By exploring the essence of the black experience, examining the ways in which Southern society evolved, the development of racial attitudes and race relations, and the complexities of race and class in the postwar South, as well as the emergence during the Civil War and Reconstruction of a national state possessing vastly expanded authority and a new set of purposes, Foner creates a narrative that encompasses some of the major issues during Reconstruction. Additionally, the author provides
Following the Civil War, the U.S. was in a period of reconstruction. From 1865-1900 many promises were made on the social and political changes that would impact the lives of African-Americans, such as new amendments and the Freedmen's Bureau, however, though there were many successes, practices like black codes, poll taxes, and the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson all ultimately showed that the reconstruction era was a failure. This caused African-Americans to be stuck in a limbo of searching for fair and equal treatment that they would not receive for decades to come.
Despite all of Reconstruction’s promises and successes, the era included many failures, too. One such failure was the formation of the Ku Klux Klan and other racially prejudiced groups in the South that promoted violence towards African Americans. Another failure involved the corruption seen during Reconstruction by both the North and South. The carpetbaggers who were Northerners helped spread corruption in the Reconstruction Era by moving from their home state in the North securing a political office or position in the South to carry out the plans of the Radical Republicans. In the South, many local governments disenfranchised or created poll taxes for African American voters enabling them to vote.
To begin with, the conditions African Americans in the South experienced, before Reconstruction was ever conjured up, were difficult, inequitable and nearly impossible. Reconstruction began months after the thirteenth amendment was passed, so freedmen were left without the protection or guidance of the government for a short interval. Adapting to a whole new system was hard enough for African Americans...
African Americans have a history of struggles because of racism and prejudices. Ever since the end of the Civil War, they struggled to benefit from their full rights that the Constitution promised. The fourteenth Amendment, which defined national citizenship, was passed in 1866. Even though African Americans were promised citizenship, they were still treated as if they were unequal. The South had an extremely difficult time accepting African Americans as equals, and did anything they could to prevent the desegregation of all races. During the Reconstruction Era, there were plans to end segregation; however, past prejudices and personal beliefs elongated the process.
After the Civil War ended in 1865, it was followed by an era known as Reconstruction that lasted until 1877, with the goal to rebuild the nation. Lincoln was the president at the beginning of this era, until his assassination caused his vice president, Andrew Johnson to take his place in 1865. Johnson was faced with numerous issues such as the reunification of the union and the unknown status of the ex-slaves, while compromising between the principles of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. After the Election of 1868, Ulysses S. Grant, a former war hero with no political experience, became the nation’s new president, but was involved in numerous acts of corruption. Reconstruction successfully reintegrated the southern states into the Union through Lincoln and Johnson’s Reconstruction Plans, but was mostly a failure due to the continued discriminatory policies against African Americans, such as the Black Codes, Jim Crow laws, and sharecropping, as well as the widespread corruption of the elite in the North and the Panic of 1873,
It is common knowledge that the American Civil War provided freedom and certain civil rights, including to right to vote, to the African-American population of the nineteenth-century. What is not generally known, and only very rarely acknowledged, is that after freeing the slaves held in the Southeastern portion of the U.S., the federal government abandoned these same African-Americans at the end of the Reconstruction period.2