Reconstruction Vs Progressive Era

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Through the Reconstruction and the Progressive Eras, African Americans were widely discriminated against and oppressed in both the South and the North. During the Reconstruction Era, African Americans were finally granted the constitutional right to be free, slavery and indentured servitude became outlawed, and African American men gained the right to vote. This new freedom, however, came at a price of overt racism and violence. Mainly in the South, African Americans were faced with new laws that made it almost impossible to implement their new freedom in society. The federal government tried to counter these laws but had a difficult time defeating the power of white supremacist groups like the KKK and their influence on mainly poor, white …show more content…
Even though the Progressive Era did not change many policies regarding African American rights, it did significantly unify African Americans in different communities throughout both the North and South. The new uprise of African Americans efforts to change society’s thoughts about them led to political, economic, and social changes in both the North and South, however, their position in society did not vary greatly. From the Reconstruction Era to the Progressive Era, the political positions of African Americans did not advance significantly. In the Reconstruction Era, African American men were granted the right to vote. The fifteenth amendment gave “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” (Document A: The Reconstruction Amendments). However, documents like the Black codes inhibited African Americans from using their new rights and moving North to escape overt racism forced on them by …show more content…
Booker T. Washington was a major force in the fight for economic equality for African Americans, however he had a much different approach than more African Americans did. He stated in a speech at the International Exposition in Atlanta in 1895 that to promote the economy of a New South he believed that African Americans should “work diligently for their own uplift and prosperity rather than preoccupy themselves with political and civil rights. Their success and hard work, he implied, would eventually convince southern whites to grant these rights.” (Openstax pg 619). White southern and northerners liked Washington’s model of race relations because it meant that white people were not responsible for helping African Americans in their fight for economic justice. However, many African American’s did not agree with Washington and believed that there needed to be a more direct approach to economic growth. W. E. B. Du Bois was very outspoken against Washington’s ideas for improvement of the African American community. Du Bois believed that African American’s should fight for equality through political leadership and education instead of catering to what racist whites believed. He believed in the rights of African Americans that included “universal suffrage, compulsory education, and the

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