AP US History
Following the culmination of the Civil War, issues regarding the restoration of seceded states to the Union, the emancipation of slaves, and the overall re-development of political institutions in the nation prevailed. The idea of Reconstruction was proposed to political officials in late 1865, when the effects of the tumultuous Civil War were at its most devastating. The various enactments of the period were deemed void and not actively enforced. Democratic and Republican political parties refused to meet resolutions, imperative to the reconstruction of the nation’s governmental structure. The economy was in an absolute distress, and emancipated blacks faced considerable amounts of opposition. Social, economic, and political policies instituted during the Reconstruction Era are deemed failures due to the burden of racial segregation, economic distress, party discrepancies, and the lack of effective enforcement.
In 1865, Amendment Thirteen of the United States was ratified. The article states that all slaves residing in the nation or any of its corresponding territories are deemed emancipated. (Document A) Though the article does publicly mandate emancipation, it fails in successfully granting freedom to previous slaves. Southern states imposed “black codes” upon the newly freedmen. These diminishing codes restricted various activities and behaviors of the black community. Many included the prevention of interracial marriage, black testaments against whites in court of law, and jobs outside of agriculture. Clearly, the Thirteenth Amendment was not strictly imposed upon the once rebellious southern states. Three years later, congress decided to enact another article that would annul the previously mandated Dred Scott Decision of 1957, which states that blacks could not be legal citizens. This newly established document was titled the Fourteenth Amendment. The amendment itself stated that all persons born or naturalized in...
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