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PinkMonkey Study Guide - American History

6. 8 The Impact of Reconstruction

Reconstruction tried to achieve a certain degree of racial equality of the blacks. Two important amendments to the constitution: the 14th and 15th amendments - laid the basis for government protection of the civil and political rights of blacks in America. Though the 19th and early 20th centuries saw the misuse of these amendments by the supreme court to protect business corporates from state regulation, those who framed these amendments believed that they were providing a constitutional bulwark for free blacks in the U.S.

Inspite of these noble intentions, after more than a century, blacks are still second class citizens and are denied basic rights. Why? There are several reasons given by historians. One of the reasons is the governmentís leniency towards the southern states which introduced black codes to suppress the Negroes. Secondly, the new governments formed with the help of Black votes were extremely corrupt. This gave enough excuse for the white southerners to denounce them. Further the Republicans were not ready to totally break the plantation system in the south under the guise of respecting the right to property.

The Reconstruction achieved much despite its obvious weaknesses. The schools that were built to provide education to both blacks and the poor whites, the roads that were built and the protection given to life and property were indeed major achievements of the government.

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Table of Contents

6.0 - Chronology of Major Events in this Period
6.1 - 14th Amendment to the Constitution
6.2 - The President's Impeachment
6.3 - The 15th Amendment
6.4 - Radical Reconstruction in the South
6.5 - The KU Klux Klan
6.6 - The Civil Rights Act
6.7 - The Compromise of 1877
6.8 - The Impact of Reconstruction
6.9 - Points to Remember

Chapter 7


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