Revolution during Reconstruction

analytical Essay
1024 words
1024 words

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. In 1860, blacks were enslaved in the south. By 1877, blacks were legally allowed to vote and have all the rights afforded to any white man. The first major change to blacks’ rights was made by the thirteenth amendment. It abolished slavery in the United States; however it left blacks in a limbo between slaves and citizens. Some government officials, such as Gideon Welles, disagreed with the federal government dealing with civil rights. Contrary to their wishes, the next change came from the fourteenth amendment, which established blacks as full citizens. This was much to the delight of blacks who fought for the Un... ... middle of paper ... ...change for much of the United States. Slavery was abolished by the thirteenth amendment and blacks were afforded full rights by the fourteenth and fifteenth amendments, which was a revolutionary change compared to just a few years before. Although blacks were legally equal citizens, they were not treated as such. Racist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan and White League, oppressed blacks through blatant violence and intimidation. Although blacks were politically equal, they were socially inferior. The Freedmen’s Bureau was not as successful as it could have been and was of little us to most blacks. It only perpetuated the place of blacks in society as working for the white man. Although the constitutional changes to black’s rights were very revolutionary, there was very little revolution in American society with blacks remaining as lesser than any white man.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the south was devastated by the end of the civil war. the north established a military occupation and attempted to improve the economy and political system.
  • Explains that the thirteenth amendment abolished slavery in the united states, but left blacks in a limbo between slaves and citizens.
  • Explains that blacks were oppressed by racist white organizations and laws meant to impede their rights, such as the ku klux klan and southern politicians.
  • Explains that the freedmen's bureau failed because of discrimination in southern society and poor planning by the government.
  • Explains that the time period of 1860 to 1877 was a time of change for much of the united states. although blacks were legally equal citizens, they were not treated as such.
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