Reconstruction DBQ: The Whole Enchilada - Part II
During the Reconstruction Era of U.S. History, many acts and amendments were passed by the Northern Republicans that attempted to stop Southern oppression of African Americans, as these laws gave citizenship to African Americans, allowed African Americans to vote, and even compensated African Americans for the years of enslavement. However, because of the Jim Crow laws that were established in the south, the laws passed to help African Americans being ineffective in the south, and the terrorist groups like the Klu Klux Klan and the White League, Reconstruction did not successfully extend freedom upon African Americans in the postwar South. Jim Crow laws were the extension of the Southern view of African Americans being inhuman and thus severely handicapped the rights of African Americans, as the basis of the laws was engraved within the American society. The acts such as 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments, the Civil Rights Act, and the Freedmen's Bureau Act were therefore ineffective in giving rights to African Americans and Southern States would pass state laws and local laws to prevent the new African American population from extending their freedom through the establishment of literacy tests, poll taxes, and segregation laws, which worked together to mainly prevent Blacks from voting, among many other basic rights. Finally, terrorist groups such as the White League and the Klu Klux Klan would completely terrorise the Black population, through lynchings, burning of schools, and cold blooded murder. The combination of all of this resulted in Reconstruction being ineffective at extending the rights of African Americans.
Jim Crow laws were instrumental in restricting the freedom of African Americans, as they were able to prevent Blacks from exacting their freedom and made segregation that much stronger. Jim Crow laws prevented African Americans to assemble together with each other, but especially with White men, and they also restricted a Blacks right to refuse paying taxes. This, along with the restriction of their right to assembly is violating the first amendment, which states that all citizens in the country have a right to free speech and assembly, both of which are being heavily restricted, as they will have to pay a fine and serve time in jail if they were to break these laws.(C) The fact that the blacks were having their 1st Amendment rights denied is also a violation of their 15th Amendment which says that rights of every citizen of the United States cannot be denied,(D) and since the 14th Amendment grants citizenship to Blacks who are born in America, and even says that the mere creation of Jim Crow laws is a violation of the 14th Amendment, it is safe to say that the Jim Crow laws are not legal by a long shot.
The laws that were passed to extend to freedom of Blacks ended up being ineffective in truly extending the rights of African Americans. This is largely because southerners would...