Could Reconstruction Have Been More Successful

3561 words 15 pages
History Term Paper
Jack Conway
Mr. Hilgendorf
February 25, 2013
Word Count: 3234

Reconstruction: Rebuilding America

The United States was founded on the belief that every man has “certain inalienable Rights.” Not until ninety years later, however, when slavery was abolished did the United States actually offer these “Rights” to all of its citizens. The 19th century was turbulent time of stress and change for America. One of the most controversial dilemmas was the issue of slavery. Slavery was conceived by many to be morally wrong, and it undermined America’s most valued beliefs. Despite this inconsistency, slavery was still widely supported and permitted out of economic necessity in the South.
Slavery divided the
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Without the above three amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Blacks might still be slaves today and considered legally inferior to whites. Another large benefit of Reconstruction was public education was made available to Blacks for the first time in the South. Black access to education, even if it was underfunded and inferior to that of the whites, was still a huge step forward. Blacks had a tenacity to learn because they were deprived of that privilege for so long. In 1850, the literacy rate among Blacks ranged from ten to twenty percent, but after 1890, when the public education system included Blacks, their literacy rate jumped to over eighty percent. For period of time after the war ended, Blacks could vote and former Confederates could not. Therefore, Blacks gained some political power in many of the southern states that had both large black and confederate populations.
The southern economy began to industrialize taking advantage of local coal, oil, cheap labor, and steel although the industry in the South never was as productive or powerful as it was in the North. As the “New South” began to develop and industrialize, it began to better train and take care of its newly freed black workers to prevent them from Unionizing. The South provided workers with schools, hospitals, recreational facilities, housing, and offered scholarships for Blacks to attend Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee


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