Reconstruction Project By: Will Philipps

The Reconstruction era was a time period which took place just after the Civil War when the Union was in the process of rebuilding the south. Even though the north won the war, during the Reconstruction era, the south were the ones who wrote the history about what happened during the war. The south feared that the terrible part of the war has yet to come, meaning that the war goes from a battleground to a political dispute of the war. My question relating to this topic is "how did amendments and laws, from the Reconstruction era, change people's perspective about life during the Reconstruction era to present day"? The Reconstruction era had many successes, failures, and legacies, but the effects of the amendments and laws determine the views of society in present day.

The 14th Amendment was ratified into the Constitution on July 9, 1868. The amendment granted citizenship to all people born or naturalized in the United States. The amendment also states that no state has the right to take away someone's right to life, liberty, or property without due process and law. The reason as to why this was such an important amendment at the time is because it granted citizenship to ALL people, even to former slaves and African Americans, who were discriminated against at the time. Looking from present day, this amendment represents a small step in the beginning of what would later be known as the Civil Rights movement.
The Black codes were laws passed by southern states in 1865 - 1866. The laws severely restricted the freedoms of any former slave or African American and forced them to work in a labor economy with extremely low wages. During the Reconstruction era, the south was still very angry about losing their "right" to own slaves, so they began to grow hatred towards former slaves for having the same rights as them. After looking back to these harsh laws that were enacted back in the Reconstruction era, it is considered an all time failure because of all the racist restrictions forcefully being acted on innocent people solely because they were a different race.
The 15th Amendment stated that no man shall ever be denied of their right to vote on the account of their race, color, or previous servitude. This amendment sparked the new idea that men of color can take the next step into having a more equal citizenship with white men, no matter what the person's race, color, or previous servitude. Looking back to when the amendment first came to be, this amendment gave a new hope to African Americans all over because they now have gained more freedom. The amendment also angered many white men in the south and caused a huge upset which typically resulted in violent actions. In present day, we look back at this amendment as the next step into the Civil Rights movement, which allowed equal rights and freedoms to all citizens regardless of race.

In conclusion, the amendments and laws of the Reconstruction era created very significant changes in society from then to now. Another time period that relates to the Reconstruction era is the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment relates to the Reconstruction era is in the aspect of the Enlightenment was a time period about change in science and beliefs, just like the Enlightenment, the Reconstruction era went through many changes in society along the lines of more rights and freedoms are given. The effects of both of the time periods is that they changed the course of history for the good of future times.

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