Political, Economic, and Social Reforms Introduced in the American South between 1865 and 1877 After the Civil War, it became evident that changes in the South had to be made. The old way had certainly not worked, and it was time for variation. Therefore, there was much political, economic, and social reforms introduced in the South between 1864 and 1877. After 1877, many of the changes stayed with the exception of Civil Rights. In 1865, the Freedmen’s Bureau was introduced in Congess. It was formed because the government realized that it could not longer meet the needs of Southerners. It was created to look after freed slaves as well as refugees and abandoned land. Groups of people soon received new rights. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act. It gave black Americans full citizenship and guaranteed them equal treatment. Also, it passed the Fourteenth Amendment to make sure that the Supreme Court couldn’t declare the Civil Rights Act unconstitutional. The amendment made blacks citizens of the United States and the states in which they lived. Also, states were forbidden to deprive blacks of life, liberty, or property without due process. Additionally, blacks could not be discriminated by the law. If a state would deprive blacks of their rights as citizens, it’s number of congressional representatives would be reduced. The Civil Rights Act as well as the Fourteenth Amendment affected both the North and the South. Additionally, the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed blacks the right to vote, but the South found ways to get around this amendment. Reconstruction government made many changes. It strengthened public education and made it available to black children. It strengthened public education and made it available to black children. It also helped the position of women by expanding legal rights for women.
The radical reconstruction tried to bring the south to submission while protecting blacks. This brought forward the 14th amendment which stated that all citizens born or naturalized in the U.S. are citizens of the United States. Then came along the 15th amendment was passed that stated that black m...
...dom and right to vote established by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, blacks were still oppressed by strong black codes and Jim Crow laws. The federal government created strong legislation for blacks to be helped and educated, but it was ineffective due to strong opposition. Although blacks cried out to agencies, such as the Freemen's Bureau, declaring that they were "in a more unpleasant condition than our former" (Document E), their cries were often overshadowed by violence.
After the North won the civil war, it was time to rebuild this nation. This period of reconstruction was supposed to have a profound change on society. Unfortunately this was not the case. Reconstruction did not fundamentally alter this nation. Not to say that nothing happened, but nothing that really made a change or difference happened. First, the control of the south was given right back to the planter elite. Also, even though slavery was abolished; blacks were not free. Finally, Congress and President Johnson could not get along. Although the civil war reshaped this country profoundly. The reconstruction efforts did little but scratch a surface, before being quickly wiped away.
It was 1865, black men were tasting freedom, the confederation was defeated, the south was defeated but the unchained blacks had no real freedom. "A man maybe free and yet not independent," Mississippi planter Sammuel Agnew observed in his diary (Foner 481). This same year General Sherman issued the Special Field Order 15, in attempt to provide land for the ex-slaves. There was 40 acres of land and a mule waiting for the emancipated slaves, this gave hope for an economic development among blacks' communities. The Special Field Order 15 put all the land under federal control acquired by the government during the war to use for the homestead of the blacks. Even thought the offer of land some slave fled ...
In Congress it was obvious that if there were no laws governing the treatment of blacks, especially in the South, the blacks would be in danger of potential conflict and subjected to harm. The passing of the 14th amendment in Congress showed that the country was trying to protect their citizens. However, just because of the new amendment it was not going to be taken seriously by citizens because they did not change their beliefs. The controversy that the blacks faced when they were newly emancipated was very violent because they did not have the respect of the whites and they would not be treated equally. To continue, the first state to create laws governing the issue of free blacks and restricting what they could do in everyday life was Mississippi. They wanted to restrict what they could do...
