American Civil War
The civil war ended many problems, but it also created many. Slavery was abolished, supremacy of the national government was confirmed and secession had been refuted. Reconstruction did not last very long, in fact it lasted for twelve years. Even though the northern states won, the southern states lost thousands of lives, properties were destroyed, and it created many tasks to be accomplished in order to reunite the country.
Some people however did not like the new laws that stated that blacks could vote, own guns, be out after dark, and consume alcohol. The thirteenth amendment said that slavery was outlawed in 1865. In 1866, amendment fourteen stated that all freed slaves could gain citizenship in the United States. The fifteenth amendment let the slaves have the right to vote, which happened in 1867. Since the slaves had just been freed and they have been slaves since they were born, they had nothing to their name. So therefore, people did everything they possibly could to stop them from voting and being active in government. They would say that in order to vote, one had to pass a literacy test (none of them knew how to read or write), and that their grandfather had to pay taxes in order for them to pay taxes, but since they were slaves, their grandfathers were too.
The Ku Klux Klan, infamously known as the KKK, is a group of white men, who were fairly wealthy, who went around threatening people, burning their houses down, killing them, or burning crosses on their front yards. The KKK did this only because they did not want black African Americans to be able to have the same rights as a white man. But according to General George Thomas and document 2, the purpose of the Ku Klux Klan was to have a safe haven for people looking to rebel.
According to Dr. W.E.B DuBois, blacks who wanted to work should not have been in politics, and in order to make a living, the African American was obliged to give up his political power (doc. 6). However, some slaves stayed in their houses where they were enslaved because it gave them shelter, food, clothes, and a sense of security. In document 7, John McCoy was given the option of staying in his slave owner’s house, or being free. His slave owner said he could not pay him, but he will give him food and clothes. So Mr. John McCoy decided to stay and have a permanent house and a continuing food supply. Even though Rutherford B. Hayes won the election of 1876, he shouldn’t have (doc. 8). He only won because he told the southern democrat congressmen if he was elected he would take the troops out of the south ending reconstruction.
Congress’ reconstruction efforts failed because of all these reasons. All the southern state governments were restored, and the citizenship of freed slaves rapidly were taken away or lessened. Soon the former slaves fell into a second class citizenship characterized by a system of state-enforced discrimination and segregation.