Advantages and Disadvantages of Reconstruction for African Americans

May 13 07:47 2006 Max Weber Print This Article

The Reconstruction was implemented by Congress and lasted from 1866 to 1877. It was aimed at reorganization of the Southern states after the Civil War, provision of the means for readmitting them into the Union, and definition of the means by which whites and blacks could live together in a non-slave society. The South, however, saw Reconstruction as a humiliation and even as vengeful imposition and did not welcome it.

As a result of Reconstruction,Guest Posting the life of an average African American changed socially, economically, and politically. Definitely, there have been some improvements, but the negative changes have outweighed the positive one. Reconstruction was mainly a time of hope that the life will finally improve. Dreams were granted and taken away. It was the first time that African Americans got a taste of freedom. It did not come easily to them, and it was not all positive. People had to suffer for the freedom that they wanted. With time, some rights granted by Reconstruction were taken away again. They started from the top and ended up on the bottom. Many whites people, especially members of the Ku Klux Klan believed that the African Americans did not deserve to have freedom. The Pig Law, Mississippi Plan, Convict leasing, and sharecropping were four most negative events that happened during this time period. All four events discriminated against the African Americans, and in the eyes of Whites, put them back where they belonged--on the bottom. The effects of the Reconstruction put African Americans into a state of political, economic, and social oppression.

The Emancipation Proclamation was declared in 1863 and freed African Americans in the rebel states, and after the Civil War, the Thirteenth Amendment emancipated all slaves in the U.S. As a result, the African Americans in the South now faced the difficulty Northern African Americans had confronted--that of a free people surrounded by many hostile whites. One freedman, Houston Hartsfield Holloway, wrote, “For we colored people did not know how to be free and the white people did not know how to have a free colored person about them.”

Before the Civil war, the African Americans were not even considered people. They worked on the plantations for the owners without payment. In return the received inadequate food and very few clothing. They were forced to work like dogs and were treated as such. The Civil war was fought for the emancipation of slaves and their civil rights.

When the reconstruction began African Americans felt that they were beginning to become people in whites eyes and that their troubles of slavery and lack of civil rights would soon be over. According to the Emancipation Proclamation, former slaves were allowed to support themselves and to make their own living. Due to the new laws, they were to be paid money for the work on plantations and gained a share of the crops they grew.

Even after the Emancipation Proclamation, two more years of war, service by African American troops, and the defeat of the Confederacy, the nation was still unprepared to deal with the question of full citizenship for its newly freed African American population. Many whites did not like that former slaves claimed their freedom.

For some time, police patrolled the areas at night, and if an African American was found they were accused of a petty crime. For this crime they were charge a fine for the crime and if the culprit could not pay he was thrown in jail. Even worse, they had to pay to be thrown in jail. When people could not pay a fine and a bill from the jail, they had to work off the debts. They had to work for plantation owners till the last felt that the debt had been paid. And of course, the planters used the free work as much as they could, especially because they did not have to care anymore how to keep them alive. Many people have died working on the plantations even before they could pay the debt. This situation reminds slavery, because African Americans again had to work for the planters without any compensation.

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Max Weber
Max Weber

Max is a senior writer at Custom Essay Writing Network. He is an experienced custom essay and writer of will be glad to share his experience of custom essay writing with you.

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