His stance was on his beliefs in Unionism and states’ rights–– he believed the federal government had no right to determine voting requirements at the state level, so under his reconstruction, he returned land that was confiscated from Union army and given to freed slaves back to prewar owners. His leniency caused southern states to enact a law called “black codes” designed to restrict African American’s activity and make their freedom a labor force. This enraged the North and Congress, which proceeded to them passing the Freedmen’s Bureau and Civil Rights Bill and needing Johnson to put his signature. The last of reconstruction was Radical Reconstruction. In this time, Congress passed the Reconstruction Act of 1867, which divided the South temporarily into five military districts and outlined how male suffrage was to be organized. The law required southern states to ratify the 14th amendment and following this, Congress approved the 15th amendment. Radical Reconstruction as by far the most progressive in allowing African Americans to participate in public life, the South’s first state-funded public school systems, taxation legislation, and laws against racial
The south was in economic and social chaos after its defeat in the war. 1865-1877 was a time period of reconstructing the south, however, it left an everlasting impression that kept the south behind for years to come. The political apprehension the south felt was due to the fact that there was no more authority and the new states had to deal with the northern states. The question was how the newly reelected Lincoln was going to bring these states back to the Union.
Politically and socially blacks were outcasts in the southern states and the southern government officials tried every loophole they could possibly find to oppress them. The Thirteenth Amendment was simply a thorn in the side of southerners until
... 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.
It was a time in American history that one could describe as “one step forward, two steps back”. We won a huge political battle; the abolition of slavery. At the same time, we were faced with the growing labor issues in the North, as industrialization changed the face of labor. The Union won the war on a physical and practical level but failed to change its root cause. It failed to change the attitudes of common southern society. Reconstruction was done while ignoring extremely pervasive southern values and ideals, and that is why I believe that reconstruction was, as I said, an era of “one step forward, two steps back.” The era of Reconstruction was a time in American history where the idea of a government by and for the people was ignored in favor of what the government thought was best for the people, while ignoring what the people were asking for.
Reconstruction was intended to give African-Americans the chance for a new and better life. Many of them stayed with their old masters after being freed, while others left in search of opportunity through education as well as land ownership. However this was not exactly an easy task. There were many things standing in their way, chiefly white supremacists and the laws and restrictions they placed upon African-Americans. Beginning with the 'black codes' established by President Johnson's reconstruction plan, blacks were required to have a curfew as well as carry identification. Labor contracts established under Johnson's Reconstruction even bound the 'freedmen' to their respective plantations. A few years later, another set of laws known as the 'Jim Crow' laws directly undermined the status of blacks by placing unfair restrictions on everything from voting rights all the way to the segregation of water fountains. Besides these restrictions, the blacks had to deal with the Democratic Party whose northern wing even denounced racial equality. As a result of democratic hostility and the Republican Party's support of Black suffrage, freedmen greatly supported the Republican Party.
A year after Abraham Lincoln emancipated the African American slaves, America was working on restoring the country as one. Lincoln set forth a Proclamation of Amnesty and established Freedman’s Bureau to help feed, clothe, and provide supplies for those who were war refugees. It also worked helped formerly enslaved people to find work. Although the Freedman’s Bureau’s efforts aided those who served in the war and the freed slaves, it was not enough. After Lincoln’s assassination, Andrew Johnson began to implement a program that resembled Lincoln’s restoration plans. In March 1866, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and it was the first time Congress overrode a presidential veto. It became the 14th Amendment and declared that all
The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands (or the Freedmen's Bureau) was organized to provide relief and assistance to the former slaves, including health services, educational services, and abandoned land services. Congress passed an act on March 3, 1865 to establish the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. The program was administered by the Department of War and was first headed by General Oliver Otis Howard who was appointed to the position on May 13, 1865 by President Abraham Lincoln.
After the Civil War, the South was in a state of political turmoil, social chaos, and economic decline. Contrary to popular belief, Northerners did not subject Southerners to unethical or inhumane punishment. The time post Civil War was filled with efforts toward reconstructing the South, yet there is the strong question if there even is a New South. Yes, there was somewhat of a New South economically. No, there was not a New South regarding race relations and social hierarchy. In the 1870’s, the South realized the world still looked at them as the ones who wanted slavery. There was a need to project a new image to the world and to stimulate economic development.
African-Americans may sometimes wonder at the contradictory facts about their history presented in many standard history texts. These texts state that blacks were given the right to vote in 1870, yet the same texts will acknowledge that this right did not really exist for African-Americans until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.