The American Civil War was a period of turmoil between the states in the North and the South. These states were divided by disagreements of ideas such as the role of slaves and the role of the Government. The time period after the Civil War is known as the Reconstruction period, after the Civil War the southern states were left bitter and unsatisfied. The southern region was left in ruin and had to be rebuilt and left question on how the union would be reunited. Reconstruction was the time period after the war that dealt with the fate of the south. Some people may say that the role of the government during reconstruction protected and established black rights fully, instead of merely giving them rights. However, though black rights were established by the 14th and 15th amendments, social factors such as confederate state opposition and the lack of unity in the united states hindered the government from actually protecting these rights. Internal conflict and southern state opposition are factors that diminished the effects that the government had on black rights through the 14th and 15th amendments. To what extent did the government establish and protect black rights during reconstruction?
A success during the era of reconstruction was the establishment of the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment not only benefitted slaves and blacks but also established equality throughout the nation of the united states as a whole. The primary source explains how the amendment granted citizenship to all those born or naturalized in the united states including slaves, it forbids any state to deny any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. The benefit of the 14th amendment was tremendous, it finally established all men in the united states equal, providing them with citizenship and basic rights, as well as greatly expanded the protection of civil rights to all americans. The government of the united states played a key role in establishing the rights of blacks, freeing them from their previous owners, and giving them a new life.
A failure to the era of reconstruction that led to an increase, but also a decrease in black rights was the 15th amendment. The government passed the 15th amendment but did not protect it. The primary source states that 15th amendment to the constitution granted African American men the right to vote, and shall not be denied by the united states or by any state on account of race or color. However, although this source states that African American's were given the right to vote and it would not be denied, this was not guaranteed. Organizations and groups such as the KKK sabotaged the 15th amendment with threats to the black population. The government could not protect the black population from the KKK because they were members of juries and other government organizations. Blacks were denied there right to vote freely because the KKK would show up to voting polls and threaten to beat and harm the individuals if the voted republican. Therefore because of this lack of protection by the United States Government, the 15th amendment was a failure and a step backwards in black rights.
The legacy of the Reconstruction era dealt with the establishment of many rights, but ultimately lead to nothing. During reconstruction the 14th and 15th amendments marked great progress for the formerly enslaved blacks, however there was no enforcement of the laws therefore black codes and other loop holes were able to be made. The primary source discusses about a decade after reconstruction and how blacks were still struggling for racial equality, and that all individuals in the united states should be entitled to full accommodations, advantages and facilities of public conveyances. The role of the government on black rights during reconstruction was very limited. They established the rights of the black population but did not enforce of protect them. Blacks were still looked at to be inferior to the white man, and it took until the 1950's and 60's for a movement to be made to racial equality in the united states. This movement was the civil rights movement, this movement was a product of the legacy of the Reconstruction era. The reconstruction era was a project that was never finished, they established black rights, but no further progress was made towards them until now.
To what extent did the government establish and protect black rights during reconstruction? Overall the government during reconstruction was in a very tight spot. They had just come out of a war with their own country and were confused on how the union should be reunited. The role of the government on black rights was black and white, they established that the black population should and did receive rights, but those rights were never protected and guaranteed for black individuals. Yes these amendments made great progress towards equality in the united states, but however racism, inequality, and hatred was still present in society. The KKK and other groups sabotaged the success of these rights with threats and terrorism. An event similar to that of reconstruction was that of the women's rights movement during this same time period. Like blacks, women were looked at as not equal to that of their white male counterparts, they could not vote and mainly stayed at home providing for the family. However they fought for what they thought should be theirs and achieved rights of that equal to white males through amendments and rallies like the black population.