Post-Civil War Analysis

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This chapter describes the condition of post-Civil War America, starting with the confusion in the South and the immediate plight of blacks who attempted to exercise freedom. Countless blacks, under the impression that they were free and equal to their white compatriots, attempted to start their own lives. Instead of freedom, many blacks were hunted down and killed on charges of unlawful escape. However, a great deal of blacks, empowered by the union army and years of pent up aggression, seized the opportunity for freedom with desperate hands. Once sure of their new status, freedmen began searching for any separated family members and started new lives for themselves as independently as possible. Legion of freedmen, referred to as “Exodusters,” …show more content…
Some made a good impact while others were mistreated by their white counterparts. Regardless, progress was made, and with this progress arose new opposition. Enraged by the blacks new “audacity”, whites started turning to radical and violent means of revenge. The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and its sheet covered horsemen began their reign of terror over blacks and their sympathetic white supports in 1866 and continue to do so to this day. Using fear tactics and gory methods, the KKK would scare and kill whoever they thought had it coming. Eventually, the government made a feeble attempt to get rid of the KKK but this crusade ultimately failed and the KKK continued on using the disguise of being rifle clubs, missionary societies, or dancing clubs. Back in congress, the radical republicans began a scheme to impeach President Johnson. After passing a somewhat bogus law in 1867, that then Johnson disobeyed, the radicals tried to impeach him on the grounds of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Quite a spectacle was made of the trial, and many tickets were sold to see the proceedings on May 16th of 1868. In the end though, the impeachment trial failed and although some feathers were ruffled, peace and order

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