The social changes during the era of reconstruction Introduction The end of civil war in America reshaped the lives and position of African America in the society; notably, this period led to the end of slavery and slave trade. The constitution amendments ensured that African American rights were protected. Arguably, reconstruction is a period characterized by racial segregation of the African American people (Brundage, pg6). Land ownership was reserved for the whites since African were not allowed to own land; however, after the civil war, some were given land. Notably, constitutional amendments such as the thirteen, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments enhanced equality and reduce racial segregation.
The former slaves were given back their land, although the land was swampy and not suitable for farming. Moreover, the Africans lacked the resources such as plows, seeds, horse, and tools to engage in meaningful faming (Lukács, pg13). This led them to engage in sharecropping and land tenancy to enable them practicing farming. This lowered the living standards and the status of the African American population owing to the low economic position.
The African were denied chance to participate in voting, as well as, restrictions to own businesses. However, the period saw the improvement of education and immense social transformation of the African American. The slaves who were separated from their families were reunited and marriages between the slaves were formalized. The freed slaves took advantage of opportunities for higher education and enrolled in large numbers (Sustar, pg23). Moreover, establishment of education facilities and teacher training institution for the blacks enhanced literacy. These opportunities were unheard of before civil war and reconstruction period. Essentially, government played a critical role in protecting the rights of the blacks.
They enacted laws that enhanced equality and fair treatment of all people in the society regardless of race (Wills, pg32). The southerners were reduced to tenant farming owing to emigration of the black who were providing labor. They resorted into single cropping, especially cotton owing to lack of labor force that was previously free. The efforts by the former slaves to fight for equality and freedom played a critical role in reshaping the social lives of Africans.
They agitated for enactment of laws that enhanced equality and right to vote to enable representation (Sustar, pg21). Conversely, corruption and poor management of government resources occasioned this period. The whites on the pretext of misgovernment denied African Americans to participate in election. This forced African to create back towns such as Kansas, Tennessee, and Oklahoma Territory. The emigration of Blacks from the rural south helped in formation of political and civil rights organization to champion for their rights (Roediger, pg13). However, the whites believed that the blacks should concentrate in economic self-improvement rather that fighting for equality.
Notably, the foundation of institutions and black communities were formed during this period; essentially, this led to the establishment of black churches and schools. In essence, this changes were critical since it led to the rise of teachers, clergymen, landowners, businessmen in the black community. Black clergymen assumed leadership role in the community hence helped in championing for the rights of Blacks (Foner, pg25). The establishment of the Freedmen’ bureau helped in championing for provision of education expansion. Education helped African Americans to understand their rights and position in the society; moreover, they agitated for fair representation and equal treatment.
However, during this period racism was embedded in the daily lives. The period of reconstruction played a critical role in opening up the possibility of multiracial organization. The black Americans were allowed to participate in voting, taking leadership role in society, and establish business. In essence, end of slave trade and slavery raised the resolve of Black population to fight capital exploitation and oppression (Foner, pg16). The sole reason for the reconstruction amendments was to ensure that the freedom and civil rights of everyone n society was guaranteed.
The end of slavery Conclusion In sum, reconstruction period saw the end of slavery and slave trade thereby allowing African America to have freedom of movement. The freed slaves were reunited with their families and slave marriages were legalized. Moreover, African American societies migrated from the south and formed their towns such as Tennessee and Kansas (Lukács, pg24). Formation f this town played a role in uniting blacks in championing for their rights. Moreover, the establishment of Freedmen’s Bureau helped in promoting education, which enhanced enlightenment and literacy levels among the black population.
The educated clergymen assumed leadership position in society. Education played a critical role in sensitizing the black population on politics. They agitated for political representation and to be allowed to participate in election. Work cited Brundage, W. Fitzhugh. “Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved. ” Freedom’s Story. New York: Wiley & Sons, 2010. Foner, Eric. Reconstruction America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863–1877 . New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1998. Lukács, George. History and Class Consciousness.
Boston: MIT Press, 1007. Roediger, David. The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, Revised Edition. New York: Verso Press, 2000. Sustar, Lee. “Racism and class struggle in the American Civil War era, ” International Socialism Journal (2006): 29-37. Wills, Garry. “Negro President: ” Jefferson and the Slave Power. New York: First Mariner Books, 2003.