A Brief Note On The Reconstruction Era

Submitted By alyssagumlaw
Words: 1250
Pages: 5

Alyssa Gumlaw
Mr. Rodrigues
CP US History C1
26 February 2015
The Reconstruction Era (1865-1877) was an important and very complicated time in our history. The Reconstruction Era came right after the Civil War, which explains why it was such a complicated time in our history, historians call this the Reconstruction Era because this is the period of time that the government restored the seceded states to the Union and they had three main power struggles that they had to deal with, including what to do/ how to deal with the freed slaves, how to deal with the states as they regained their place in the Union, and how the Southern whites should be treated. Each party, the Confederates and the Union both have their own goals and interests towards the power struggles, and these goals and interests lead to a power struggle between themselves. Also the former slaves and the former slave owners have their own interests and goals towards the power struggles, and the goals and interests lead to power struggles within themselves.

Many hard decisions were to be made when dealing with freed slaves. Andrew Johnson constructed a plan, which included a bureau, called a creation of a freedmen’s bureau which was made to help newly freed slaves, established in 1865. The bureau provided housing on Confederate lands that were confiscated, or lands that were abandoned during war, food, established schools for former slaves to attend, medical aid, and legal assistance. In the South the Freedman’s Bureau had about 3,000 schools that had around 150,000 students attending. The bureau did not fully carry out its service due to not enough funds. The reconstruction era had a low supply on food resources, and feeding the population became a large problem. The bureau distributed food to the starving, the newly freed slaves & the poor white southerners. Black Codes became a big thing in the Reconstruction Era, because the Reconstruction Era was supposed to end Slavery, and give Blacks full rights, but instead they came up with “Black Codes”, restricting the Blacks freedom. If a Black person left employment before the end of their contract in Mississippi, they would be forced to work for lower wages, or be arrested. In South Carolina the Black Codes prohibited Blacks to be employed in any job other than a farmer, or a servant, unless they paid a tax that ranged from $10 to $100. In both states Blacks were heavily penalized, sometimes resulting to being forced into plantation labor.

During the Reconstruction Era many Confederate states rejoined the Union, but because they had removed themselves from the Union to join the Confederacy, The Union had lots of trouble deciding on how to deal with the states. In order for the state to be accepted into the Union, the state had to submit to the military law, and ratify three amendments, which made it so much harder for Confederate states to be rejoined to the Union, the three amendments included the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments. The 13th amendment was to abolish slavery, which must have been a challenge to the Confederate states since they were fighting to have slavery. The 14th amendment is that every person born in the United States is a citizen, and this amendment denied all states from not giving every citizen equal protection and rights. The 15th amendment was the right to vote, no matter the race or color of the person. Tennessee was the first Confederate state to rejoin the Union. After the civil war many Confederate states started to rejoin, June 22nd, 1868 Arkansas rejoined the union, Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina rejoined on June 25th, 1868. Between July 14th 1868 and July 15th 1870 five more states rejoined the Union, including Alabama, Virginia, Mississippi, Texas and Georgia. Texas had to rejoin the Union because in 1869 Texas seceded from the Union, causing its case to go to the Supreme Court, Texas v. White decision.

Northern and Southern