Reconstruction Revisited Essay

699 WordsNov 20, 20103 Pages
“Review of Reconstruction Revisited” In “Reconstruction Revisited”, Eric Foner reexamines the political, social, and economic experiences of black and white Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War. With the help of many historian works, Foner gives equal representation to both sides of the Reconstruction argument. Foner writes that nowhere, was the transfer in black life more profound than in politics. The amazing political mobilization of the black community was one of the most striking features of that period, along with the emergence of a new black political class. At the beginning of the Reconstruction, blacks turned to ministers and men who had achieved prominence as slaves to represent them politically. During…show more content…
Slave quarters were done away with and replaced by small tenant farms, with families occupying the land. The black church emerged at this time along with black fraternal, charitable, and self-improvement organizations. Black family life was reinstituted with black women withdrawing form field work. Foner states that “Reconstruction gave birth to the modern black community.” At this time there were many white landowners attempting to recreate as much of the slave system as possible. Many whites were not willing to see blacks on their level socially or economically. During reconstruction, blacks were no longer forced to work as slaves however they still needed to work to support themselves and their families. Not many blacks had skills outside of farming so most worked the lands of the wealthy white landowners but not as slaves. They had the right to do whatever they wanted and the landowners could do nothing about it. Wealthy landowners still needed work hands and blacks needed an income so former slaveholders established the sharecropping system. Land owned by a white person would be farmed by black families and they shared the crop yield. This often resulted in the white person taking more than their share and the black families struggled to support themselves. Sharecropping did little to help economic advancement for blacks and was a way the white man could prevent blacks from making enough money
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