How Reconstruction Failed to Bring Equality to Freed Blacks

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How Reconstruction Failed to Bring Equality to Freed Blacks

After the Civil War, the government had changed from a republican rule to a democratic rule that had hatred towards the South because of conflicts that had arisen during the Civil War. The Northern Republicans wanted to punish the South by forming laws that terminated slavery and granted freed blacks the right to vote, the right to own land, the right to due process, and outlawed discrimination based on race; all were attempts to try and end slavery by reconstructing the justice and social and economic equality among freed blacks.  In theory, the thought of reconstruction was practical and could end slavery however, a thought is never the same when put into physical use because there are unforeseen obstacles that cannot be avoided such as the invention of sharecropping, the lynchings of blacks, the court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, the formation of the Ku Klux Klan, “Jim Crow” laws, and the cooperation of white southerners to adhere to these new laws.

In the minds of Radical Republicans the idea of reconstruction was positive and geared towards ending slavery and discrimination in the south. For example, a piece of the thirteenth amendment, “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” (Document A). What the thirteenth amendment is saying is that slavery of forced servitude is to be outlawed except as a punishment where a person must be duly convicted. This law would put an end to slavery and free black slaves. Extra instance is in the fourteenth amendment, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United...
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