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Running head: RECONSTRUCTION AND THE AGE OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM1Reconstrction and the Age of American ImperialismJanessa SokolWestern Governors University
RECONSTRUCTION AND THE AGE OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM2Reconstrction and the Age of American ImperialismA.Changes in Race RelationsAfter the North won the Civil War, many laws and amendments were put in place that helped the African American community. Firstly the Congress and Lincoln joined together increating the Thirteenth Amendment. This amendment abolished involuntary servitude and passsed with only 2 votes over the 2/3 majority needed. This was followed by the 14thAmendment which gave citizenship to every person born on US soil. This was important because it allowed former slaves to have the same rights as all other US citizens. The 15thAmendment took African American rights a step further with allowing the men to vote. This Amendment ensured that all citizens could vote regardless of race. This was met with a lot of resistance from people who were still pro-slavery. That tried to put ballot taxes in place to make it harder for African Americans to vote. These were known as Black Codes. (Norton, 2015).Many African-Americans moved away in search of family members and land ownership. Although they were promised 40 acres and a mule, that promise was not fulfilled. They also moved in search of education. They started schools for the children and adults alike. Many blacks even paid a good portion of their earnings for tuition in order to gain their education. The also were now free to build there own churches. What started as brush arbors, turned into the African Methodist Episcoal (A.M.E.) church. By 1877, the A.M.E. had a thousand ministers and 44,000 members. These churches developed into communities of freedom and prosperity for the freedpeople. (Norton, 2015).By 1868, whites and blacks had formed a new system called sharecropping that allowed both groups to profit. This system allowed a landlord to furnish land, food, and supplies and
RECONSTRUCTION AND THE AGE OF AMERICAN IMPERIALISM3in return receive a portion of the crop’s profit. The eased landowners problems with money and provided much needed labor. However, sharecropping became an oppresive system and Andrew Johnson tried to find a way that would work better for everyone. Johnson was very influential in the reconstruction and pardons of planters. (Norton, 2015).

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