Reconstruction Effects

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American History Essay 1
DawnMarie Versluys

(1)No major social upheaval can be had without negative consequence and, coming on the heels of the most violent war in American History, Reconstruction was no exception. Given the fierce determination of the North to remake southern society and the stubborn ferocity in the south to reclaim their former lives, the African-Americans faced worse and more violent conditions during the Reconstruction period than they had during slavery. The harder the radicals in the north pressed down upon the south, the harder the south resisted. The African Americans were caught in the center. We see in Thomas Nast’s “Worse than Slavery” (p477) a depiction of how white terrorism in the form of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremists , which the north could do little to suppress and the south felt was their only way to fight back, was actually worse than slavery. However, though many adversities and hardships were faced during Reconstruction, the net result of the effort was a positive one for the African -Americans because they attained freedom, citizenship and voting rights -- the means to improve their lives. (2)With the end of the Civil War and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era, the emancipated slaves who were now Freedmen began to act upon their newfound freedom. Families who had been sold apart during the slave days were reunited. Schools and Churches were built. They acted upon the ability to organize meetings and break into politics. Ownership of land was the primary goal of many freedmen who equated land with true freedom. For the most part, the freedmen lost the battle for land but after searching for a way to live and work together; sharecropping emerged as a cooperative solution. Sharecropping was hardly to the advantage of the African-Americans but it was a chance to succeed and some did. (3)Two incredibly positive results of the Reconstruction era as applied to the African-Americans were the 14th...
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