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Reconstruction Essay

1072 words - 5 pages


The time period known as the Reconstruction was a turbulent, unstable, and scary one.
The Southerners believed in white supremacy at all costs while the Northerners believed
that all men should be free and equal. The problems that arose during this time are many.
The ones that caused the most trouble in the deliverance of peace to all involved and the
rebuilding of the south were the disagreements about how the reconstruction of the south
should be handled between both the Republican and Democrat parties, there was also the
belief that white supremacy should be put above all else in the white Southerner’s minds,
and last but not lease was the violence ...view middle of the document...

29). Johnson was hostile to the Freedman’s Bureau, and allowed and encouraged for
the Black Codes to be put into place.

The belief of ‘white supremacy’ was a major impediment that refused to allow the
reconstruction to fully form into what William Howard Day had hoped it would be. He
was optimistic that there was hope for the future of the black man. His hopes were that
the black men and women would be free and have all the rights that the white men had.
His dream was almost a reality when slavery was abolished and the black man was given
the right to vote. The hopes were dashed when the whites in the south came up with the
Black Codes (p.6). These codes put so many restrictions on what the black man could do
that it was if they were still slaves because they still had to answer to the white man.
They could not be in the city limits after a certain hour, could not have a business and
they could not even meet for a church service. They still had to have permission from the
white man to live their lives. The ‘New South’ was not as new as the Republicans had
hoped it would be. It was also not as new as the freedmen and women had looked
forward to with the abolition of slavery. White supremacy ran rampant in the ‘New
South” and it showed. It was evident in the way that the Klu Klux Klan instigated
violence against the black men who tried to participate in the voting process, it showed in
the way that they burned Lucy McMillan’s house after she attended a rally and made the
statement that she wanted to own land. According to her testimony, she feared for her
life and that of her youngest daughter and hid in the woods until after it was over (p.13-
14). The Black codes were another issue. The ‘Black Codes’ restricted the movement and
employment ability of the blacks.
It limited the movement of the blacks by stating they could not come into the town limits after
a certain hour,...

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