Reconstruction Era of the United States and New York Times

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Allison Hwang
Swanson 10:30

Reconstruction's Failure

Although the Civil War finally managed to come to a close, the end of the war wasn't exactly met with celebration. Instead, the Civil War brought up many new problems that were left unresolved. In order to solve these problems, the congress took responsibility and worked its way to "reconstruct" our nation. The main purpose of the "Congressional Reconstruction" was to 'establish and protect the citizenship rights of the freedmen'. However, the Congress' Reconstruction efforts did not last too long and came to an end by the year of 1877. The main reasons for the failure of the reconstruction efforts were due to the conflicting views and factors upon the purpose of reconstruction. There were much political opposition from the north and the south as well as from the republicans and the democrats, the entire nation was facing economic hardships, and the attempt to place the freedmen in the same social level as the white southerners caused so much tension that the efforts of the Congress' Reconstruction gradually failed.

Even though the 13th and the 14th Amendments were ratified in 1866, which ensured equal rights of all citizens, many of the white population continued to treat the former slaves with inequality. Ignorance was one of the biggest factors that led to the failure of the efforts of the congress reconstruction. Although the former slaves were not granted liberty and freedom, they were still treated with inequality because many of the white men continued to believe that the black men should not have the equal rights as the white men. Pennsylvania Congressman Benjamin Boyer, a Democrat, said, "it is not the complexion of the negro that degrades him….a race by nature inferior in mental caliber…the negroes are not the equals of white Americans, and are not entitled…to participate in the Government of this country…" In his speech, Congressman Boyer basically denies the right of the...
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