Reconstruction In The Era Of Reconstruction

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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,

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how african americans' lives were reformed during and succeeding the era of reconstruction. they thought of it as an opportunity to improve the lives of their entire race.
  • Explains that african american men were given the right to vote after the fifteenth amendment, but were not aware of who or what they wanted to change.
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