Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The Civil War abolished slavery and secession had been refuted, but the challenging task facing our nation was what to do with the newly freed slaves. The Reconstruction efforts were to ensure equal rights to the freedmen, which I agree immensely with. Many factors interfered with the Reconstruction such as the racist Ku Klux Klan and southern democrats.

Many southerners opposed the Reconstruction. They felt the North was trying to force their beliefs and ideas on them. Southerners began to rally together in secret groups. In document 2, General George Thomas reported to the New York Times, in 1868, that "…a mysterious organization known as the Ku Klux Klan…" has been circulating through the South. The Ku Klux Klan is a racist group who opposes equal rights to the blacks. They feel that blacks are inferior to the supreme race, the whites. In document 4, the excerpts from the Atlanta News, show some other opinions that there should be " White Leagues" in the South.

These groups helped hurt the efforts of the reconstruction by terrorizing and intimidating blacks into not wanting to exercise their newfound rights and freedoms, making it harder to pass new laws allowing them more freedom.

The fifteenth amendment prohibited states from denying the right to vote "on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude", but even with this amendment blacks still had to fight to vote. In document 1, Congressman Boyer thought African Americans should be denied the right to vote because of their incompetence. "… a race by nature inferior in mental caliber…" This opinion was widely held, blacks were looked down upon as stupid and not knowing anything. In document 3, " Congress passed a general amnesty act which restored the right of office holding to the vast majority of those...