Reconstruction Policies

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Reconstruction Policies: One Small Step for Whites One Leap Back for Blacks Reconstruction was the era of 1865 to 1877. This was immediately after the Civil war. There was widespread poverty among both Blacks and Whites in the South. People had the expectation that the government would help out African Americans to achieve the American dream. Blacks wanted to vote, own land, and feel equal to Whites. The people ratified three amendments to the Constitution that would put into law equality between Blacks and Whites. Although many African Americans had very high hopes and visions of a better future, they were dashed by the realities that actually happened. Reconstruction did not provide economical, political, or social justice to freed slaves.…show more content…
One of the attempts at political justice was ratification of the 15th amendment. The 15th amendment gave African American men the right to vote. It puts into law that someone cannot be denied the opportunity to vote. The Ku Klux Klan did a number of things to keep the Blacks from voting. Mr. Colby was an African American who voted for the radical ticket. Mr. Colby recalls “the KKK took me to the woods and whipped me three hours”(#7). The police did not reprimanded the KKK. Examples like this were wide spread. All of the political justice during the Reconstruction era undermined the 15th amendment. The grandfather clause, literacy test, and poll taxes were other ways of suppressing Blacks from voting. The grandfather clause was a loophole so Whites did not have to take the literacy test and poll tax. The literacy test was a test that someone had to take if they wanted to vote. The literacy test was rigged so that no one could get the correct answers. The poll tax was a tax that an individual had to pay in order to vote. It was set so high that Blacks could not afford it, so they could not…show more content…
During the end of the Civil War General Sherman ordered special field order 15 which promised the newly freed slaves. “forty acres of tillable ground”(#2). It also promised that the military would protect them. In reality this was only a temporary order, so newly freed slaves did not receive any land. They also did not receive any protection. Plantations were not broken up because both the south and the north opposed it. Northerns were “unyielding in their opposition” to have the plantation broken up because it would affect their businesses. Sharecropping was another way Whites could keep the land under their control. In sharecropping many blacks ended up working for their former slave owners. The land owners charged a proportion of the crops to keep the Blacks in debt. The Blacks had to resort to sharecropping because they could be fined and arrest if they did not have a job. Not having land prevented the newly freed slaves from being economically

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