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Jennifer Silva US History 1 Final Exam 6/21/13 “A house divided against itself cannot stand”- Abraham Lincoln 1858.

The Civil War was possibly the greatest tragedy that this country had ever faced. Years of constant arguing, compromises and different views on slavery pushed this so called “United Nation” into an atrocious collision between the Northern abolitionists and the Southern proslavery farmers and plantation owners. After the Civil War, America was in the era of Reconstruction, which was to bring the eleven seceding states back to a self-government and to be reseated in congress. The Reconstruction period began with many leaders stepping up to try and fix this crippled Nation, but it didn’t turn out like everyone hoped. Reconstruction turned out to be a failure because poverty attacked many African Americans, lack of equality and there was lot of violence. Poverty was still a Global issue in the South; white Southerners had lost their lands and the African Americans were newly freed and therefore had no economic opportunities. Freedom brought problems as well as opportunities; Many freedmen had to start their lives with nothing, they were left on their own without any help from anyone.(TCI, 2002) African Americans struggled to built new lives. Farmer Slaves desperately wanted land to farm but didn’t have money to buy it and former owners desperately needed workers to farm their land but had no money to pay them. (TCI, 2002) Out of their needs they decided to come up with a farming system called “sharecropping”. Planter would divide their lands into small plots and rent them to individual tenant farmers. A few tenants would pay their rents in cash but most of them paid their rents by giving the landowner a share. African Americans were really enjoying it at first. However sharecroppers had borrow money from planters to buy the food, seeds and other supplies they needed, not everyone earned the money from their crops to pay back what they owed. (TCI, 2002) Reconstruction was a failure because sharecropping and tenant farming brought more complication like poverty and debt. People’s rights were being violated. When democrats regained control things started going downhill. Public Schools were being closed and they drew a color line between Blacks and Whites in public life.(TCI, 2002) The new act was Jim Crow laws it segregated blacks and whites in the South after the Civil war. Many African Americans claimed that it violated the 14th Amendment. Some people tried to fight against Jim Crow laws, like Homer Plessy. He took his case to the court but he’s case was not successful. After a while Blacks and Whites were completely separated; they attended separate schools, played in separate parks, and sat in different sections in theaters. Things were starting to get better for Whites and not so great for African Americans; whites were superior to Blacks. (TCI, 2002) This is a failure because Whites had more privileges than Blacks. Southern Whites disliked Reconstruction Governments for many reasons. They were forced on them, they had to pay high taxes and they couldn’t stand seeing former slaves voting and holding public offices. (TCI, 2002) Democrats in the south tried to win black voters by using

legal tricks to keep them from voting and taking office and when those tricks didn’t work, whites turned to terrorism or violence.(TCI, 2002) Organizations were forming; one of the most famous ones were the Ku Klux Klan. Ku Klux Klan was a group of people who wore robes and masks and pretended to be the ghosts of the Confederate soldiers. They were scared of change and the rising rights of the African Americans who they wanted to be laborers and slaves. They attacked them usually by setting their houses on fire, beating them; tarring and feathering them and even murdering them. There were many kinds of racist attitude towards African Americans not only in the South but also in the North. (TCI, 2002) The KKK people were traumatizing African Americans with their actions. (Abram Colby, 1872) The Reconstruction was a failure because it only brought more challenges and made African Americans suffers. Therefore Reconstruction was a big failure. African Americans faced a lot of challenges; poverty took over the nation and violence increased over time. It’s reasonable for someone to argue that Reconstruction was a success since African Americans got to be free and for a moment they had equal rights. However at the end they were close to where they started, they were inferior and were segregated. Once something is broken it can’t ever go back to the way it used to be.