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Life After Reconstruction Essay

During reconstruction, black lives had changed dramatically. There were changes that related to slavery, and changes that gave blacks citizenship, voting rights, civil rights, and much more. The period of reconstruction was a struggle for African Americans, however by the time it was over, they could all breathe a sigh of relief. After the South was defeated by the Union army, people of color nationwide were declared free; however, blacks had to find their own course of action during the reconstructed South. With slavery abolished, the South was bitter.

Being one of the most positive changes for people of olor after the Civil War, the abolishment of slavery was a large percentage of the Souths economy. Due to the downfall of the economy, many southern men did not release their slaves, even though they were supposed to be free. This factor alone shows that some colored lives changed little after the civil war. On the December of 1863, President Lincoln offered the seceded states a “full pardon”. Which would restore all property for white southerners, willing to pledge an oath to the United States and the entirety of its laws.

People of color did not receive this pardon, and would not see their property restored, which is an ndication that blacks still have little rights. Lincoln and Congress supported different kinds of measures to “give back” to the emancipated slaves. March of 1865 the Freedmen’s Bureau was established, providing food, clothes, food, and more to former slaves. Forty acres of abandoned or confiscated land could be leased to freed slaves, or white unionists. These changes showed that blacks were respected enough to own land, and be given supplies for their everyday needs.

In many states, the “black codes” were introduced, which basically restricted slaves to only agricultural work. It was like they were being treated like laves again. If a black man or woman quit their job before the contract ended, they would not receive pay. Many white southerners threatened blacks with firearms on the last day of their entitled jobs, meaning they “Ileft” or “quit” their job. Basically like they were slaves again, not receiving any pay for a specific farm job, and because of this many black families either starved, or became poor.

Some states even attempted to restrict blacks from even owning land in the first place, and without land these blacks were homeless. This was an indication that little changed during the post-civil war times. Blacks were inally relieved when The Civil Rights bill was passed, which granted full citizenship to African Americans. This had overturned the black codes and the Dred Scott decision. Congress had also voted to strengthen, and enlarge the Freedman’s Bureau to construct schools, and punish those who deprived blacks of their civil rights.

The Freedman’s Bureau bill, and the Civil Rights bill were previously vetoed by Johnson. They were passed through congress once more, and it overthrew Johnsons veto. This was one of the most positive changes during the post-civil war. As blacks were given full rights just like whites, iven education, rights, and happiness. When the confederate states rejoined the union, African Americans were granted voting rights, and the fourteenth amendment was ratified. A major change in the south for blacks was the creation of the Ku Klux Klan.

This potential group of terror murdered, threatened, tortured, and whipped black and white Republicans to prevent them from sealing a vote during the Election of 1868. This can be related to when slavery was allowed, when masters would whip their slaves. Blacks experienced this like they might of have previously, but the whites experienced how it was to be a slave. Regardless, this was a major negative impact for blacks, and whites alike. During the February of 1869, the Fifteenth Amendment was passed by Congress, allowing votes to not be denied based on any color, race, or previous service.

Along with the introduction of voting for blacks, this helped them go further so that their ballots would be casted fairly and equally. For millions of slaves, freedom had arrived at different times. Slavery had collapsed in many areas way before Lee’s surrender at Appomattox. Other places did not learn of the freedom of slaves until the year 1865, and some stories revealed that freed laves would have to confront their owners to be free. The definition of freedom would be questioned for years after the freedom of slaves.

I believe that this impacted blacks after the civil war in a positive view, being freed from their masters nonetheless would be great news to a black person or family. traveling up and about the United States, looking for jobs in towns and cities nearby. Between 1865-1870 the black population had increased dramatically, almost doubling in the souths top ten largest cities. While the white population had increased by a mere ten percent. Also, because former slaves were now freed, it gave them the pportunity to look for their long-lost family members, and strengthen bonds with the ones around them.

They went as far as asking the freedman’s bureau, and as low as placing ads in papers to find their long-lost brethren. African Americans couples had also gone to authorities, and demanded to be legally married. All of these changes deemed to be positive, and a huge breakthrough for African Americans and their families; however, most families search for their lost members carried on Soon afterward, blacks for years to come. Many tired, and disappointed for not finding even a single clue of their lost relative.

After slavery, the newly emancipated blacks had quit their plantation and decided to go on another course in their lives. Some found jobs contrasting, ranching, mining, or building railroads. Other African Americans tended to crops, and vegetable gardens. White planters tried to make African Americans work only as agricultural laborers due to the black codes. Many blacks actually dreamed and hoped to be great farmers, believing they were entitled to the land that they worked on the entirety of their lives. During the late 1860s sharecropping was introduced as the main form of working the land.

It was representing a compromise between planters and freed slaves. Individual families were responsible for a specific plot of farmland. Sharecropper families received one-third of a year’s crop if the owner loaned them supplies, and one half if they brought their own supplies. African Americans preferred sharecropping than regular farm labor, as it freed them from being in control by a white man. During the period of Reconstruction, blacks were given treatment just like they were given before the war, such as being tortured, whipped, murdered, and treated like slaves instead of free men.

As the years passed, blacks earned more rights such as voting, being able to own land, freedom, being able to work freely, and other huge positive changes during reconstruction. Blacks had suffered their entire lives due to slavery, and when everything started to give the blacks an advantage, it was a sign of relief for them. They started enjoying their normal lives, voting, working, and finally being somewhat equal to the white men. The period of Reconstruction was a tough time for blacks; however, in the end blacks became respected and given rights that make them equal to whites.

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