Week 1 Tasks.odt - Reconstruction was the period after the...

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Reconstruction was the period after the Civil War and was implemented by Lincoln and Congress to reorganize the Southern states, providing the means for readmitting them into the Union, and defining the means by which whites and blacks could live together in society. The South, however were not enthused, and saw it as a humiliating, even a burden and did not welcome it. Because of this, Lincoln was ultimately assassinated while attending a theater show at the Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth, an angered Southerner. Reconstruction was successful as far as the economy. Before the war, the South relied heavily on the main crop of cotton. Post war cottonseed oil, tobacco, rice, and sugar cane were produced. As the end of the century neared, iron, rubber, lead and coal would thrive for the South due the expanding railroad. Textiles and Lumber also started to prosper, although most of the jobs for the factories were set aside for white workers. In the beginning I believe Reconstruction meant well socially, but failed miserably. It was to free men, women, and children from being slaves at which they should have never been. Allow voting rights for African American men, and gave hope that the former slaves could one day prosper in society among their fellow race. Instead, all it did was allowed them to leave the plantations as being known as a “slave”. The new legislation in the South began passing new guidelines called the Black Codes. These guidelines restricted the African American men from voting still. They were not allowed to marry, there were strict regulations on carrying firearms and were not allowed to sign into any contracts or own or lease any land. They were, however, allowed to work as long as they signed annual work contracts The catch to these were had they violated those said contracts, they faced fines and possible imprisonment on chain gangs. Some were allowed to get jobs, mostly forced to sharecrop or work for low wages. Essentially seeming as if it were the way it was before the war. The end of Reconstruction started when Congress passed the Amnesty Act of 1872, allowing all but 500 rebel Southerners political rights to be regained. This causing Southern states to vote Democratic leaders into office that intimidated African American voters from voting. In 1876 the Republicans had held office in only three states. The election of 1876 resulted in Democrat Rutherford B. Hayes being elected, and the Republicans promising to end Reconstruction. The South was now in the hands of the Democratic Party. By 1877, President Hayes had withdrawn the remaining troops and abandoned the federal responsibility for enforcing black rights. Thus bringing in the outlandish and unfair Jim Crow

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