Reconstruction DBQ

Table of Content

Many believe that Reconstruction was brought to an end by the North due to their racism, fatigue, and distractions. Despite some positive aspects of Reconstruction such as the Freedman’s Bureau providing support to African Americans in terms of food, education, jobs, and legal assistance, there were also negatives including Sharecropping, which resulted in the exploitation of African Americans. Additionally, the implementation of Black Codes further limited the rights of African Americans.

The North’s racism played a significant role in ending Reconstruction. Their racist beliefs were one of the factors that led to its demise. According to Document D, it explicitly states that “the blacks, as a people are unfitted for the proper exercise of political duties….” This demonstrates that the North held racist views similar to those of the South. Additionally, the North also argued that blacks were unfit to be citizens, implying that they too believed in denying blacks their rights. Document D includes a picture depicting conflicts between blacks and whites, as they disagreed on the issue of racism.

In addition to distractions, the North bears responsibility for the demise of Reconstruction. Numerous white Southerners resisted the efforts of Reconstruction, citing the prevalent violence. For instance, in 1870, Albion Tourgee, a white ex-soldier who traveled to North Carolina to serve as a judge and aid in the state’s reconstruction, recounted an incident where a state Senator was brutally killed by the Ku Klux Klan and left hanging on a hook in the jury room (Doc, A letter). This act of terrorism aimed to intimidate both the Carpetbaggers and the white scalawags, who were white Southerners sympathetic to Reconstruction and residing in the South.

Last but not least, the North is responsible for the demise of Reconstruction due to exhaustion.

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