Essay on The Reasons for the Failure of Reconstruction

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The original purpose of Reconstruction was to restore the buildings and the economy of the south the best they could, but without the immoral element of slavery. But, reconstruction under the Johnson Presidency was a failure for a few reasons: 1) Convict Leasing, 2) Sharecropping, 3) the Ku Klux Klan, 4) Segregation in schools, even in the North, 5) Carpetbaggers/Scalawags, 6) misleading statistics, and 7) racism. Convict Leasing was started when lawmakers saw a loop hole in the Thirteenth Amendment, which stated that with the exception of punishment for a crime, slavery was abolished. Fourteen thousand dollars was earned in Alabama through convict leasing Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), 2012). And since no efforts were made to …show more content…

The sharecroppers paid "rent" with a share of the crops that they raised, with roughly one-half of all they produced belonged to the white owner (Ransom and Sutch, 1977). The landowner also advanced money to the farmer to purchase seed and other necessary farming equipment. The problem was the sharecroppers rarely, if ever, made enough money from the sale of their crops to pay back their debt. This often led to what some called "debt peonage," and it effectively bound sharecroppers to the land, and the landowner (Bowles, 2011). This was a veiled form of slavery, much like convict leasing was. Carpetbaggers were so named because “they seemingly carried all of their possessions in luggage known as "carpetbags," their mission was to conquer the South politically, much as the North did with its military. At one point half of all the southern governors were northern Republicans. There was a great deal of disdain among many in the South for those that cast their votes for these Republicans, and Democratic opponents derogatorily called them scalawags” (Bowles, 2011). I brought up the issue of misleading statistics because the black crime rates (ninety percent African American) were used to say to the public, “see, they are more aggressive, than whites” (it became a socially engineered self-fulfilling prophecy in the minds of racists), therefore, inhumane practices could continue. What the

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