How Do You Account for the Failure of Reconstruction (1865-1877) to Bring Social and Economic Equality of Opportunity to the Former Slaves?

Topics: United States, Slavery, Black people Pages: 1 (291 words) Published: January 10, 2011
The Reconstruction of the south was not a complete failure, but it took to long for America to bring social and economic equality of opportunity to the former slaves. The first plan of attempt was by President Lincoln, called the 10% plan. It allowed a state to be apart of the Union when ten percent of its voters in the election 1860 had taken an oath of allegiance to the United States and pledged to abide by emancipation. Soon after Lincoln's assassination President Johnson was sworn into office. He favored Lincoln's 10% plan and let Southern states back into the economy, granted a large number of pardons and was "soft on the southern policy". Black codes enforced labor contracts with blacks at low cost with no jury, no vote, and some not even leasing land. The codes had the north questioning; did they really win the war. Civil War amendments were positive for blacks, which included the13th amendment of abolishing slavery in 1865, 14th amendment granting citizenship in 1868, and the 15th amendment letting black people have the right to vote in 1870. Southern whites rejected all forms of equality and blacks wanted nothing but full freedom and land of their own. This led to frequent and inevitable riots. The majority of the former slaves could not afford their own land. In order to cope with economic problem Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau on March 3, 1865. The bureau was authorized to settle former slaves on forty-acre tracts, confiscated from the Confederates, little land actually made it into blacks’ hands. Still, the white South resented the bureau and it later expired in 1872. The whites later began recognizing the blacks as freedmen by the year 1877.
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