The Reconstruction brought about various changes throughout the United States, especially for African American freedmen. However, the road to freedom for the blacks was still going to be a long and difficult one. The Reconstruction was a failure on the economical, social, and political terms. To begin with, economically wise one of the major conflicts blacks had was that they didn’t have any sort of goals or knowledge. For example, Dora Franks couldn’t even define her age because neither she nor her parents knew how to read or write. Most of the slaves were the same way.
All their life they had been taught and had the knowledge from past generations that they were to be slaves and slaves only. All they knew to do was labor and they didn’t exactly have any education or money since they also didn’t get paid. In the end they were sent to their old owners to do labor for them. During this time, they were paid very little, if at all. It was definitely unfair for the blacks. Furthermore, socially it was a failure because many still did not consider blacks to be equal to whites. It was during this time that General Forest started the Ku Klux Klan.
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The goal of the KKK was to restore white superiority and to turn the Republicans who had established the Reconstruction governments out of power. Their methods were mainly to keep blacks from using their political power which included voting rights. They’d threaten the blacks and if they knew someone had gone against their wishes they’d torture and hang some of them to show them what they were willing to do and frighten them. For example, Richard and Drucilla Lartin say stories about how slaves were mostly beaten. To most of their masters, they were not any more than stock.
They also mention on how even little girls were beaten up till they would die. Finally, a political failure of Reconstruction was that most of the blacks were kept from voting. There were three main ways they stopped the blacks from voting. The first one was called the Grandfathers Clause which stated that in order for one to vote, their grandfather had to have been able to vote. The next one was poll tax and it said that whites would charge the blacks around a dollar to vote and charge the whites around a penny. Last of all, there was the literacy test.
For this one, voters had to answer a question in order to vote. Simple questions were given to the whites while the blacks were given much harder questions and since the blacks didn’t know the answers to the questions they were kept from voting. When it comes down to it, the Reconstruction was not successful as it was supposed to be. Because of their lack of knowledge and goals, the fact that the blacks were prevented from voting, and they were treated very unfairly, the Reconstruction failed in bringing blacks social, political, and economic equality. Theme:________________