Reconstruction: Fail or Succeed

Topics: Reconstruction era of the United States, Ku Klux Klan, Southern United States Pages: 2 (524 words) Published: October 13, 2013
Reconstruction: Fail or Succeed?

Reconstruction failed due to Andrew Johnson, the Black Codes, and the Freedmen’s Bureau..Andrew Johnson’s, who was the father of the black codes, created policies and ideals that led to the black codes, KKK, sharecropping and the Compromise of 1877. Andrew Johnson supported white supremacy in the South and favored Southern political leaders who had aided the Confederacy once war had been declared. After the war, the Union needed to bring the South back into the country in order to revive their economy and rebuild their land. Lincoln first proposed the 10% plan and when Lincoln was assassinated, Andrew Johnson became president and created his own plan for Reconstruction.

The Black Codes and other laws restricting former slaves were not challenged in court or struck down by local military authorities, leaving African-Americans unprotected and subject once again to working for whites involuntarily.Under Johnson's policies of Presidential Reconstruction, nearly all the southern states would enact their own black codes in 1865 and 1866. While the codes granted certain freedoms to African Americans their primary purpose was to restrict black’s labor and activity. Some states limited the type of property that blacks could own, while virtually all the former Confederate states passed strict vagrancy and labor contract laws, as well as antienticement laws which was designed to punish anyone who offered higher wages to a black laborer already under contract. Blacks who broke labor contracts were subject to arrest, beating and forced labor, and apprenticeship laws forced many minors into unpaid labor for white planters.

The Reconstruction Act of 1867 required southern states to ratify the 14th Amendment which granted equal protection of the Constitution to former slaves and enact male suffrage before they could rejoin the Union. The 15th Amendment guaranteed that a citizen's right to vote would not be denied from race, color, or any...
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