The Reconstruction-Era Essay

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The Reconstruction-Era The Reconstruction-era offered numerous opportunities to African-Americans, by attempting to secure the rights for ex-slaves, but the opportunities presented even more obstacles to them. The thought of freedom intrigued the African-Americans at first, but many of them quickly changed their minds after experiencing it. Henry William Ravenel, a slaveowner, proclaimed, "When they were told they were free, some said they did not wish to be free, and they were silenced with threats of being shot (Firsthand 24)." The Reconstruction-era effected the white settlers and their crops, as well, posing yet more obstacles for the already-struggling African-Americans. The hardships endured …show more content…
The Ku Klux Clan was a group consisting of white settlers that committed hate crimes against African-Americans, including acts such as hangings, lynching, and overall abuse of African-Americans. Some said the purpose of the Klan was to "keep the negroes from rising," "keep fusses down and colored men and white women apart (Firsthand 15)." A man by the name of Jim Williams, the captain of a black militia unit, was brutally hung by members of the Ku Klux Klan in 1871 and this act led to the arrests of many Klan members, and the prosecution of Klan leaders (Firsthand 3). The arrests opened the public's eyes to these atrocities resulting from Reconstruction and the existence of the Ku Klux Klan. Throughout the Reconstruction period, there are recurring recollections of the Ku Klux Clan murdering and beating African-Americans but the significance of the murder of Jim Williams is that it exposed this hateful congregation of men and their intentions, helping to alleviate the African-Americans' position at that point. Aside from the Ku Klux Klan, other White Southerners did not support the idea of Reconstruction either. One White Southerner, named Caleb G. Forsey, stated, "I think freedom is very unfortunate for the negro; I think it is sad; his present helpless condition touches my heart more than anything else I ever contemplated, and I think that is the common sentiment of our slaveholders (Firsthand 37)." Caleb G.
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