Intro and thesis: The Reconstruction Period period began in 1865 under Lincoln’s presidency, and was primarily a time dedicated to rebuilding the United States. Although black rights were established under the fourteenth amendment and the union was pieced back together, the reconstruction period was ultimately a failure due to the fact that it was forcibly imposed on the southern states by the government and, as a result, racial attitudes only worsened and racist white supremacy groups such as the KKK were formed.
Primary Source #1: Legacy
One of the most important parts of reconstruction was the active participation of African Americans socially, economically, and politically. The reconstruction era allowed for many African Americans to hold public office, from the local level all the way up to the US senate. Due to the policies and amendments enacted during the reconstruction era and following, African Americans still have active roles in major government positions. John Lewis, an African American politician and civil rights leader, was one of the “big six” leaders of groups who organized the March on Washington in 1963. John played an active role in African American freedom and equality in the years following reconstruction, and is currently the U.S. representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district. John still to this day, carries on the legacy of the fight for equality in our countries shameful past.
Primary Source #2: success
Along with the 14th Amendment, the enforcement acts also protected African American Rights. These bills were passed by the United States congress between 1870-1871. They protected African Americans’ right to vote, to hold office, to serve on juries, and receive equal protection of laws. In the picture above, a member of the Freedmen’s Bureau is standing between an angry mob of whites and a group of angry African Americans. Their job was to aid freedmen (free slaves) in the south and keep them protected under the enforcement acts.
Primary Source #3: Failures