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Reconstruction Essay

  • Submitted by: Drisky5
  • on November 17, 2013
  • Category: History
  • Length: 406 words

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Essay #266
The Reconstruction implemented by Congress, which lasted from 1866 to 1877, was aimed at reorganizing the Southern states after the Civil War, by providing the means for readmitting them into the Union, and defining the means by which whites and blacks could live together in a nonslave society. The South, however, saw Reconstruction as a humiliating, even vengeful imposition and did not welcome it. Although the South put Black Codes into effect and began the Freedman’s Bureau, their political vengeance conspiracies and ending the Freedman’s Bureau were two terrible actions.
In order to control the freed Blacks, many Southern states passed Black Codes, laws aimed at keeping the Black population in submission; some were harsh, others were not as harsh. Blacks who “jumped” their labor contracts, or walked off their jobs, were subject to penalties and fines, and their wages were generally kept very low. The codes forbade Blacks from serving on a jury and some even barred Blacks from renting or leasing land, and Blacks could be punished for “idleness” by being subjected to working on a chain gang. Making a mockery out of the newly won freedom of the Blacks, the Black Codes made many abolitionists wonder if the price of the Civil War was worth it, since Blacks were hardly better after the war than they were before the war.
Furthermore, the Freedman’s Bureau was set up on March 3, 1865. The bureau taught about 200,000 Blacks how to read, since most former slaves wanted to narrow the literary gap between them and Whites and read the word of God. However, it was not as effective as it could have been, as evidenced by the further discrimination of Blacks, and it expired in 1872 after much criticism by racist Whites, thus making the South defected. In addition, when Andrew Johnson took power, the radicals thought that he would do what they wanted, but he soon proved them wrong by taking Lincoln’s policy and issuing his own Reconstruction proclamation: certain...

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