The Impact Of The Reconstruction Movement

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The United States of America has endured many social, economical and political changes through its time as a global nation. Many leaders have risen and fallen, while trying to change the future of America in their own radical and revolutionary way. When the Reconstruction movement began in 1865, a broken America was recovering from the effects of a costly war. The Reconstruction movement was simply a rebuilding of the nation to recover, renew and alter the social, economical and political systems from the previously existing system. The success of the Reconstruction movement to change and alter the fabric of American society is heavily debated due to its ability to take a step in the proper direction, but not go far enough. Ultimately, during…show more content…
In 1865, an Act to Establish a Bureau for the Relief of Freedmen and Refugees was created to help maintain the affairs of recently freed people and refugees who were very vulnerable in the ruins of the war (Document B). However, while the Freedman’s Bureau may seem positive, the act gave “control of all subjects relating to refugees and freedman…”. The Freedman’s Bureau gained control over recently freed people and had the ability to help or hurt these former slaves. In addition to full control, the Bureau strengthened the government’s control over the society by giving the President the role to approve any rules or regulations made by the Bureau. Also, in a meeting of Congress, Thaddeus Stevens advocated for the freed people who supported the Union in the war by fighting for the remuneration of the loyal members of the nation (Document H). While Thaddeus Stevens was in support of providing for the recently freed people, it was “wholly ignored by a treacherous Executive and by a sluggish Congress” possibly because of the white supremacy in the government. Many Congress members, especially from the South, did not believe that the recently freed slaves and free Negroes should have the same abilities as white citizens. Finally, when Frederick Douglass summed up the failure of Reconstruction in 1880, he stated that “the freedman was powerless. He had nothing left him but a slavery distorted and diseased, and lave and twisted limbs with which to fight a battle of life,” (Document M). Douglass’s explanation and description of the average freed Negro is gruesome and unsettling, however Reconstruction poor protection and care of the freed people led to this occurrence. As the freedman lost his value and power in the society, his condition and lifestyle began to deteriorate leading to the misery of the freed people. Reconstruction created an
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