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Reconstruction Dbq

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Reconstruction Dbq
From 1865 to 1877, America faced the daunting task of reconstructing a union tattered by a Civil War. The south after the Civil War was in ruins with many of its major cities completely destroyed, its agriculture production at a halt, and the slave labor that economically drove the south freed. Moreover, millions of freedmen were wondering around the south, lost, without an education, money, place to live, or knowledge of how to care for themselves outside of their plantation. Furthermore, Abraham Lincoln, the moderate Republican president of the union and leader of the War in the north who brought America back together was assassinated April 14, 1865, only five days after Southern General, Robert E. Lee surrendered. With Lincoln gone, the …show more content…
The 14th Amendment which was suppose to give blacks full citizenship left room for the Southern government to deny blacks their right to vote. Thus the 15th Amendment had to be proposed and passed giving all male citizens the right to vote, but even so many whites still withheld the ballot from blacks with “various underhanded schemes [such as] literacy tests, unfairly administered by whites to the advantages of illiterate whites” (p. 496). Moreover, though the Supreme Court was left untouched during Reconstruction, when southern delegates were sent to take their seats in congress “on the first day of the congressional session, December 4, 1865, they banged shut Republicans banged shut the door in the face of the newly elected Southern delegations” (p. 488) in fear of losing their advantage in congress. Thus, the democratic ideal of every fraction of American society being represented was broken as the south had no say in congress. Furthermore, in the Northern Republican’s attempt to expand the federal government to help the freedmen more effectively, “Republicans imposed national control on the Southern states, completely ignoring the constitutional concept of federalism in …show more content…
In many cases, corrupt Republican appointed carpetbaggers used their position to steal money or resources, often from black or black programs as in the case of a “carpetbag governor [who] was charged with stealing and selling the food of the Freedmen’s Bureau intended for the relief of helpless and ragged ex-slaves” (Doc A). Because of incidents like this, many black began to distrust the Republican governments adding to the resentment southern whites already felt towards the party. Furthermore, many southerner’s did not take the Union laws seriously and often “as Union armies marching in and out of various locations, many blacks found themselves emancipated and the re-enslaved” (The American Pageant p.481) thus being subjected again to the harsh treatments given to slaves. Similarly, even after Southern Reconstruction programs were established and blacks were no longer re-enslaved, many blacks having no money turned to sharecropping where they “in effect became slaves to the soil and to their creditors” (The American Pageant p. 487). Moreover, as tensions grew between freedmen and whites in the south, violence occurred making the south a “warzone” of race riots. Almost immediately after the Civil War was over riots such as that in Memphis, Tennessee in the May of 1866 occurred where “whites on a rampage of

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