Causes of the Failure of Reconstruction

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“Charity towards all, and malice towards none”, were Lincoln’s words and his vision of the path of Reconstruction. After the bloody defeat of the rebellious Southern states in the Civil War, America needed peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction. What was intended to be a painless, effortless plan turned into another irrelevant conflict that ended up a failure. Although, the southern reaction to northern rule was a factor that lead its to failure, northern political factors also killed Reconstruction. Initially, southern reaction to the northern rule was a factor that lead to the demise of Reconstruction. Life for a Southerner during Reconstruction was utterly difficult. Citizens lost everything after the Civil War. Southerners were also prohibited from voting and holding office because of their treasonous actions of taking up arms against the United States. There were also the contributions of the invasion of carpetbaggers (Northerners who went down South to aid or profit from reconstruction), freedman (former slaves), and scalawags (Southerners who remained loyal to the Union). These were people who were voting at their polls, and holding office. The disenfranchised Southerners felt humiliated and formed radical resistance groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan terrorized southern enemies to rebel against northern authority. Albion Tourgee, a judge during Reconstruction, wrote to Republican Senator Joseph Abbott fearing for his life because of the extremes of the Klan. He wrote, “Senator Stephens is dead. He was foully murdered by the Klan in the Grand Jury room on Saturday. He was stabbed five or six times then hanged from a hook in the room……..I Have very little doubt that I shall be one of the next victims (Document A). Judge Tourgee feared for his life because of the brutality of the Klan. This is proof that the Reconstruction was anything but tranquil but the opposite, bloody. The Southern Klan was tired of northern rule and was prepared to...
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