Strengths Of Reconstruction

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There were high hopes for the Reconstruction era, after the civil war, in 1865. Throughout the eleven year Reconstruction era, newly freed African Americans had hopes of a better life with radical Republicans on their side. By the end of Reconstruction in 1876, the hope for African American equality had been lost. The goal of Reconstruction was to rebuild the south, reestablish the union, and rebuild southern society without slavery. However due to prejudice in the south and a lack of care from the government, true equality for African Americans failed to happen during this era.
After the civil war ended, nearly four million slaves were freed (Black Codes). Freed African Americans wanted to do what they could not do as slaves. Men wanted to
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O. Howard was part of one of the strengths of reconstruction, the Freedmen’s Bureau. Established in 1865, the bureau provided food and land to the freed men as well as build 3,000 schools and dozens of colleges for them. This led to 30% of African Americans becoming literate by 1875 (Keene, 410). Another victory for America during Reconstruction was the passing of the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. The 13th amendment abolished slavery, giving slaves the freedom they deserved. The 14th amendment granted citizenship to all people born in America, and that “all citizens were entitled to equal protection of the laws” (Keene, 417). To ensure that this amendment would be followed, it also stated that if the state denies any male of twenty-one years old the right to vote, they would not be represented in congress. The 15th amendment made it clear that African American men twenty-one years of age are allowed to vote. Another thing that was virtuous during Reconstruction was Republican involvement. Radical Republicans aimed to build schools, orphanages and hospitals, rebuild roads, train tracks, and bridges, and help poor farmers, all of which they worked on. However, Democrats blamed Republicans for wasting money on reconstruction, and as a result, Republicans ended up losing votes, which led to Democrats winning the next presidential …show more content…
One of the biggest issues during Reconstruction were black codes. These codes were among the first laws passed by the new government in the south. They restricted African American’s way of life. Codes included not allowing African Americans to “testify in cases that only involved whites, serve on juries or state militias, or to vote” (Foner, 7). They also forced them to have working papers or else they would be jailed and put to work without pay for several days at a plantation. If African Americans did have a job, the black codes acted as “antienticement measures designed to punish anyone who offered higher wages to a black laborer,” so even then African Americans could not earn a fair wage (Black Codes). Laws such as the Vagrant Law tried to keep whites from associating with freed people at all by having a fine of up to two hundred dollars. The Civil Rights of Freedmen had good parts to it, but then they added the word “provided” making an exception to their rights. All of these were ways for southerners to keep freed people oppressed (Foner, 7-11). Jim Crow laws were another way to oppress freed people. They were state and local laws created to keep segregation and to prevent African Americans from voting. To do so, poll taxes, literacy tests, and the grandfather clauses were put into effect. This kept poor, unlearned, and African Americans with a formerly enslaved family

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