Reconstruction Era of the United States and Blacks Economy

Topics: Ku Klux Klan, Reconstruction era of the United States, Black people Pages: 3 (850 words) Published: March 21, 2011
The Reconstruction period, between 1865 and 1876, was a time for rebuilding and healing to the nation after the Civil War. For blacks, however, it was a time of radical change politically, socially and economically. These changes, both good and bad, would affect the black race for generations to come. Some of these political, economical and social changes were negative, but most helped the blacks become better off.

Reconstruction affected the blacks in many different ways. The main aspects that affected the blacks were their role politics, their social lifestyles, and their economic stability. In the world of politics during Reconstruction, blacks had limited opportunities. It became nearly impossible for blacks to vote due to the literacy tests, poll taxes and ultimately the Grandfather Clause. Despite the 15th amendment, Grandfather Clause based the right to vote on family history. Therefore, Southerners could only vote if their grandfather could vote in the 1860 election. Also, blacks were also restricted from holding a seat in Congress or the Senate. It was not until Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce that it was acceptable to see blacks involved in politics. During Reconstruction, the newly freed blacks struggled economically. Many did not have stable jobs, and were not able to provide for their families. Along with being jobless, many were also homeless. They were used to living on plantations and having plantations provide them with a home and job. However, during Reconstruction Oliver O. Howard created the Freedman’s Bureau. This helped the freed blacks on many levels. It provided them with food, clothing, medical care and even education. This brought the blacks economy up and made it more stable. Finally, the blacks social life was changed. They no longer based their life around the plantation lifestyle, and had to create a new type of life for themselves. Also, the intense racism never ceased. The Ku Klux Klan dehumanized the blacks and tortured them...
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