Civil War During The Reconstruction Era

Decent Essays

During the Reconstruction Era, Congress passed many laws to provide equal rights to people of color. But at the local level, specifically in the South, many Democrats took the law into their own hands. They supported the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) hoping to restore the pre-Civil War social hierarchy. The texts in Going to the Source illustrates two groups of individuals who opposed the KKK. In testimonies given by white witnesses, Republicans from the North felt the KKK posed a political and social danger in the South, but did not feel intimidated. The testimonies given by black witnesses were people who had experience of the Klan’s violence, and felt their lives were threatened. The Klan’s attacks on whites were more inclined towards social harassment, while their attacks on blacks, which consisted of voting intimidation and night rides, were violent and abusive because the KKK’s main goal was white supremacy. After the Civil War, many white Republicans from the North moved down South in order to develop more economic opportunities. But this meant that white Republicans brought their own political beliefs. For example, many Northerners that moved down South encouraged economic developments models such as a free labor market. According to David Hardin, a post-Civil War historian, Northerners “play a central role in shaping new southern governments during Reconstruction” (18). The KKK viewed these white Northerners as moral threat to their political views, so they “would write

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