The Failure of Reconstruction

Topics: Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Black people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 3 (964 words) Published: February 27, 2002
Reconstruction was a failure due to the opinion on race. Racism played a big part in the 1896 Plessey vs. Furguson case. Reconstruction began in 1865 and ended in 1877. Two goals were to rebuild the south and to reform society.

Reconstruction should not be thought of as a bad idea. It was virtually impossible to just change ways in the south with out using some kind of force. "Black codes" did nothing but for the south but put them in further segregation. The black codes aloud a form of disguised slavery. They gave blacks the right to own land, and go to court; they still weren't aloud to serve on a jury or aloud to vote. In the long run, "black codes" just made it easier for the people of the south to continue with their poor treatment towards blacks.

A positive step did come for reconstruction in 1868. That was the 14th amendment, that stated that "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and of the state that they reside" (Thomas, 14) The amendment also declared that no state could make or enforce any law that restrain the privileges of the citizens of the United States. This amendment is clearly federal power over state power. This act was passed by congress to make sure that constitutionality of the civil rights acts (that made African Americans full citizen and guaranteed cirten right of citizenship, that completely went agents anything that had to do with "black codes". With these new laws in place, Tourgee argued that the Louisiana law "Separate but equal accommodations for the white and colored races on all passenger trains within that state, took away Plessey 14th amendment rights. "The passage of the 1866 Civil Rights Acts and the fourteenth amendment marked the move toward racial reconstruction, which was controversial." (Thomas, 7) Right after following this positive step during reconstruction, came another racial act that prohibited the marriages between whites and people of other races.

The compromise of 1877 put...
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