Give Me Liberty

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A Response to Issue 1
Following the Civil War there was a rapid progression of the role of African Americans in the United States. Reconstruction had given African Americans their freedom along with their rights to vote, own land, and even hold positions in office. Many historians would soon report about the great success Reconstruction made in the United States for the African American race in obtaining their ‘civil rights’. Even though America had created a society where all men were equal in the eyes of the law, great racism still lingered within many whites. The lack of protection against racial crimes upon the African American race became very apparent as white supremacy began to rise. Massacres took place, slaying dozens of black men for peacefully doing what the U.S. government clearly permitted them to do. I believe Reconstruction did fail, due not to racism of the country as a whole, but to racism in some white citizens who were reluctant to allow change in the social standing of the black man. African Americans began to gain equal standing in politics and were holding positions in office all over the United States. As this happened, many white men started to rally against the “Negro Rule”, forming white supremacy clans that would soon rise up against all African Americans alike. The largest of these clans was known as the “Old Time Ku Klux Klan” which began to revolt against the Radical Reconstruction of the United States. In many cases the ‘KKK’ killed law abiding black land owners. In one case an African American man was even reportedly “peacefully building a fence around his land when the men shot him dead.” The clansmen were known to then make haven in the African American’s homes, exhaust all supplies of food and resources and then ride on to their next destination. In the town of Colfax, Louisiana the Grant Parish courthouse became the site of the largest racial massacre in United States history. Here a group of men decided to make a stand...
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