As the American Civil War came to a bloody end with the northern side conquering, it was evident the newly reunited Unites States was in ruins economically, as well as socially and politically. Beginning in 1865, this initiated the beginning of the Reconstruction era with the purpose of rebuilding and reestablishing America. Among the American people were the newly freed African Americans whom who were dumped into society frequently destitute, unaided, and unknowing. Although the north had won and blacks were given freedom, they still had fight to exercise their newly given rights. While Reconstruction was meant to recreate, reform, and restore America into a successful, united country while integrating recently liberated African Americans into society, the establishment of political and social change to equalize blacks unfortunately did not come about until after the demise of the nineteenth century.
Although finally given constitutional rights, civil liberties and privileges in addition to legally being regarded as a citizen of the United States, African Americans still had to struggle for their acceptance and entitlement in political American. Anti-black violence customarily was used to scare and prohibit blacks to play a part in politics. Although legally given the right to vote (Document C) as well as having Enforcement Acts passed protecting the politics of African Americans and more fiercely prohibiting extremist groups and acting racists, blacks were still hesitant in exercising this liberty. Southerners, Democrats and other opposing individuals thought that through brutality and intolerance, they could keep their political power while possibly eliminating the Republican Party, their adversary faction.
One extremist organization that originated on ideas including white supremacy and white nationalism was the KKK, formally known as the Ku Klux Klan. Through violent acts and terrorism, this hate group showed their opposition on non-white individuals, although primarily recently liberated African Americans. Other forces acting against blacks were the Jim Crow Laws, although generally enforced in the southern states, which outlawed blacks from putting their recently obtained rights and liberties into practice (Document H).
In addition to these laws, regulations, dubbed Black Codes, were passed by the South for the sole purpose of limiting the freedom of former slaves. Although legalized as citizens and given the civil and constitutional rights, liberties and privileges as any other civilian (Document B), African Americans still had to fight to utilize and employ them. The Reconstruction era was intended to bring about political changes to society for the benefit of integrating African Americans, alas, Reconstruction would pass before favorable changes were achieved.
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