Reconstruction clearly accomplished some things on its duty. It reinstated the United States back into one large nation again. It came a long way and after twelve years the confederate states recognized and acknowledged the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments.

They also drafted new constitutions. Reconstruction put to rest the federalism vs states’ rights debates. Reconstruction was not a complete success. They ultimately failed to shield previously freed slaves from white oppression. They also did not succeed in pushing changes in the south. Former confederate officials returned to power after president Rutherford B. Hayes pulled out troops from the south in the year 1877. This would then lead to the passing of the black codes by white southern politicians.

 The black codes were laws that were extremely discriminatory towards African Americans. Blacks were restricted incredibly from the freedom they were being led to have. Mississippi and south carolina would be the first two states to legislate these black codes. South carolina’s postwar constitution did not allow blacks to vote and continued to force racial qualifications. Black men were not allowed to make a living off of being an artisan, a mechanic, or a shopkeeper unless maintaining a license. Blacks were restricted on voting as well. They would have to take literacy tests which were nearly impossible to pass, they were restricted on having public meetings, and they would have to go back to working for a white. Reconstruction also brought the sharecropping system, basically a legal sequel to slavery.

This forced blacks to stay on the same tracks as whites. They were “entitled” to land that had to be owned by wealthy whites. This grew rapidly in the South.

By 1877, Northern states grew tired and wanted to be done with reconstruction and the scandals that traveled with it, making blacks have to battle this with their small levels of economic power. The Civil War maintained the Union and gave slaves freedom but after that came a drought of political focus on the division between the sections and an ignorance towards the long-term racial integration. When the war ended, the Union’s duty was to yield the south back into the nation, assist them to regain their economy and assist them fix their lands. The 10% plan was put forward. This proposed merciful way for southern states to return into the Union, but on April 14th, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated. This left the new president Andrew Johnson (a former slave owner) to introduce his version of reconstruction. The North essentially failed in rebuilding the south and its goal to bring the South back.

The unsuccessful climate is shown in the year 1880 when the division between the North and South resembled Russia and Germany. The issues with reconstruction don’t end there. The rise of white supremacists in groups like the Klu Klux Klan combined with the Black Codes and intimidated and stripped liberties from freed African American slaves. The slaughterhouse cases; U.S. v.

Cruikshank and U.S. v. Reese, drastically pulled back the black people’s rights. I believe that Reconstruction did make drastic changes, but the changes only lead it to be considered a failure.

The North did not give its all into rebuilding the South into the Union. Racism made its way in society and into the new “free” blacks of society. It overall had ineffective attempts to bring back the Southern states into the union as an equal nation.

It unsuccessfully merged whites with freed slaves into the nations society.


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