If they were unable to pay their contracts they would incur harsh penalties. These codes also did not permit any blacks to participate in a Jury or even have a vote. Eventually, these codes were repealed but these blacks were still chained to their contracts and surrounded by poverty. At some point, people wondered if the spilled blood of blacks and union soldiers was done in vain; pretty soon they would get their answer. In 1869, after a great struggle black men had the right to vote and by 1871 eligible blacks were able to organize politically and began holding major offices in government.
Andrew Johnson, who became President of the U.S. in 1865, had his own Reconstruction plan, but it turned out to be unsuccessful largely because of the unfair ways in which blacks were treated. According to his plan, pardons would be offered to all southern whites except wealthy Confederate supporters and the main Confederate leaders. Conventions were to be held by the defeated southern states and new state governments were to be formed. These new governments had to make a vow of loyalty to the nation and abolish slavery in order to rejoin the Union. However, this plan did not offer the blacks a role in this process; he left the responsibility of determining the black people’s roles to the southern states.
Following Grant’s unenthusiastic approach to protecting blacks in the South, the executive branch gradually made its position on the issue clear in 1876. (Zinn, 199) When Hayes beat Tilden in the presidential election by promising to end the Reconstruction in the South, it was evident that the White House would no longer support any calls for the protection of blacks. The compromise of 1877 brought Hayes to office, but “doomed the black man to a second class citizenship that was to be his lot for nearly a century afterward,'; (Davis, 160). The Radical Republican’s in Congress, who were responsible for freeing the blacks, were also responsible for letting their voices become silenced. This occurred as the other, more industrial, interests of the broad based party dominated their platform; leaving the blacks to face the wrath of the Southerners.
Many of the southern states in 1865 under presidential reconstruction adopted what was known as black codes. These codes restricted blacks from any participation in the rights of citizenship. Blacks were confined to an inferior position, they were not legally slaves anymore, but they had no rights of citizenship. When congress reconvened in December of 1865, they refused to accept the delegations from southern states. The radical republicans in congress designed a serious of acts known as the reconstruction acts to implement their program in the south.
Analysis of Black Reconstruction Prior to the Civil War and Reconstruction, the main goal of the African American population was to be granted freedom. African Americans had been enslaved since 1619 in America, when the first slaves were sold on the auction block. However, their concepts of freedom were extremely romanticized and highly unrealistic as a direct result of the atrocities they witnessed and endured in the institution of slavery. They visualized the abolition of slavery to be comparable with the coming of Jesus Christ. Yet when politics made that day become reality on January 1, 1863, the newly freed men and women were utterly disappointed and in disarray.
The explanation for the United States pulling away was for many reasons. Reconstruction had failed and consequently black equality went with the reconstruction. To start the new president Hayes did not agree with what was going on for reconstruction and took all the military out of the south (David Shi 537). After pulling out the troops the Republican organization fell. Many attempts of reconstruction were done and the energy to give African-Americans freedom was being pushed away by the south.
Reconstruction was not a success because it resulted in the implementation of the Black Codes, the formation of the Klu Klux Klan, and the failure of the Freedmen's Bureau. The Civil War left the South destroyed and , as a reunited country, the government was tasked with developing a strategy for reconnecting the North and South and rebuilding the land destroyed by the battles. President Abraham Lincoln presented a method for reconstruction, but upon his death, the idea was abandoned. Lincoln's vice president, Andrew Johnson presented another theory that was also dismissed. To begin work on reconstruction in 1865, the Freedmen's Bureau was formed as a welfare agency that educated free blacks and promised to give all former slaves forty acres of ex-Confederate land.
The intent was to issue forty acres of land for the use of freed slaves. Several colonies were established to create an opportunity for freed slaves to work together to create their own farms. The initial effort to divide and redistribute plantations into small parcel farms hit a major roadblock with President Andrew Johnson’s Amnesty Proclamation of May 29, 1865. Lands that had been confiscated by Union forces were returned to Confederate supporters and soldiers that took an oath of allegiance to the Federal Government. There were however, abandoned lands that remained
The klan burnt homes, lynched blacks accused of crimes, and did whatever they could to achieve their goal which was “a white man’s government by white men for the benefit of white men.” Even after the election of 1876 in which Rutherford B. Hayes ended reconstruction, the South was still trying to gain more power. They discouraged blacks from voting by forcing them to take literacy tests, which they would not pass, or putting a tax on voting, called a poll tax, which they could not pay. Also popular, was the grandfather clause, stating that if one’s grandfather could vote, then so could they and vice versa. The southern people of that time would never be okay with not having all the power they could possibly
Some whites stated that they would run at the first sign of danger! The blacks were not allowed to fight until needed. They were offered the same rights as the white soldiers, but discrimination always interfered.Most black soldiers did not receive equal pay and benefits. Even whites who supported the idea of blacks in army were harassed. The Confederacy objected strongly to the North's use of black soldiers because they grew fearful of losing slaves to the Union armies.