Civil War Reconstruction Essay - College Essays - 808 Words

Reconstruction Essay

Reconstruction was the period of ‘repair’ after the civil war. It was to repair the North and South, politically, socially, and economically. It was also to rejoin the South back into the union, as it had succeeded during the civil war. President Lincoln wanted to let the South come back to the union and make them pay for it, however the radical republicans wanted to make the South pay for succeeding in the first place and causing the union all the problems. Reconstruction was a dark era of total failure in the government’s attempts to create a truly democratic society.

When the black slaves were freed, Congress passed three new amendments. First was the thirteenth amendment, the abolition of slavery, second was the fourteenth amendment was that it granted black males citizenship, and third was the fifteenth amendment that granted black males the right to vote. This may sound great and a wonderful achievement, however these amendments were soon forgotten in the South. In 1877, the right to was effectively stripped from the black males. The wealthy whites in the South made sure that black males could not vote. They created poll taxes that black males had to pay. Most of them could not afford it because they were poor and could not get work anywhere. Even if you were a rich black, the money was due weeks in advance and blacks were never reminded that the money was due. They also placed polling places in white communities so as blacks would not be able to get in, they used sign posts to confuse blacks and send them to the wrong place. They used the literacy test as a means of preventing blacks from voting. They would ask black males the most impossible questions about the constitution that not even they knew and would fail them. While whites would get easy questions that anyone could answer. They also used the ‘grandfather clause’ as well to strip black males of their voting rights. The grandfather ...

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