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    Reconstruction Era 1865 to 1877

    Number of Pages: 9


    Summary of the research paper:

    This 9 page paper provides an overview of the Reconstruction era. The essay reports some of the conflicts between President Lincoln and the Congress and between President Johnson and the Congress. The writer reports on the amendments, the civil rights act, the Freedmen's Bureau. The writer also discusses what went wrong, the founding of the Ku Klux Klan, the eventual lack of will from Northerners to support certain laws and proposals. Bibliography lists 7 sources.

    Name of Research Paper File: MM12_PGrcnstr.rtf

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    base for independence" (Huston, 2005, p. 358). It probably would have forged a coalition of these two populations that "would have operated against a native white political backlash" (Huston, 2005,  p. 358). That, of course, did not happen nor did anything approaching that action happen. Instead, poor whites experienced a status quo and many ex-slaves were at sea, not knowing  exactly what to do or how to get a job or how to support their sudden freedom. Many became sharecropping tenants, which was no improvement in their economic status (Ruef  and Fletcher, 2003). Their white landlords or merchants dictated what crops would be planted, in what quantity and even how they would be planted (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). Even freed,  these people were controlled by their white landlords or the merchants. Remember, they had been slaves, they had nothing, no tools, no home, no seeds, etc.; they were completely dependent  upon merchants who sold these items to the freed slaves at usury interest rates (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). Coercion of blacks may not have been physical as it had  been when they were slaves, but coercion certainly existed in many other forms to keep blacks limited in how much freedom they really had. Instead of slaves and owners, it  became tenants and landlords (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). Slaves who escaped this fate were still unskilled and had to take jobs for unskilled laborers (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). They  were still at the mercy of their employer (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). In practical terms, very little changed for many, many blacks (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). Of course, some had  marketable skills, such has domestics and semiskilled persons, e.g., seamstresses and carpenters (Ruef and Fletcher, 2003). And, there were the artisans but whites did not welcome that kind of competition 

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