Failure Of Reconstruction In The South

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The 13th amendment was passed to end slavery in 1865, and the former slaves had received many new rights and freedoms. The white men tried to take them away and give the hard time, but congress had stepped in. Congress' Reconstruction efforts to ensure rights to the freedman failed.

Congressman Boyer, believed that African Americans should be denied to vote because they are, "a race by nature inferior in mental caliber." His definition of "inferior in mental caliber," meant that the blacks had no former education, or experience with freedom, so they wouldn't be able to conduct themselves in the free world nor the voting booth (doc.1). Dr. W.E.B. Dubois had the same thoughts and ideas in mind. "In order to earn a living, the American Negro was compelled to give up his political power." Dubois thought that the African Americans should not waste their time trying to indulge in politics, because they cannot afford to.

The need to concentrate on their work and earnings (doc.6).

Some people opposed the freedmen so much that they formed hate groups against them. One group in particular was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) (doc.2). General Thomas said that the purpose of the KKK was to establish a nucleus around which "the adherents of the late rebellion might safely rally." Groups like the KKK would harass and torment the black people, and scare them away from places, especially the voting booth.

White democratic men opposed the freedmen also (doc.4). They said if the democrats in the north were white men, that the democrats in the south MUST be white men too. Congress tried to help the freedmen while the people tried to oppose congress' decisions. The democratic victory in November 1874 didn't help congress with their decisions (doc.5). The Democratic Party was against the...