Why Did Reconstruction Fail?
Reconstruction appeared during the period of 1865-1877, when the government of the U.S. tried to put the country together after the Civil War. The Reconstruction Period was a time of great difficulties and asperities for the United States. President Andrew Johnson had to face the task of reunifying the North and South together. It was the attempt to reform and rebuild the South from the economic, social and political standpoints after the Civil War. Moreover, it attempted to refashion race relationships across the whole state. However, Reconstruction failed, and it is very important to understand what were the major reasons of this failure.
Reconstruction was profoundly political due to the fact that the debates and disagreements concerning slavery and the Civil War that laid the foundation for it, and all three followed the same pattern: liberalism prevailed at the time when conservatists outsmarted. Failure of Reconstruction can be attributed to a number of factors. As a matter of fact, political subsequences were conjoined with sectional and race debates (Perman & Taylor, 2011). The overall conjugation of these challenges made the whole process more complicated and even riskier towards the achievement the marginal objective of reunifying the state smoothly and pacifically. Primarily, the general scheme for Reconstruction was originated and executed by Abraham Lincoln (Lincove, 2000). According to the project named as “10 Percent” a state had to be reunified at the time when ten percent of the voters adjured of loyalty towards the Union and guaranteed to endure the liberation (Peacock, 2002). In fact, the rationalization of this project was the fact that the South had never actually abandoned the Union, therefore, the restoration would be comparatively easy and plain. After the general restoration and reformation of the states, they would be once again able to resurge a state government (Lincove, 2000). Congress, incorporating the Republicans, had been disgruntled by the above-mentioned claim and instantly passed the Wade-Davis Bill of 1864 in order to neutralize and prevent the overall Lincoln’s plan. It demanded that 50 percent of all electors had to avouch fidelity. The discrepancies between the Congress and the president evoked the factious disparities inside the Republican Party as such (Lincove, 2000). After the Abraham Lincoln’s death, a supported and a part of the oppositionist-planter-aristocracy movement, Andrew Johnson was appointed to the position of the U.S. President (Peacock, 2002). The opposition and following aggressive operations of Confederate loyalists put a lot of African-Americans and adherent people of racial equality in danger. A huge number of white plantation owners and freedmen suffered from growing poverty caused by war expenses and destruction, disputes over labor agreements, and the growing dependence on credit (Perman & Taylor, 2011). Finally, the general shortage of efficient law enforcement and waning national interest did little to prevent the failure or Reconstruction. After the end of the Civil War, much controversy and debate surrounded the issues of reunification and reconstruction of the South (Peacock, 2002). Hostility, which was conjoined with the counteraction and aggressive acts of Confederate loyalists, provoked and actually caused the determinate crash of post-slavery attempts to reunite and reformate. Frequent aggression and severe opposition were both fiscally and morally exhausting for the whole state. At the time when the United States attempted to recover fiscally in the period of the Reconstruction Era, Southern holders of plantation and small farm operators had to face raising fiscal challenges (Perman & Taylor, 2011). The overall scheme of labor required effective operations of large plantations, which were actually in ruins. In fact, numerous disagreements concerning labor contracts, the deprivations of investments in Confederate bonds, and the turnover towards cotton as a cash crop all led to economic collapse in the Southern states (Ruggiero, 2007). More farmers, who were incorrigible for the revenue from cotton crops and goods provided by Northern traders, were induced to buy products in debt or to utilize the crops as subsidiary. Heavy percentage levels and a number of area-wide crops collapse immersed a lot of white and African-American farmers into serious, almost extreme misery (Peacock, 2002). In addition, at the time when federal regulations furnished the legislative framework in order to provide all people with equal rights and protection under the legislation, quite a limited number of mechanisms existed to enforce such laws. Groups of Confederate loyalists could freely threaten and harm African-Americans trying to implement the rights, which were provided with the help of Constitutional amendments, which actually were even more collaborating to the overall crash of Reconstruction (Lincove, 2000). Costs for reconstruction efforts grew and the less backing Northerner supporters conveyed. The whole state was eager to procrastinate the complicated items elevated by the Civil War and come back to normality, farther reducing backing for the overall Reconstruction attempts.
In the period of the Reconstruction, the U.S. was becoming more and more segregated. The South created special black codes in order to retrace African-Americans to semi-slavery. A considerate number of aggression and discrimination proceeded on a vast scale in the times of the Reconstruction. Jim Crow’s laws (the term utilized to satirize Andrew Jackson’s populist policies; also meant ‘negro’ by 1838) provided a lot of indemnity to the overall level segregation in the U.S. (Peacock, 2002). The Jim Crow’s legislations authorized segregation as such and limited African-American civil rights. Moreover, the North together with the Federal government performed no or little actions in order to impede these legislations. There were confidential communities that attempted to prevent African-Americans from the overall political operations together with oppressing them (Ruggiero, 2007). In fact, such terroristic establishments also provoked and caused rebellions against state governments. After the general revocations of federal troops from the South, southern state government and terroristic establishments, including the Ku Klux Klan rejected African-Americans the right to vote. Consequently, approximately two hundred African-Americans were lynched each year starting from 1889 up to 1899 (Peacock, 2002). Racialist positions and behaviors concerning African-Americans pursued, in both the Northern part of the U.S. and the South of it.