Who Killed Reconstruction

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Reconstruction has been brutally murdered! For a little over a decade after the Civil War, the victorious North launched a campaign of social, economic, and political recovery in South. Martial law was also implemented in the South. Eventually, the North hoped to admit the territory in the former Confederacy back into the United States as states. The 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments freed the African Americans, made them citizens, and gave them the right to vote. Despite this, Reconstruction was unfortunately cut short in 1877. The North killed Recosntruction because of racism, negligence, and distractions. One reason the North killed Reconstruction was because they were racist. Freedmen politicians were portrayed as corrupt “fat cats” and caused nothing but chaos and bedlam in the legislatures they served in (Harper’s Weekly, 1874). This showed that the North thought negatively about African Americans. Also, the Boston Evening Transcript stated that, “blacks need a [period of probation and instruction; a period…long enough for the black to have forgotten something about his condition as a slave and learned much of the true method of gaining honorable subsistence and of performing the duties of any position to which he might aspire,” (Richardson, 2001). This quote proved that the North was not ready to fully embrace African Americans as equals, and that there was still some racism that existed among Northerners. So, if the North was not racist, the North may have been more positive Reconstruction, and, in turn, spend more time working on Reconstruction. The North’s negligence also contributed to the end of Reconstruction. The North had failed to notice the many racially motivated atrocities that occurred in the South durin... ... middle of paper ... ... states that, “in the 1870s, northern voters grew indifferent to the events in the South,” (Danzer, 1998). This proved that the North was clearly distracted and began to guide their focus away from Reconstruction, which happened in the South, to their own problems in the North. If the North had not been so preoccupied, they may have been able to focus on Reconstruction and perhaps extend the length of Reconstruction. In conclusion, the evidence from the documents prove that the North was racist, negligent, and distracted, thus proving them guilty of killing Reconstruction. Therefore, if the North had not been racist, negligent, or distracted, the North would have been more enthusiastic about Reconstruction, been able to properly execute Reconstruction, and the North would have been able to focus on Reconstruction more. That is why the North killed Reconstruction.

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