The era between 1865 and 1877 is known as The Reconstruction Era. During the civil war the southern economy was destroyed. Plantations, crops, houses and railroads were ruined. There were two different views on how the south would get rebuilt and how blacks would get equal rights.
One way was the Presidential Plan. It was originally Lincoln’s plan and Johnson tried to follow it but he failed. The presidential plan was easier and more lenient towards former confederates. The second way was the Congressional Plan. It was created by radical republicans and it had a tougher stand against the South. The Congressional Plan wanted to guarantee civil rights of African Americans and they wanted to punish the South.
The Congress’ Reconstruction efforts to ensure equal rights to the freedmen failed because of many reasons. One reason was because after the civil war the south was still racist towards blacks. Rebellion groups such as the Ku Klux Klan were made to scare blacks and people who believed that everyone should get equal rights. Black codes which are laws that restrict freedmen’s rights were passed by southerners in 1866.
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Another reason is because in May of 1872 all those who had been disqualified to run for office or vote could now do so. Now that white southerners could vote, they voted ex-confederate leaders into office. This created a problem because they weren’t supportive of equal rights. Some other reasons were that many times blacks didn’t leave the plantations when they were free because their owners said they would give them clothes and feed them if they stayed. And they didn’t know what was out in the world so they stayed where they felt safe and was comfortable. In the election of 1876 Hayes won. He won by electoral vote and because he would withdraw the troops from the southern states.
The Congress’ Reconstruction efforts to ensure equal rights to the freedmen failed because of many reasons. I think that if they didn’t allow ex-confederates into office and if the south wouldn’t have passed black codes that African Americans would have gotten equal rights a lot faster. So many small things could have made it so their efforts to ensure equal rights to the freedmen would have worked. This has taught America a lot and we learn from our mistakes.
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