Why did Reconstruction Fail for freedmen? After the Civil war, Congress wanted to change america so that another Civil war won’t happen again, so they started the Reconstruction era in the south. From 1865 to 1877, Congress had made new laws and programs that had helped freemen from being enslaved again. Laws such as ratifying the 13th, 14th ,and 15th amendment and creating the Freedmen’s bureau who help freed men learn to read and write and give freedmen plantation land for them to make money off of.
But after 1877, freedmen were now being treated like slaves again and the south was now restricting these laws from freedmen. Why were these laws now being restricted from freedmen after these laws were made specifically for them. Reconstruction failed in the south because Congress had treated them badly during military reconstruction, there was prejudice against black people during Reconstruction, and the south was still salty about losing the Civil war. After the south had lost the war, Congress wanted to make sure that the south would never succeed from the United States again.
So congress had started Military Reconstruction, which had divided the south into 5 districts and each state had to make their own government; which had to have the 14th amendment in their government in order to get back into the United States. as shown in Document 3. “In May 1872, because of the pressure from the liberal republican, Congress passes a general amnesty act which restored the right of officeholding(and holding) to the vast majority of those who had been disqualified….
After the passage of this act only a few hundred ex-Confederates remained unpardoned”. After the Civil war, blacks were now freed from slavery and that they could do the same things that a white man can do. The 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments now lead blacks to become citizens, had them vote in elections and were now able to own property and make money off said property. But southern white people were still untrustworthy of blacks having the same rights as whites since they would lose their power over them.
During reconstruction, black codes were in place to restrict blacks from doing ordinary things like entering town without a permit or even voting in official elections as stated in Section 1 in Document B,” No negro shall be allowed to come within limits of the town of Opelousas without special permission from his employers”. With laws like these and racists organizations like the Ku Klux Klan popping up all over the south, freedmen after the reconstruction era were now subjected to being treated like slaves again and know one in congress batted an eye.
The South was in shambles after they had lost the war. Many of their towns and supplies had been destroyed as a war strategy from the North to ensure that they would win the war. During Reconstruction, the south was in control under the North’s hand. They had to do whatever the North said in order to return into the Union. The south was pissed with the fact that they had to fix what the north had done to them during the war and that they have to follow military reconstruction in order to re-enter into the Union.
And without the help of any slaves to help them fix this mess, Southerners would try other ways to show the Union that they won’t follow their laws and they’ll keep their southern ideals as shown in Document A with a loop-hole in the 13th amendment. ” Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. When Southerners had realised that they could technically make black people do their work again if they place them under arrest for any crime, that’s when they started to specifically arrest black people for the littlest of crimes like having children out of wedlock and even walking along empty railroad tracks. This lead to the terrible process of convict leasing, which is technically slavery.
Reconstruction failed in the south because Congress had treated them badly during military reconstruction, there was prejudice against black people during Reconstruction, and the south was still salty about losing the Civil war. After the south had lost the war, Congress wanted to make sure that the south would never succeed from the United States again. After the Civil war, blacks were now freed from slavery and that they could do the same things that a white man can do.
The South was still mad after the war not because the north had won, but because the north did not help them fix their mistakes and that they were forced to comply to what congress tells them to do in order to get back into the union. This action of reconstruction failing freedmen and letting their former masters still treat them badly lead to the problems that we have today such as racial profiling from the police and the lack of support people of color get from the goverment.