Civil War Reconstruction Essay

1075 Words 5 Pages
The Civil War ended in 1865, setting the United States on a journey of rebuilding itself. The United States were split between North and South and were lost in a state of turmoil. It was not only a test of rebuilding the south, but a test of how black men, women, and children will fare. The path to peace for the United States will not be easy, and there will be many challenges along the way, both small and large. Reconstruction can be defined as the “reunification” of the south, or bringing back the south. Restoration can be considered restoring the south to the way it was. Whether the South was reconstructed or restored can be determined by the Freedmen of the nation, the laws passed during this time, and the Rebel South. The Rebel …show more content…
Many blacks couldn 't consider themselves free for a long time, after they were emancipated by a union army, they would be sent right back in to slavery. Many blacks were unsure of what to do or where to go when they were officially free. Many blacks began to worship at their own black churches, which were led by their own ministers, instead of worshipping alongside white people. Within 20 years, over 350,000 blacks joined the Black Baptist Church while the African Methodist Church gained 300,000 new members. A major issue that affected blacks was their inability to read and write. Very few had the privilege of education. On March 3, 1865, Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau. The bureau would provide clothing, food, medical care, and education to both freed slaves and white refugees. The Bureau only succeeded in education and failed in most other areas. President Johnson continually tried to stop the Bureau but it official ended in 1872. The freedmen did not have to much freedom because in 1865 the Black Codes were passed. The Black Codes were passed by President Johnson and limited the rights of emancipated blacks, and many blacks negotiated labor contracts. Blacks were not allowed to vote or serve on a jury and many became sharecroppers. The incidents involving freedmen represent both a reconstruction as well as a restoration of the south. The south is being …show more content…
The first passed was the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibited all forms of slavery. States were required to ratify the amendment if they wanted back into the Union. After the Thirteenth Amendment is passed, the Three-fifths Compromise if repealed. Next passed was the Wade-Davis Bill, which required 50% of a states voters to pledge allegiance to the United States. However, before the Wade-Davis Bill, the “10 percent” Reconstruction Plan was created, which declared that only 10% of a state must pledge allegiance. When the Wade-Davis Bill was vetoed, Republicans were outraged. In March of 1866, Republicans passed the Civil Rights Bill. The Civil Rights Bill struck at the Black Codes and gave black citizenship. Once again, Johnson’s veto was overridden. To stop the South from eventually winning out, Congress passed the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The Fourteenth Amendment was a major step in American History. The Amendment gave the Freedmen 's citizenship and it reduced representation of a state in both the Electoral College and Congress if said state denied blacks the ballot. The Amendment also disqualified former Confederates in office who had sworn to support the Constitution and guaranteed federal debts while rejecting the Confederate debts. The Fifteenth Amendment, which was passed within a few years, gave blacks the right to vote.

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