Failed Reconstruction

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After the end of the civil war, the southern states rejoined the Union and a period of reconstruction started in the South. The Reconstruction was started to create a stronger Union and to created equal rights for the freed slaves. However, the Reconstruction did not go as the Northern Republicans had originally planned. Congress failed to ensure equal rights for freedmen because of the treatment of the African Americans, the formations of the Klu Klux Klan, and the political dominance of the southern Democrats. Although they were considered free, the treatment of African Americans was far from equal at that time. In spite of the the thirteenth amendment being passed, many people in the South continued to treat them as slaves. They believed black people were "by nature inferior in mental caliber, " (Document 1). They believed that freedmen weren't intelligent enough to be considered equal to white men, but better suited to be laborers instead. When given the right to vote, many African Americans were intimidated and convinced to do otherwise. They were convicted that if they were to vote or take part in any political event, they wouldn't be employed by any of the white employers and they wouldn't be able to earn a living. Some freedmen, when given the choice to leave, stayed with their former owners and worked for an income. Some, like a freedman named John McCoy, didn't even work for an income, saying, "Humph, I didn't know nothing what money was, nohow, but I knows I'll git plenty victuals to eat, so I stays..." (7). They did this because many freedmen didn't know what to do with their newfound freedom since they didn't have a formal education to take advantage of. Being a slave and manual labor was all they really knew how to do so they stayed, defeating the purpose of the thirteenth amendment. In 1865, a group called the Klu Klux Klan was established by ex-confederates to provide a safe place for them to rally. The KKK was a way to preserve the views of...
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