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The Implications of Reconstruction - Essay Example
Pages 2 (502 words)
In 1865, with the ending of the Civil War, the Republican Party ruled almost with impunity, while the Democratic Party was in shambles. The country, under Lincoln and later Johnson, set out on a policy of reconstructing the South. The Republican goals of Reconstruction were to "remake the South in the image of the North", politically punish the Confederate leaders, and help the freed people transition to full citizenship (Nash et al…
562). Reconstruction's biggest failure was the backlash that was created when Northern Republicans attempted to rule the South. The backlash resulted in violent hate groups that disrupted the political system, and the lives of African-Americans for the next 100 years. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments were all passed during the era of reconstruction. These important amendments prohibited slavery, guaranteed the freed slaves citizenship, and granted them the right to vote, but were largely unenforceable in the South. However, these amendments would form the foundation for the Civil Rights movement 100 years later.
Reconstruction ended when the disputed election of 1876 saw the Republican Rutherford B Hayes gain the presidency, even though the electoral votes were in dispute. In return, Hayes agreed to remove the federal troops from the South and not oppose the newly formed Democratic governments there (Zuczek 171). This spelled an end to Reconstruction and another 100 years of racial violence, segregation, and discrimination.
By the late 19th century, African-Americans had still not realized the American dream of liberty and the right to vote, or the constitutional guarantees that came with the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments. ...
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