The Effects Of Reconstruction And Andrew Johnson's Voices Of Freedom

1217 Words 5 Pages
The Effects of Reconstruction
After reading Voices of Freedom, the chapter that really resonated with me was “‘What is Freedom?’”: Reconstruction” In this chapter, the overall theme or topic is the period of time in history when Reconstruction was taking place. Reconstruction can be defined as “something that is being rebuilt after being damaged or destroyed.” After the Civil War finally came to an end in 1865, that “something” that needed rebuilding was our country, as well as the rights of the country 's people. A common question asked about reconstruction was how it affected African Americans. I believe that issues such as the black codes, sharecropping, and the overall system of slavery greatly affected blacks and their growth in society.
…show more content…
Although the 14th amendment guaranteed equality for African American’s and the 15th gave African American men the right to vote, Johnson believed there was a way around this. He established new governments throughout the South, and one of the first laws these governments passed were the Black Codes. The Black Codes were laws that tried to limit the freedom of African American lives. A few examples of these were the fact that freedman did not have the right to vote, and could not partake in interracial marriage. Black’s felt that this was the time they finally could be free to have full independence and freedom in their lives. So, when these laws were established, it really devastated and put a halt to the development of their race. This was a major setback of civil rights, and affected the majority of African Americans in this time. The black codes signify the oppression of blacks that would go on for the next hundred …show more content…
Black men and women believed that it was finally time to have the rights and privileges that were awarded to others. For example, in the document, “Petition of Black Residents of Nashville”, Foner shares a petition written to the delegates of the state by a group of freed black men residing in Nashville. This petition was a plea for immediate freedom of blacks, abolishment of slavery, and the right for men to vote. Throughout this document, the freedmen explain that blacks have been deprived of the natural right of freedom that all men and women should be granted, and that it is time for that to be changed. They state how loyal they are and will continue to be to the Union and that they believe that they will model prime citizenship, if only given the chance to. One statement utters, “We claim freedom, as our natural right, and ask that in harmony and co-operation with the nation at large, you should cut up by the roots the system of slavery.” (Col. R. D. Mussey to Capt. C. P. Brown, Petition of Nashville, Pg. 1) As Foner states, this petition “offers a revealing snapshot of black consciousness at the dawn of Reconstruction.” (Foner, Voices of Freedom, Pg. 1) What he means by this is that blacks had finally taken the next step to truly understand the injustice that they were being served, voice their opinions about this injustice,

Related Documents