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Essay on The Successes and Failures of Reconstruction

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Reconstruction could be considered one of the largest projects ever undertaken. The mess that was the south, left in the ruins of a bloody war, called for drastic measures. The inquisition that begs to be asked is whether or not this venture was a success. Unfortunately the answer isn't as simple as "yes" or "no". Although many promises were broken, the much-debated goals of Reconstruction are still present in the minds of today's leaders as we continue to rebuild our country. Readmission to the union was a dividing factor between Republicans in politics. Lincoln advocated for the "Ten Percent Plan". This demanded that only ten percent of voters in a state take an oath to uphold the values presented in the constitution in order to…show more content…
Many participated in a practice penned "sharecropping". A plantation owner would offer freedmen a portion of their land in exchange for a percentage of the crops cultivated on the land. Unfortunately many men took out food and other necessities on credit and found themselves sucked into debt. They were then trapped on the plantation as if they were slaves again. Henry Black, a former slave, trying to express his frustration, said "anything that kept you a slave because he was always right and you were always wrong". Sharecropping wasn't the only way that Southerners inhibited the freedom of former slaves. Under Johnson's control states were able to enact Black Codes. These codes were created state by state and often prohibited freedmen to be unemployed, testify against a white man in court, participate in an interracial marriage or carry fire arms. The parish of St. Landry in Louisiana prohibited any blacks within their parish without written permission. Both Freedmen and white Northerners were infuriated by these policies and Congress, in reaction passed the Civil Rights Act. The Civil Rights Act was one of many laws and amendments passed during the reconstruction era. It provided citizenship for all men "without distinction of race of color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude". Jackson originally vetoed this act but the veto was overridden by Congress. Only months before the Civil Rights Act was passed, the
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