Written by Enoch Miaw
The Civil War ended in 1865, however, racial tensions existed throughout the Reconstruction Era and through the Civil Rights period. Many people still have unfounded biases and tensions because of race. Although the Reconstruction provided blacks with new rights, it failed to provide economic independence for them, causing racial tensions to continue into modern times.
This is an hand-colored image which shows the freedoms blacks had after the ratification of the 15th amendment. Blacks were allowed to fight in the army, given equal rights to marriage, rights to participate in the government and congress, and the right to education and other civil privileges that were previously denied to them before the Reconstruction Era.
The Reconstruction Era provided blacks with many new rights that they enjoyed for a short period of time, but it also left them with much to be desired. Blacks, although they enjoyed their newfound rights, often found themselves without work, land, or money. This lead to them falling into the “slavery” of sharecropping, where they were stuck paying off debts forever, which took away many of their previously earned rights. This picture shows the horrible conditions of sharecropping and how similar it was to slavery.
This picture shows the continuity of Southern confederate pride. Many southerners still take huge pride in their confederate heritage, even into the 21st century. Their pride in the CSA also leads to a continued pride in the effects of slavery and the racial tensions that come with slavery. This pride helps lead to the racial tensions that continue to exist in the US and explains why racial tensions exist, especially in the South.
The Reconstruction provided blacks with temporary rights, but failed to give them economic independence, which caused them to fall into sharecropping and ultimately left many racial tensions to exist in the modern era. Despite the end of the civil war, black people’s freedom was limited at best and often left more to be desired.