Essay about How Reconstruction Failed to Bring Equality to Freed Blacks

1366 Words Nov 19th, 2012 6 Pages
How Reconstruction Failed to Bring Equality to Freed Blacks

After the Civil War, the government had changed from a republican rule to a democratic rule that had hatred towards the South because of conflicts that had arisen during the Civil War. The Northern Republicans wanted to punish the South by forming laws that terminated slavery and granted freed blacks the right to vote, the right to own land, the right to due process, and outlawed discrimination based on race; all were attempts to try and end slavery by reconstructing the justice and social and economic equality among freed blacks. In theory, the thought of reconstruction was practical and could end slavery however, a thought is never the same when put into physical use
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This shows that even though there are laws to prevent discrimination, they could not be enforced because the Ku Klux Klan uses scare tactics to prevent the law from being enforced. Another instance that goes against reconstruction is in document E, “Nurses- No person or corporation shall require any white female nurse to nurse in wards or rooms in hospitals, either public or private, in which Negro men are placed.” The “Jim Crow” laws are in clear violation of the fourteenth amendment because they segregate and make whites superior to blacks. Moreover, Frederick Douglass addressed the Post- Reconstruction Economic Settlement in 1883 and says, “No more crafty and effective device for defrauding the southern laborers could be adopted than the one that substitutes orders upon shopkeepers for currency in payment of wages. It has the merit of a show of honesty, while it puts the laborer completely at the mercy of the landowner and the shopkeeper… It gives the shopkeeper customer who can trade with no other storekeeper, and thus leaves he latter no motive for fair dealing except hod own moral sense, which is never too strong…” (Document G). Douglass is saying that sharecropping is a terrible way to do business because the shopkeepers can lie about purchases in their tab book and con blacks out of cheap labor. Another reason reconstruction didn’t work is because of the Plessy versus Ferguson case,

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