General William T. Sherman’s meeting with the black leaders who would become successful and prominent leaders of black people in the United States of America on January 12, 1865 somehow foreshadowed the coming of Reconstruction in this era. The meeting which united both white and black Americans who wished for the abolition of slavery was also the start of the partnership between these liberals and the blacks. In a decade, several incidents happened which marked the greatest times in the black American history.
Four days after the meeting, a land was given to the black Americans and mules that were not being used by the army were also given to them. This land will be the residence of more than 40,000 freed slaves. Because of this, they hoped that their emancipation will not only free them from slavery but also give them the freedom to be economically independent and have genuine freedom. However, it seems that the fight for freedom can be forgotten and reconstruction, that thing which should be uniting the shattered country will fail and become one of the greatest failures in the American history.
Why did Reconstruction fail? Who was the one to blame? While there are these black Americans who highly anticipated their freedom and liberals worked in redefining freedom for the rest of both the black and white Americans, there will be a problem that will fail the reconstruction era. After a decade, people got tired of fighting for freedom and soon, there are problems in line with the new administration. After the black Americans were indeed successful to establish their own lives and building churches, schools for black children and institutions, a decade later, the fight for their freedom and rights suddenly met silence.
Andrew Johnson confiscated all lands that were given to black Americans thus starting the failure in land reform which was given in 1865. At the same time, he is not in favor of the rights being pushed by the Republicans for the sake of the Black Americans. His views regarding the freedom of the African-Americans were not in line with what these former slaves ought to have. Hence, his ideas of reconstruction were the same reason why it failed. The politicians from the south cannot accept emancipation and the liberty that slaves must have while the president is not in favor of the Reconstruction being pushed by the slaves and the Republicans.
The failure of Reconstruction was brought by the fact that there are people who cannot accept the reality of emancipation and pushed what they wanted best for themselves than what is right for the rest of the United States of America.
Eric Foner. Give Me Liberty! An American History, 2e Volume II eBook from http://www.wwnorton.com/college/history/foner2v2_ebook/welcome.asp
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